Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Binondo's Hidden Finest

I have actually posted this write-up on my Facebook Note last August 9 as my entry to The Purple Doll's Samsung #GalaxyMega Challenge. Unfortunately, I didn't win {heart broken because my phone is still low-tech} or else I will be the luckiest mommy in this blogosphere! Haha! My consolation is that my entry was among the 20 shortlisted out of the 117 entries. But nevertheless, I would still love to share it with you and give you a quick tour to Binondo. So here it goes.

Project 700/7: Binondo's Hidden Finest
Background: I am a resident of Binondo for the past 1.5 years but I haven't had the chance to really explore on its surroundings because of my full time job situated by the east of Quezon City. Then when I got pregnant last year, I just stayed home most of the time. Until now that I became a work-at-home mom that I was able to have the time to roam around.

In order to fully appreciate the place where I belong to, I have decided to do a food trip adventure with a little twist. I know this has been blogged by different foodies a number of times already but I also want to have my own version of it.

Mission: In a span of seven days, I challenged myself to try out seven restos or a place to fill in my tummy with a budget of only P700 or at maximum P100 per food stop. Plus, they should be a hole-in-a-wall. This project was done last July 29 until August 6, 2013 from 6-7pm after my work-at-home duty, excluding the Saturday and Sunday because it's family day.

Hole-in-the-Wall # 1
Name of Resto: Quick Snack
Location: Carvajal Street, Binondo
Photo Entry:

Caption: I ordered Fried Lumpia for P45 and Guinumis (sago gulaman) for P60. Total of P105. Whoops, I went over by P5 which I would have to deduct from my next stop's budget. The place is hidden in the middle of a narrow street connecting Quintin Paredes and Yuchengco Streets.

Hole-in-the-Wall # 2
Name of Resto: Cafe Mezzanine
Location: Ongpin Street, Binondo
Photo Entry:

Caption: I ordered Kiampong for P50 and Iced Banana for also P50. The Mezza Blend (coffee) was served for free because I said I will promote their resto. You won't feel guilty dining here because all their revenues will be donated to fireman volunteers. It's a volunteer fireman's coffee shop. The cafe is located on the second floor of a chinese eatery named Chuan Kee where the stairway entrance is along Yuchengco Street corner of Ongpin Street.

Hole-in-the-Wall # 3
Name of Resto: New Po Heng Lumpia House
Location: Quintin Paredes Street, Binondo
Photo Entry:

Caption: As the name implies, their specialty here is Fresh Lumpia which costs only P50. It's fresh, hot and thick!I never liked eating fresh lumpia before but this changed everything. For maximum enjoyment, savour this as soon as it is served hot. This eatery is the hardest to find as it's hidden inside an old pink building. It's along Quintin Paredes Street and just across Carvajal Street. Look for a narrow pathway in between two buildings and you will see from the outside their red lighted signage from afar. Literally a hole-in-the-wall!

Hole-in-the-Wall # 4
Name of Resto: Dong Bei Dumpling
Location: Yuchengco Street, Binondo
Photo Entry:

Caption: Also as the name implies, dumpling is their specialty here. I ordered Kuchay (chives) Dumplings which costs P80 for a serving of 10pcs. It tasted good to think that I hated eating anything with veggies. Preparing the kuchay dumplings just right next to our table also caught my attention. The place is located at the far end of Yuchengco Street, connecting to the end of Tytana Street, and hidden behind Binondo Chinese Parish.

Hole-in-the-Wall # 5
Name of Resto: Simple Line
Location: Tytana Street, Binondo
Photo Entry:

Caption: I ordered Caramel Tapioca Black Milk Tea medium size for only P55 as it is their best seller. I am really not a fan of milk tea because I don't want to spend that much for a drink when I'm okay with just plain water. But I tried it anyway since it's way more affordable than other milk tea house. Later did I learned that the owner of that branch was one of my schoolmates. This tea house is located just beside Mandarin Mansion building entrance, along Tytana Street, two small streets away from Binondo Church.

Hole-in-the-Wall # 6
Name of Resto: Crepe de Chine
Location: Juan Luna Street, Binondo
Photo Entry:

Caption: I chose to try this place because for me it's another hole-in-the-wall of Binondo but doesn't serve typical Chinese dishes. What's good about it is that all the items in their menu are below P200. I ordered Tuna Luau for P98 which not only fits my budget but also heavy in my tummy. It can pass as a romantic dining place because of the dim lights and swing chairs that made up their cozy ambiance. This place is located at the basement of World Trade Exchange Building along Juan Luna Street, almost nearing the corner of Dasmarinas Street.

Hole-in-the-Wall # 7
Name of Resto: Sincerity Resto
Location: Yuchengco Street, Binondo
Photo Entry:


Caption: This place is famous for its signature Sincerity Fried Chicken but for a change, I tried their other best seller Sincerity Chami for only P90. I also didn't like eating lomi before but this one is an exception because it has lots of shrimp that contributed to its rich tasting. This eatery is right beside Veco Paper Corporation, along Yuchengco Street, a place famous for sourcing of wholesale office and school supplies.

With that, my total expenses for this 7-day food trip challenge surprisingly only amounted to P578 (105+100+50+80+55+98+90) with an extra money of P122 from a budget of P700. As you can notice, every food stop I went to are inter-connected where you can easily hop from one place to another because the streets in Binondo are small. Believe it or not, some of them were my first time and a new discovery.

After this food trip adventure, I came to appreciate and love Binondo's old buildings and Chinese all-time favorites even more. And the greatest take home I had is to never underestimate the outside appearance of a place because you would never know its secret unless you try it. So come on, let's discover Binondo's hidden finest now!

Who said tight budgeted mommies can't enjoy a food trip? Think again.

And lastly, mission accomplished. The Binondo Mommy signing off.


  1. Wow, you live right smack in Binondo, a foodie's haven. I already tried Dong Bei dumplings, hinanap pa namin talaga yan. I got curious with Simple Line, I'll try this out. :)

    1. Hi Mommy Badet, yey thanks for visiting my page. Yup, it's so nice to be in Binondo, everything is so convenient! Yes, you got to try Simple Line, really price-friendly and refreshing. Visit my blog post to know more about Simple Line. :)

  2. Wow i like this post! My husband and i have long planned to take a tipid food trip in Binondo. Kapag natuloy na, we'll look for these stalls!

  3. Wow! I would love to try eating in Binondo. We just moved to Manila and I think this would be one the best places to explore here. Thanks for sharing.

  4. hi, I'm enjoying your posts :) I'd like to ask if you're familiar with the gift shop on dasmariñas street that sells original Hello kitty/Sanrio stuff... I passed by it before but forgot the name :)

    1. Hi! Umm, are you referring to Gift City? They sell Hello Kitty/Sanrio stuff. It's along Quintin Paredes Street. :) Thanks for visiting my page!

  5. Thank you so so much for your reply... I tried googling some images and I think that is it :) More power :) ♥