BINONDO: REVISITING 3 FAVORITE QUICK TREATS

We arrived around 8 in the morning yesterday in Binondo, a destination my husband and I have not gone to for more than 2 decades so this short trip was surely a sentimental one. Click a related post – BINONDO: A QUICK VISIT.

For the benefit of foreigners, Binondo* is considered the Chinatown of the Philippines, considered the oldest in the world, established in 1594 by the Spaniards as a settlement for Catholic Chinese. It is a district in Manila, Philippines, and a hub of Chinese commerce.

We finally found a parking space and made our way to Ling Nam Noodle House at 616 T. Alonzo Street. Even this early, the restaurant was almost full.

Z-2-wall menuwall menu – Ling Nam Noodle House, Binondo, Manila

Ling Nam still has a limited, yet time-tested, menu consisting of: noodles (asado, beef, chicken, wanton, or combinations of 2 or 3 thereof), lugao (congee or hot rice porridge, with the following variants: bola-bola, chicken, fish, fish-bola, halo-halo, liver, kidney, or plain), siopao (steamed bun, in the following variants: asado, bola-bola, lotus, mongo and taipao – the 4-inch or largest meatball-chorizo siopao) and siomai (steamed Chinese dumpling, with or without soup).

Unfortunately, only siopao, siomai and different kinds of lugao (congee) were available that early (noodles are only available starting 9:30 am). So, we settled for CHICKEN LUGAO (175 pesos), HALO-HALO LUGAO (165 pesos), SIOMAI (2 pieces for 80 pesos) and ASADO SIOPAO (75 pesos).

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Complimentary Hot Tea – Ling Nam Noodle House, Binondo, Manila

Complimentary hot tea was served first, followed by our orders.

BeFunky CollageChicken Lugao and Halo Halo Lugao – Ling Nam Noodle House, Binondo, Manila

Both lugaos were served hot, accompanied by fresh calamansi (small, round citrus fruit also known as Calamondin). We squeezed the juice from the calamansi directly to the bowl and seasoned the lugao with patis (fish sauce) and a bit of pepper. This dish hit the spot and is definitely a comfort food for us.

 

Z-3-siomai-siopao2 pieces of siomai and asado siopao – Ling Nam Noodle House, Binondo, Manila

Siomai and siopao were then served. Toyo (soy sauce) and freshly squeezed calamansi juice were mixed as dipping sauce for the two pieces of siomai (per order) to be enjoyed in between spoonfuls of lugao. The siopao did not need any sauce because the tasty filling, along with the soft dough, was just right.

We asked for the bill and gave our senior citizen cards. An employee simply looked at our empty plates on the table and orally enumerated the quantity of the exact items we ate to the cashier who prepared the bill. Now I call that going paperless! So amusing!

Z-4-shanghai fried siopaoShanghai Fried Siopao – Binondo, Manila

We shopped for a while and found ourselves in the corner of Ongpin Street and Bahama Street, the location of (80 year old) Shanghai Fried Siopao. We ordered PORK ASADO fried siopaos, each costing 20 pesos. This hole-in-the-wall stall only has a simple store sign “Shanghai Fried Siopao” and offers takeout dumplings, kikiam (or quekiam, a steamed-deep-fried pork/seafood Chinese delicacy wrapped in bean curd skin), machang (the Filipino version of the pyramid-shaped Chinese steamed sticky rice-meat dish called “zongzi”), siomai and other cooked-food items, displayed on a small counter along the street.

Z-5-fried siopaoFried Siopao – Shanghai Fried Siopao, Binondo, Manila

The fried siopao displayed on the counter were not kept warm but you can observe that they were easily gone through the purchases of loyal and curious customers and the stock needed to be replenished regularly. The buns were still hot when it was handed to me. Amazing!

Z-6-fryer (2)Fryers used to make Fried Siopao – Shanghai Fried Siopao, Binondo, Manila

Just to be clear, we ordered FRIED SIOPAO which is steamed then pan-fried so that it has a toasted crispy bottom but still looks like a steamed siopao on top. It is definitely different from Toasted Siopao which is a baked “monay-looking” Bicolano specialty variation of siopao.

Z-7-manosaWe walked a bit more and could not resist to go to (30 year old) Ongpin Mañosa Restaurant.

Z-8-manosa-2

We ordered yummy maki (a Chinese soup with a brown, thick, starchy broth, and chunks of tender pork) which was served in a large bowl and can be shared by two seniors. We were still full so we did not order side dishes like kikiam and siomai.

Z-9-manosa-3Maki – Ongpin Mañosa Restaurant, Binondo, Manila

The maki was served hot and its thick, starchy and tasty broth was so satisfying, along with the tender chunks of pork.

Z-10-siopao-bitepoor fried siopao after I have eaten it halfway

We needed to leave Binondo, anticipating traffic going to our next destination. Sure enough, we were caught in traffic and decided to eat the Pork Asado siopaos we got from Shanghai Fried Siopao. They were no longer hot but we still ate them. When I bit into the siopao, I got a bit of a crunchy texture from the bottom, along with the usual soft siopao dough and tasty filling (of pork and leeks, among other ingredients; no need for sauce). We enjoyed the siopaos and I am sure that these would have been more satisfying when eaten hot. Anyway, we didn’t get stressed with the traffic! LOL

Next time, we need to stay longer and eat lunch or dinner in the famous restaurants in Binondo. Dear Seniors, do you have any recommendations?

Did you find this post informative? Do you also go to these places for a quick treat? Do you have your other favorite places to dine in Chinatown for a quick bite?  I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll to the upper right part of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Don’t forgollow me by clicking the “Follow” bar at the bottom right corner of your gadget. Thank you!

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*“Binondo,” accessed December 12, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binondo.

 

GREEN PASTURES: FROM FARM TO TABLE

Location: G/F, Net Park, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines

I had a scheduled meeting with someone in the Net Park area and arrived an hour before the designated time so I invited my companion to have a quick but not-so-sinful snack and we chose a casual dining and organic restaurant called Green Pastures, owned by Chef Robby Goco of Cyma, Charlie’s Grind and Grill, and Tequila Joe’s fame. It is located at the ground floor of Net Park and is open from 8 am till 10 pm.

Z-3-GP

For this restaurant, Chef Robbie offers healthy American and European homemade dishes which are made from fresh, organic, gluten-free and probiotic ingredients. Green Pastures also has 2 other branches: Eastwood Mall (in Bagumbayan, Quezon City) and (Level 4, East Wing) Shangri-la Plaza Mall (in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City).

We opted for outdoor dining despite the modern farm house interiors, ordered their Homemade Burrata (a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream), served with toasted bread, and requested it to be served fast so we need not hurry eating it and I won’t be late for my meeting. It came as promised by the waitress and it had a simple yet appealing presentation.

Z-1-GP

The texture of the bread complemented the softness and freshness of the cheese, served with Mt. Atok (in the province of Benguet) organic strawberries, cherry tomatoes and basil oil. It was priced at 430 pesos and was worth it! The cold refreshing drinks, Organic Dalandan Juice (juice of the tangy, Filipino variety of a citrus fruit) and Iced Tea with Organic Honey (small, 120 pesos each), were a welcome treat too!

I paid for this snack and all the comments are based on my dining experience. I will definitely go back to try the other items in the menu!

Did you find this post informative? Have you also experienced dining at Green Pastures in any of its branches? I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll to the upper right corner of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Follow me by clicking the “Follow” bar at the bottom right corner of your gadget. Thank you!

 

 

I Need My Jamba Fix!

Location: Burgos Eats1Burgos Circle2, Rizal Drive corner 29th Street, Bonifacio Global City3Taguig City4Metro Manila5, Philippines

I don’t know about you, Senior Citizens, but this Senior Promdi6 needs a Jamba Fix whenever she goes to Metro Manila5! My favorite (3 year old) Jamba Juicestore is located in Burgos Eats1, Burgos Circle2Bonifacio Global City3, open from 7 am – 11 pm daily.

This Texas-based restaurant was founded in California in 1990 and has almost 900 stores worldwide. It specializes in made-to-order smoothies8, freshly squeezed juices and other related and nourishing treats made from all natural ingredients containing antioxidants9, minerals and vitamins. Its products have no artificial flavors, preservatives, trans fat10, and high-fructose corn syrup11.

Five years ago, Max’s Group, Inc.12 obtained the Jamba Juice7 franchise in the Philippines. It has 20 locations in Metro Manila5 to-date. Click “Find a Store” in their official website: www.jambajuice.ph

It offers 6 types of products: smoothies8 (all fruit, boosted, classic, creamy treat, fruits & veggies, super food), energy bowls, freshly squeezed juices, steel-cut oatmeal, hydrating fruit refreshers, and baked goods. Click on “Menu + Nutrition” in the said website.

I’m a berry and peanut butter foodie so I have 3 favorites (although I haven’t tried all their products):

*Mixed Berry Energy Bowl – a healthy yet delicious bowl made of a nutritious blend of fresh Greek yogurt13 and soymilk, topped with fresh banana slices, blueberries, and strawberries and dry toppings; this is my yummy healthy snack when I want a big fix!

JambaJuice-Mixed-Berry-Bowl
Photo from Jamba Juice

*Banana Berry Classic Smoothie – a smoothie8 made of 100% real fruits (banana, blueberry and raspberry sherbet) and (apple and strawberry) juices blended-to-order with frozen yogurt, available in 16, 22 and 30 oz. I order either a 16 or 22 oz, depending on my craving and appetite. Berry lovers, watch out, this is addicting!

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*Peanut Butter Moo’d – a creamy smoothie8 made of peanut butter, banana, frozen yogurt, soymilk and their secret chocolate moo-d base, also available in 16, 22 and 30 oz. I am so sure that the seniors who love peanut butter will go crazy with this product!

JambaJuice-Peanut-Butter-Mood
Photo by Jamba Juice

For optimum nutrition, you can request any of the ff. to be added for a minimal cost: cayenne powder (free), chia seeds14, Greek yogurt13, kale15, soy protein16, whey protein17, 3G energy18, and daily vitamin+zinc.

If you have any food allergies (dairy, soy, fruits, peanuts, other nuts, wheat, etc.), inform the Jamba Juice7 staff who can tell you what is best for you. BTW, thanks to: Lyn-lyn Servanda and Tantan Cantre (Shift Leaders), Chingkee Olivera (Team Member) and Je Sabilao (Custodian). Contact cell no.: 0949-889-8065.

Does this make me a Jambassador? It doesn’t matter, this ordinary senior citizen just loves Jamba Juice!

Thank you to the Jamba Juice crew!

Did you find this post informative? Do you like Jamba Juice too? Do you know similar establishments that you want me to feature? I would like to hear from you. Just scroll to the upper right corner of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Don’t forget to follow me by clicking the “Follow” bar at the bottom right corner of your gadget. Thank you.

 

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1Burgos Eats is a stand-alone 2,000 sq.m. building which houses 5 restaurants brands of the Max’s Group12: Jamba Juice, Krispy Kreme, Pancake House, Teriyaki Boy and Yellow Cab, located at Burgos Circle2, Rizal Drive corner 29th Street, Bonifacio Global City3Taguig City4. It offers a multi-format dining in a shared space, featuring different flavors and outlet options to choose from. Customers are free to buy whatever they want from one store and eat/drink them in another outlet. In fact, if the store is not busy, you can ask the wait staff to get something for you in another outlet, ain’t that great, Seniors? It also offers a spacious communal area for people who want to dine al fresco.

 2Burgos Circle is an enclave, near Serendra and Bonifacio High Street, in Bonifacio Global City3, complete with residential condominiums, restaurants, and a small park at its center.

 3Bonifacio Global City, BGC, The Fort, or Global City, is a financial district in Taguig City4Metro Manila5, which used to be part of the main Philippine Army camp called Fort Bonifacio. It is home to residential condominiums (8 Forbes Town Road, Bellagio, Bonifacio Ridge Twin Towers, Essensa, One McKinley Place, Pacific Plaza Towers, Regent Parkway, Serendra, and The Luxe Residences) and corporate office buildings (Bonifacio Technology Center and Net One). It also offers: Bonifacio High Street (the central retail and entertainment hub), Forbes Town Center (a Megaworld township community), Heritage Park (a memorial park), McKinley Hill (with condominiums and 3 international schools), McKinley West (a Megaworld township by 2019), North Bonifacio (Federal Land’s district), and Uptown Bonifacio (a residential and commercial property). NOTE: Makati City19 and the municipality of Pateros20 are disputing jurisdiction. Visit its website:www.bgc.com.ph

 4Taguig City, according to the Wikipedia page, “Taguig ” accessed November 11, 2017,  is a highly urbanized city located in the south-eastern part of Metro Manila5, Philippines. It is bordered by Makati19, Pasig and Pateros20 to the north, Pasay to the west, Parañaque to the southwest, Muntinlupa to the south, and Cainta and Taytay on the northeast. SOURCE: “Taguig,” accessed November 11, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taguig.

 5Metro Manila, according to the Wikipedia page, “Metro Manila” accessed November 11, 2017, is the official and administrative urban area in the southwestern portion of Luzon surrounding Manila, established in 1975 through Presidential Decree No. 824. It is the capital region of the Philippines, the seat of government, and is officially called the National Capital Region (NCR), composed of 16 cities (Caloocan, Las Piñas, Malabon, Makati19, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Novotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig4, Valenzuela) and the municipality of Pateros20. It is the center of culture, economy, education and government of the Philippines. SOURCE: “Metro Manila,” accessed November 11, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Manila.

 6Senior Promdi is my term for a senior citizen “from the province”.

 7The Jamba Juice Company is a restaurant retailer with headquarters in Frisco, Texas, founded in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1990 by Kirk Perron. It has almost 900 locations: in the USA, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. Its product range include: juices,smoothies8, artisan hummus toast with vegetables, homemade potato chips, quinoa21 bowls, and vegan foods. Visit its website: www.jambajuice.com

8A smoothie is a thick beverage made from blended fresh fruits and/or vegetables, fruit juice/s, sweetener/s (sugar, honey, syrup, artificial sweetener), dairy product/s (cottage cheese, milk, whey powder, yogurt), crushed ice, water and other ingredients (chocolate, herbal supplements, nutritional supplements, nuts, seeds, tea).

9An antioxidant is a substance that inhibits the oxidation of cells. It could refer to vitamin C or E, or beta-carotene, that neutralizes and removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents or free radicals from the blood stream. Since our body cannot keep up with antioxidant production, a good amount of these enzymes, minerals, phytochemicals and vitamins must come from our diet: (1) to add protection for our body against eye, heart, immune system, memory and mood problems; (2) to slow the effects of aging by reducing free radical damage; (3) to reduce the effects of aging on the skin; and, (3) to reduce the risk of cancer. Examples of good sources are: artichoke, blackberries, cilantro, cocoa, cranberries, dark chocolate, elder berries, garlic, goji berries, green tea, kidney beans, leafy green vegetables, pecans, wild blueberries, and spices (basil, cayenne powder, cinnamon, clove, cumin, dried parsley, ginger, oregano, thyme and turmeric).

10Trans fat, according to the Wikipedia page, “Trans fat” accessed November 11, 2017, is a type of unsaturated fat that occurs in small amounts in nature. It is present in: animal fat, bread and cake products, butter, cake frostings, cookies, crackers, fried fast food items, ground beef, margarine, salty snack food, spreads and whole milk. It is said to be associated with coronary artery disease when one regularly eats food rich in transfat. SOURCE: “Trans fat,” accessed November 11, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans_fat.

 11High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), according to the Wikipedia page, “High-fructose corn syrup” accessed November 11, 2017, is a sweetener made from corn starch. It is similar to granulated sugar but easier to handle, sweeter and cheaper, so it is used in a variety of products like processed foods and sweetened drinks. The process of making HFCS separates fructose from glucose so the former goes directly to the liver, makes it fat, resulting to lipogenesis (fatty liver) and this is said to eventually lead to: cancer, dementia, diabetes, heart disease, metabolic disorders, obesity, strokes and weight gain. SOURCE: “High-fructose corn syrup,” accessed November 11, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-fructose_corn_syrup.

12Max’s Group is the largest casual dining restaurant company in the Philippines consisting of the following: Max’s Restaurant (known for its friend chicken), Pancake House, the Chicken Rice Shop (a casual dining Malaysian restaurant), Dencio’s (a Filipino grill restaurant), Jamba Juice7 (for healthy yogurt drinks/concoctions), Kabisera (a  restaurant), Krispy Kreme (a doughnut and coffee shop), Le Coeur De France (a premium bakery), Maple, Max’s Corner Bakery, Meranti Hotel (a boutique hotel in Quezon City), Singkit (a Chinese restaurant), Sizzling Pepper Steak, Teriyaki Boy, Yellow Cab (for pizza), among others. Visit its website: www.maxsgroupinc.com

 13Greek yogurt, according to the Wikipedia page, “Greek yogurt” accessed November 11, 2017, is sourish yogurt that has been strained to remove most of its whey to produce a thicker consistency and has a higher protein density, less sugar and more carbs than regular yogurt. It is also called strained yogurt, yogurt cheese or labaneh. Its acidity also makes it easier for our body to absorb other nutrients. SOURCE: “Greek yogurt,” accessed November 11, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_yogurt.

 14Kale, or leaf cabbage, has erect stems with large, green/purple, tightly coarse/curly/wrinkled leaves and no compact head. It is tough and bitter when raw but tastes good when prepared the right way. Its benefits include: bone repair and enhancement, brain development in infancy (for pregnant women), cancer prevention, cardiovascular support, detoxification, fatigue removal, inflammation relief, overall immune system boost, skin and vision improvement.

 15Soy protein is a plant-based protein from soybeans, enjoyed by vegans and vegetarians. It is a good source of protein, amino acids, fiber, isoflavones, lecithin, vitamins and minerals (B-complex, iron, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin E and zinc).

 16Whey protein, according to the Wikipedia page, “Whey protein” accessed November 11, 2017, is a mixture of globular proteins isolated from whey, the liquid material created as a by-product of cheese production. It is said to be beneficial to our health: with easily absorbable amino acids; for increased strength; gain in muscle and loss in body fat; and fights cancer, depression, high blood pressure and blood sugar and HIV. It is converted to powder form and added to shakes, meal replacements and protein bars. It is usually (chocolate, strawberry or vanilla) flavored since it does not taste good on its own. SOURCE: “Whey protein,” accessed November 11, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whey_protein.

 17Chia seed, according to the Wikipedia page, “Chia seed” accessed November 11, 2017, is the small, oval, 1 mm diameter, mottle-colored (with black, brown, gray and white) seed obtained from Salvia hispanica, used medicinally and added to other food/drinks (bread, breakfast cereal, energy bar, granola bar, smoothie, tortilla and yogurt). It: is rich in omega-3 fatty acids/protein and an excellent source of antioxidants; it boosts one’s mood; enhances one’s workout; increases one’s energy levels; maintains cardiovascular health; manages blood sugar levels; promotes healthy digestion;  and, stimulates weight loss. SOURCE: “Chia seed,” accessed November 11, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chia_seed.

 183G energy of Jamba Juice7 is an energy booster which is made of a combination of green tea, ginseng (a tonic and medicinal Asian plant tuber) and guarana (a tonic/stimulating substance prepared from the seeds of a Brazilian shrub). It contains 120 mg of caffeine.

 19Makati is a city in Metro Manila5 which is known as the financial center of the Philippines. Major banks, department stores, embassies, local and multinational corporations are located in this city. It is called “The Financial Center of the Philippines” and “The Wall Street of the Philippines”. It became a city in 1955 and is composed of 33 barangays (the smallest administrative divisions in the Philippines). Visit its website: www.makati.gov.ph

 20Pateros is the smallest, first-class municipality in Metro Manila5, Philippines, famous for its duck-raising industry and resulting products like balut (Filipino, boiled, 14-21-day old duck’s egg eaten hot, from the shell). It is bordered by Pasig to the north, Makati19 to the west and Taguig4 to the south. It is called “The Balut Capital of the Philippines”, “Home of the World Famous Balut” and “The Small Town with a Big Heart”. Visit its Facebook account: Municipal Government of Pateros.

 21Quinoa is a protein-packed, 2-mm (in diameter) grain/seed which promotes healthy tissue growth in our bodies. Its color varies, from white to red or black. It is gluten-free22 and easy to digest. It also contains calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamins B and E. It can be taken: during breakfast, mixed with cinnamon, dried fruit and a sweetener; as a side dish with a small amount of butter or oil, salt and pepper, or other seasonings; as an ingredient in baked products as a wheat-free alternative like in breads and muffins; as a substitute for bulgur wheat, couscous and rice (like a pilaf and paired with beans, curries, chili and stir-fries); or, as a main course (meat-free burger, salad or stew). NOTE: Quinoa contains all the 9 essential amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine) so it is a complete protein source.

22Gluten-free means the food does not contain gluten, a mixture of proteins found in wheat and related grains (like barley, oats, rye). Gluten is reputed to cause health problems for people with gluten-related disorders (e.g., celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, gluten ataxia, HIV enteropathy, irritable bowel syndrome, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and wheat allergy).