Binondo: hit and miss

Pangs and I went to Binondo again. This time though, instead of riding the jeepney going to Divisoria, we rode a bus and we ended up infront of FEATI University. From there we walked to Sta. Cruz (where I saw Carriedo station of LRT) then Binondo. It was a long stroll but tiring yourself before a meal isn’t such a bad thing.

While in Sta. Cruz, we went inside second hand shops not only for clothes but for stereos, television sets, sewing machines, even tractors! Anything you could think of, really. I wanted to take lots of pictures but the people didn’t seem that friendly. A lot of stores along Avenida (if that was where we were) reminded me of Cubao expo, only cheaper and more challenging because “junks” were piled on top of another.

I remember cruising along Soler st then we turned left at Alonzo street. Since we were already starving, the nearest place to go to was Ling Nam Wanton Parlor and Noodle Factory.

The place had less customers compared with our previous visits. Maybe it was the time of the day which was 4 PM.

I had the usual, Beef Wanton Mami. Their wanton was forgettable. No worries though, because the beef more than made up for it. It was so tender and tasty and delicious I did not mind eating the fatty parts. Note to self: next time I’d just order Beef Mami and I would not forget to request a no-veggie bowl.

Next we went to La Zhou Lamien at 818 Benavidez st. From Wai Ying, we just walked straight ahead.

The place was not that crowded. Actually, I like the symmetry and organization of the furniture. Five tables on each side and four chairs on each table. Talk about equal distribution, nice.

Among all places I’d been in, I think they have the most number of condiments. There’s chili powder, chili sauce, hot sauce, and some other form of chili, let’s just assume it’s chili gel. Plus a whole bottle of black vinegar. The two bowls on the left were chopped spring onions andΒ kitchayΒ I think.

And their tea was darker than what others served.

The menu was not very extensive. My mistake was ordering the first thing that caught my attention without even reading up to the end. Hence, we were given 15 pcs of steamed kutchay dumplings when there was a 12-pc pork dumpling counterpart. When the food was served, I found myself holding my breath because I could still make out the “greens” despite the dough.

Thank heavens for the sauce I made. I would not have swallowed one dumpling if not for the strong taste of vinegar and lots of chili powder. I couldn’t believe up to now that I was able to eat 4 pieces! Maybe it was out of pride because my father was watching me with a teasing expression. I ate four, he ate three and the remaining eight pieces were bagged and given to a beggar.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the dumpling was not that bad because I remember having feats of “this is actually good” in between bites. I am just not used to the veggie-ful taste that it had which was very foreign to me. But hey, foreign is good. And Pangs said trying out new dishes is not bad because I will never know unless I experience. Sometimes you order something you’d love, other times you’d have your worst nightmare. At least, now I know that I prefer siomai and chicken feet. But who knows, I might give this thing a try again.

On our way home my father kept laughing and singing “ang dumpling ni Ranilyn, ang sarap sarap”. Yeah right.


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