Tag Archives: Chinese Food

Solaire Resort and Casino: Lunch Winnings

where to eat solaire

Just to set things straight, I do not gamble; I eat. Hence, the progressive visits to Solaire Resort and Casino were entirely for the enjoyment of eating and free parking.

To inundate myself in the mysteries of probability and card counting, it was mandatory to get that Solaire Card and do some gambling. And boy, that P100 loss was really a tough lesson on my unpromising career as a gambler. Hence, back to regular lunch programming.

lucky noodles

Lucky Noodles is situated in the middle of the pit, contained in the glass walls and brimming with HK style goodies.

I just couldn’t wait to get my first slurp of noodles and recoup my lost dignity from that awful loss!

But first, the things we didn’t particularly fancy.

Firstly, they did not have any jelly fish on hand, so the Marinated Spicy Chicken Salad with Crunchy Jelly Fish, Chili and Sesame Seed came sans the jelly fish and something else (sea-I-forgot). Other than than minor swap, the salad itself was more like dessert!

They should have renamed this Sweet Chicken Salad with Jelly Fish Replacement. The sweetness overpowered the chicken and despite wiping the sauce off my plate or trying to eat it with the lettuce, the syrup just stubbornly clung to the chicken. And so, sad to say, we could not finish this dish, knowing there were other savory dishes in line.

chinese food pasay aseana

The Stuffed Crispy Dough Fritters with Seafood Paste and Mayonnaise Dip was a crisp change but the carbo loading came in too early in the meal. These were like 5 seafood-filled churros, which was you can see, I preferred to dip in my trusted toyo-calamansi concoction.

stuffed crispy dough fritters with seafood paste

The Steamed Pork and Prawn “siew mai” bordered on the in-between and is crowned by an orange caper (in case you were wondering that that orange dot of an ornament was).

lucky noodles solaire

Now for the things we liked and semi loved!

Better known and easier referred to as Pad Thai, the Wok Fried Thai Flat Noodles with Tamarind Sauce, Prawns, Bean Curd Sprouts and Peanuts was really festive but favored more on the salty side of the noodle dish. Hence, a lemon squeeze (or two) helped manage the sodium chloride but we wished there was more spicy zing to it–which was addressed by the nearby chili.

where to eat solaire resort casino

What I loved about this chicken dish was that it was inexplicably umami-rich and addictive! This Wok Fried Diced Chicken and Capsicum with Supreme Black Bean Sauce was the only dish that graced our table twice. The spice and flavor blended well with the garnishing and made extra toppings to our noodle dish. Eat it with the lettuce, as a topping or on its own–yes, it was clearly supremo.solaire restaurant

Lastly, here comes my birthday noodles, the Wok Fried Vermicelli Noodles with Fried Fish Fillet and Vegetables.

Loved it till the last noodle. The fish fillet was NOT salty and the entire noodle dish downplayed all the salt and overpowering flavors.

Despite the thin noodles, everything was just in place and I wish all noodle dishes were as meek and gracious as this one.

chinese food manila

Of course, still not satisfied with a purely savory meal, dessert was in order.

Oasis Garden Cafe provided the sun-graced portion of Solaire but without the sunburn factor, so I still managed to brew my green tea leaves with ample shade.

Brewing my own tea was a blast, and despite my raging impatience, I managed to maintain the strength I needed to burn all my Lucky Noodles tummy earnings.

The carrot cake, which I totally forgot if it had its own name like Carroty Fruit Cake or Creamy Fruits on Carrot or whatever, was on the sweet side. Not that I was expecting a bland carrot cake, but maybe that’s why they have other sugar-free cakes on the stand (which I neglected to order).

Am glad my awesome green tea brew managed to temper the sweetness (it was also not that moist boohoo) so I finished the cake, and the nuts on the side. The beer was not mine though a sip told me, it went so damn well with the bar nuts, which luckily, were unlimited.

solaire resort and casino

This ends my Solaire adventures, having exhausted my GCs. The food trips were fun and made more exciting by the casino backdrop, and this opportunity is enough to be considered a gastronomic win!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Home, Smorgasbord

Foodcourt Findings

For those on a budget or just too lazy to think, the #Foodcourt is just a gold mine for variety and cheap food, if you don’t mind the long lines and smoky hair scent. Yes I do like the occasional fresh-from-the-grill flavored shampoo.

I’m talking about the Glorietta Food Court which boasts of places like New Bombay, Pepper Lunch, Dulcelin, Gong ChaCheesecake Melliza, Sen Lek, World Chicken, and that Mongolian place – amongst others. It can get smoky and really crowded, but when you dine during off-peak hours and get to sit admiring the view behind the “G” of Glorietta, overlooking Glorietta 5, it’s actually scenic.

It might seem strange but my first Pepper Lunch experience was in the food court. The line was long and the pictures were stellar, so you know what that means: Let’s eat here! Of course with my dietary concerns, I could only order 10% of the entire selection, but that includes salmon and chicken, so consider it diverse enough. goodcourt glorietta

Pepper Lunch is perhaps targeted to people who like their plates hot with sizzling viand and hefty carbs. Other than that, there was barely flavor except for a dash of pepper, and even for a terrible cook as myself, am left to think that this is something easily replicated at home.

The salmon was all right, but those wee chicken slices have a lot more flavorful opportunities peeking underneath the oily stove.

And I did ask for a cup for my “saucy concoction”. I believe it was garlic + soy sauce = not much help. I leave Pepper Lunch to the hungry college boys.

 

On a separate occasion, when we were the first customers in Glorietta and happened to learn that the Food Court opens at 11 am, we were (un)fortunate to meet the opening of only a few tenants.

Sadly, only Palak Paneer and chicken curry were available in New Bombay, and the scene was not too enticing for someone who wanted cheese naan!

kakaw and veggies

Hence, we ended up where the old people were: El Presidente of Binondo. In short, food court Chinese food, with strong lighting and greasy aftertaste. And senior citizens – believe me – the cards were flying everywhere!

While I adore Binondo food, having speedy service in food court version was not too inspiring. The lemon chicken (no photo) was mango juice sweet, despite its huge serving. If properly heated, I may have eaten a bit more–but nothing can be done with that syrupy overcoat.

The assorted vegetables were all right though I spotted a few brown pechay leaves. Am guessing food court denizens are not receiving their required dose of greens!

dimsum el presidente binondo

Lastly, that beautiful dish of hakaw was undercooked! Being the first customers of the day has its drawback too!

Next time, leave the Binondo food trip in the actual Binondo!

As for New Bombay, open early!!

3 Comments

Filed under Home, Smorgasbord

Binondo Food Tripping 2

where to eat chinese food

The best food trips are spontaneous and random and can go as impulsive as just craving for downtown ramen – and look where the tide whirls us to – Binondo, Manila!

Good gracious, the powers of hunger and traffic-less Sunday! Well, generally breezy.

binondo eats

I have grown to have a penchant for the Binondo food, having mastered the one rule: Stop asking questions!

At the start, I inquisitively asked about meat content, of vegetarian dishes, about strange exotic names and Chinese translations.

Sometimes, it’s best to stay safe and look for common keywords: chicken/vegetable/seafood and opt for the un-adventurous sounding terms: soup, the easily dissected dumpling and my newfound discovery, misuaProblem solved, sans the angry dispute and broken China.

Binondo Food trip sincerity chinese restaurant

First stop on this second food tripping leg leads us to a famous Sincerity. I don’t know why, but people Sincerity seems to be a top-of-mind foodie destination. If any, Sincerity definitely does not relate to the honesty of the food and could be more of a feng shui thing – or simplicity if you must insist on a trait.

fried chicken binondo

where to eat binondo

Sincerity is best known for its breaded fried chicken, so let’s start with that. Tender juicy and sincerely oily with a bit of sweet, it’s the perfect comfort food! It’s delectable on its own, but do make sure to ask for spare napkin, especially if you like to eat with your fingers.

The catsup remained untouched because aside from not eating catsup, it just seemed irreverent to violate the original taste with bottled sauce.

sincerity binondo

Then came the Oyster Cake which was more of an Oyster omelette with a surprise, which Google, with its multitudinous posts, purports as a famous Taiwanese delicacy.

Having researched why “cake” assumed the title role came the simple fact that potato/tapioca starch is added to the egg mixture for that pudding-like consistency that I got so addicted to, I ate the leftovers for breakfast the next day. A bit of a warning though, do not finish single-handedly unless your stomach can seriously stomach that much shellfish!

manila food trip

I seem to be following a strange order but this was another breakthrough order -which was actually the first to arrive! Duck Misua came with the thinnest, almost gone misua noodles which makes you want to slurp some more. Tastes like the perfect remedy for anyone under the weather or just craving for a bit of duck in soup form. It was gone in less than a minute, so it was hunger in pure sincerity.

Not very photogenic (honestly, it looked blehhh) but it was an awesome accompaniment to the entire Sincerity ensemble.

cafe mezzanine binondo

Next on the list was Cafe Mezzanine which sits atop Eng Bee Tin. Cafe Mezzanine, A Fireman’s Coffee Shop, has this CSR thing going on, since its sales are tied to the Manila firefighters, so eat and beat the fire! Or perhaps, fight hunger and fire – at the same time?! Okay, on to the food.

Since it was a diet-y day, the food ordered are not are grand as Sincerity but just as mouth watering.

binondo manila where to eat

Appetizers were the Super Tofu and Camaron Rebusado. These small items were affordable and came in angular plates. Nothing fancy but enough to keep you full, if you prefer a light meal.

binondo food trip noodles

The Kung Pao Chicken Noodles came as quite a surprise. I was a expecting a wee to medium serving based on the photo, but what came seemed to be an equivalent of 3 to 4 packs of instant noodles worth of egg noodles, topped with cabbage, carrot, peanuts and sweet chicken bits!

I had to pause for a moment – because the dish was all mine! Sweet and silky, it was an enhanced pancit canton with a sweet tinge. It was also enough to keep me full for the rest of the day – and have a free breakfast for the next morning. Sweet! 

manila binondo

And so another successful Binondo Food Trip! If you have the time, do visit the Binondo Church.

It may get stifling hot during mass or crowded days, but during off peak hours, you can marvel at the glorious ceiling, statues and all else God-made. Dessert no longer required.

Leave a comment

Filed under Home, Smorgasbord

Binondo Food Tripping

Manila food trippingBeen hearing a lot of buzz and drone on food trips, walking tours and whatnot in Binondo, Manila. Like it’s the new tourist hub of Manila, when everyone has had their fill of ramen and tonkatsu – which is kinda funny since Binondo has been there for like, forever.

Ying Ying Restaurant Binondo Manila

 

I can remember visiting Chinatown when I was a kid, and they were not food trips per se. Actually, my lola never really reached the popularity of that term, but she knew the essence of #foodtriptayo circa 80s, when we frequented Ongpin for Crispy noodles, fresh lapu lapu, century egg, and The Shrimp Balls of my childhood grease. Ah yes, and that was the time that awesome Milo Bar was sold in Manila, chunky and large, not like the ones we have today. #bestchildhoodever

Today though, Binondo remains to be the bustling center for legit Chinese delicacies and products from, where else, China. Of course 168 presents Divisoria merchandise in a mall-friendly fashion, not to mention the construction of Lucky Chinatown for those who just want a basic mall, but Old China is still very much in the air, with the kalesas, structures and of course, the food!

While I’m not food tripping addict, I just happened to pass by and eat. No walking tour or immersion whatsoever. Nothing planned, happened to get hungry so eat, pay and get out.

Binondo Food trip jenina gonzales

Ying Ying Restaurant is a multi-level restaurant that looks ho-hum from the outside, a bit crowded upon entry, and just really bustling with moving people and servers. It’s all right though, so long as you’re seated quickly to avoid headbutting beer bottles or chicken feet.

Vegetable dumpling

The menu is filled with so many interesting items, you will swear there must be an imminent visit. Unfortunately Ying Ying did not have Peking Duck (that day), but there were hordes of other dishes to discover and try, like all sorts of dimsum and single-serve appetizers in those staple saucers.

Ying Ying Binondo Review

Hakao Binondo Manila

The Hakao was delightfully fresh, while that Vegetable Roll was definitely a mysterious pocket of hodge-podge veggies. I spied mushrooms and carrots–and since it goes well with the usual calamansi and soy sauce–just great!

Toasted Noodles Ying Ying

where to eat binondo

The toasted noodles with chicken looked strange, outside its soupy form, so we enjoyed it al dente, bordering on the pancit side. The sizzling oysters is perfect for a lunch siding, or just pulutan. It was so flavorful, it may have contributed to the taste of my pancit-like toasted noodles turning it into a seafood fest.

Mix and match, and yes, end with a cup of tea–or make that two!

 

Binondo restaurant review

Tasty Dumplings is so close to the Binondo Church, it makes sense to have a tasty snack there after Mass.

Now that I’ve typed the word “tasty” twice in one sentence, I take it I’m not allowed to use it in the next paragraph or people might think my vocabulary just went down the drain from eating too much dumplings.

chinese food manila philippines

So this restaurant seems to be known for its breaded pork chop / chicken chop because people seem to order it a lot. It’s the batter, probably like those hoisiny Taiwanese batter that when deep fried, leaves off that awesome crunch. That’s it.

And it goes well with rice or noodles, the latter I purposely chose because would you just look at the size of that bowl?!

My chicken leg noodle order (seriously, the part was specified in the menu) was really filling and contrary to how it looks like, was far from gagging salty.

Tasty Dumplings Binondo

We had that kuchai (?) vegetable siding which looks like dilis but in reality tastes like fermented sweetened stems. Might be an acquired taste, but not for now.

If I were to come back, it would be for the dry noodles or more dumplings this time. As you can see, I am a sucker for dry noodles / pancit, or maybe it’s just the heat.

I know that there are so many other joints to discover and conquer in Binondo, so I should probably call this the first leg of the food trip. Chicken leg. Yeah.

Ah yes, there really should be more than that first leg huh. Maybe some duck, soy milk and like real vegetables. #WillStopNow

Leave a comment

Filed under Home, Smorgasbord

A Walk in the North Park

north park jenina gonzales

“Stumbling upon North Park” isn’t catchy as it sounded about 5 years ago, when this sprawling district for dimsum was fresh and just about a rarity. Still, everyone seems to have a soft spot for North Park, half of which might have loved the placemat menus and most probably have a favorite noodle dish from this place.

north park shrimp wanton herb noodles

Speaking of noodles, North Park’s wanton noodles are enough to keep this place busy. Mushrooms and shrimp wanton are the best bet, to be paired with herb or wheat noodles—a highly laudable noodle feast. Healthy, highly digestible and with unlimited calamansi.

north park tea

Going for the more meaty variants—ahem, lechon macau—I leave to the carnivores. Don’t rely on the house tea though to wash away all that sinful fat, since you need more than an entire teapot to get back your coherent self.

north park squid

Appetizers are abound, though squid remains a family favorite.

north park hainanese chicken

Everything was just operating as intended until the Hainanese Chicken (typical) and Spicy XO Seafood Chami came.

north park menu

north park awful noodles timog

That Spicy XO Seafood Chami came complete with a life threatening spicy sauce with crab fat laden creaminess, it was like taking a dose of lechon macau in seafood form. There was nothing XOXO about this dish, and not even the noodles did justice to this strangely irrelevant dish. The flavor was complete incomprehensible and not something you’d classify as a tea treat.

Washing off the taste completely with calamansi is also futile (tried it) and there is no recourse to this except for a short drive to Amici (Tomas Morato) for some strawberry gelato.

Note to self, not to abandon the shrooms ever again for something as lame as chami. Mushrooms and wheat noodles, now that’s a tea treat!

1 Comment

Filed under Home, Smorgasbord