After an afternoon at the zoo, my wife suggested for us to have an early dinner in a restaurant an eatery in Ongpin last weekend; I was too weak to resist!
We went first to Sta Cruz Church, said our prayers and crossed the street. It’s hard not to appreciate the beauty of Carriedo fountain (note to self : keep on dreaming for Europe). However, just like Manila Zoo, I heard it’s also wailing for some maintenance and preservation.
Then we strolled from Sta Cruz Church to Manila Chinatown and finally reached a hole-in-the-wall-Chinese fastfood. Thank Heavens, we immediately spotted an empty table; an unusual sight at this very busy eatery.
Since our heartbeats increased after walking, first thing we ordered was something to chill us down. This fastfood’s version of Hong Kong Iced Tea is a champion! It has finely shaved ice with thin slices of lemons that made it tasteful. At PhP 50, it’s so refreshingly good and affordable too that I almost ordered another glass. Tina reminded me that we’re observing utmost prudence on the budget, so I settled with the hot tea on the house; I smiled and did not complain.
We saw chinky-eyed customers flocking in non stop; a strong indication that this food place really serves best-tasting Chinese treats. We didn’t waste time and told the wait staff our orders… And voila, less than 10 minutes, they arrived on our tables…
SIOMAI . One of the best, if not the best-tasting siomai I’ve tasted!. It’s gloriously delicious.
BOLA-BOLA SIOPAO is one of our common favorites. Tina’s biased with Kowloon’s; I can’t blame her. But even Gabby liked the soft white bun of this fastfood’s siopao! The filling is its edge in contrast to other versions. It has salted egg, strips of mushrooms, and a giant meat ball that’s so flavorful.
While we’re happy to try those 2 dimsums at its finest tastes, the next dishes suffered comparison from our favorite Chinese food places.
SHRIMP CHEONG CHONG FAN. Tina and I had our initial taste bud’s exposure to this shrimp rice rolls 5 years ago in NZ. Since then, it became our favorite. We usually order it whenever we eat Chinese. We love the version from LE CHING’S TEA HOUSE in Greenhills Shopesville and TirNoma and Shrimp Cheong fan from EMERALD GARDEN CHINESE RESTAURANT in Roxas Blvd. And because we’re used to generous servings of plump shrimps and its thick rice rolls from Le Ching, we’re a bit disappointed with this fastfood’s Cheong Chong fan.
We barely tasted the shrimps because they were too small for bites; the rice rolls were too limp and thin, like the fountain and the zoo begging for improvement. The saving glory was its sweet and salty soy sauce.
We also ordered rice toppings…
STEAMED CHICKEN MUSHROOM RICE (left) and SPARERIBS RICE TOPPINGS (right)
“Lasang Tinola” , my wife commented. Tina, Gabby and I love Chicken Mushroom Rice, but again, our reference was that of Le Ching’s so we find it quite different; gingery to be exact. But I must state that their chicken serving is more generous.
I had the Spareribs Rice Toppings; ’twas fine. I was satisfied. I may order it again next time we visit…
It would be unfair if we won’t visit WAI YING again in Binondo to try their other yummies. I know a few more dine-in here would lead to its inclusion to the list of our favorites.
Have you tried Wai Ying ? What’s your favorite from their menu?
Do you have plans already to celebrate this year’s CHINESE NEW YEAR VALENTINE’S ?
For this year, I already have something in mind but we’ll keep it cheap simple; we’re CELEBRATING LOVE everyday anyway!
WAI YING,927 Benavidez Street, Binondo Manila (From Sta Cruz’ Church go straight to Ongpin then turn right to Salazar Street (where President’s Tea House is located, then right again to Benavidez St).