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 below for a related post – Binondo: A Quick Visit.

We 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.

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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 (bola-bola, chicken, fish, fish-bola, halo-halo, liver, kidney, or plain), siopao (asado, bola-bola, lotus, mongo and taipao) and siomai (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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Hot Tea

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

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 Chicken Lugao                                                 Halo Halo Lugao

Both lugaos were served hot, accompanied by fresh calamansi. 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.

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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!

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We shopped for awhile 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 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, machang, siomai and other cooked-food items, displayed on a small counter along the street.

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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!

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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.

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We walked a bit more and could not resist to go to (30 year old) Ongpin Mañosa Restaurant.

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We ordered yummy MAKI 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 quekiam and siomai.

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

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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 Chinatown. 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”. Thank you!

 

GREEN PASTURES: FROM FARM TO TABLE

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

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.

For this restaurant, Chef Robbie offers healthy American and European homemade dishes which are made from fresh, organic, gluten1-free and probiotic2 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 Burrata3, 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.

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The texture of the bread complemented the softness and freshness of the cheese, served with Mt. Atok* organic strawberries, cherry tomatoes and basil oil. It was priced at 430 pesos and was worth it! The cold refreshing drinks, Organic Dalandan** Juice 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”.


1Gluten is a substance made of a family of protein, found in cereal grains, especially wheat, responsible for the elastic texture of dough, the rising of bread, and its chewy, satisfying texture. It is said to cause health problems to people with: celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten ataxia, wheat allergy, irritable bowel syndrome, autism, and schizophrenia.

 2Probiotics are live microorganisms that have health benefits when consumed. It improves digestive health, reduces depression and promotes heart health. It is also known to be beneficial to one’s brain and skin. Probiotic foods are prepared by bacterial fermentation.

 3Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella and the inside contains stracciatella (a white, stretched curd fresh cheese produced from buffalo milk) and thick cream, for a unique and soft texture. Burrata means “buttered” in Italian.

 *Mt. Atok, is the mountain located in Atok, a town in the province of Benguet, part of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), in the island of Luzon, Philippines. It has an elevation of a little over 1,700 meters and has upland vegetable farms.

 **Dalandan is a medium-sized, spherical to slightly obovate (tending to be narrow at the base), tangy, Filipino variety of a sweet-slightly sour (taste when ripe) citrus fruit at 5-9 cm in diameter, with a relatively thick, shiny, green rind and a yellow-orange flesh. It is called the Philippine orange and best described as somewhat between an orange and a lemon/lime.

 

I Need My Jamba Fix!

I don’t know about you, Senior Citizens, but this “Senior Promdi*” needs a Jamba Fix whenever she goes to Metro Manila! My favorite (3 year old) store is located in Burgos Eats, Burgos Circle, Rizal Drive corner 29th Street, Bonifacio Global City, 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 smoothies, freshly squeezed juices and other related and nourishing treats made from all natural ingredients containing antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Its products have no artificial flavors, preservatives, trans fat, and high-fructose corn syrup.

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

It offers 6 types of products: smoothies (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 yogurt 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 smoothie 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 smoothie 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!

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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 seeds, Greek yogurt, kale, soy protein, whey protein, 3G energy, and daily vitamin+zinc.

If you have any food allergies (dairy, soy, fruits, peanuts, other nuts, wheat, etc.), inform the Burgos Eats 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!

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

** Visit the main website: www.jambajuice/com

*Cover Photo from Jamba Juice