Monday, January 23, 2012

Another food trip for the Chinese New Year

Kung Hei Fat Choi...... in case I have Chinese blog readers. :)

Today, the Chinese community is celebrating their own New Year. I don't have an inch of Chinese blood in my lineage. However, I grew up being exposed with their culture and traditions. For those who are not familiar with the history of my country, a significant number of our populace is comprised of the Chinese. During the ancient times, some Chinese migrated and ventured to different businesses in the Philippines. These Chinese men later found their stable livelihood and started to build their respective families here.

The dominance of the Chinese community later led to the establishment of the Manila Chinatown in Binondo.

It is believed that Manila's Chinatown is the oldest in the world. Situated in Binondo, this was established in 1594, when the Philippines was still colonized by the Spanish government.

Aside from discovering history and the culture of the Chinese, Binondo is famous because of the best Chinese restaurants in town. One of the restaurants I regularly visit with my friends is Estero. I already blogged about Estero in this post.

For those who regularly read my blog, you are more or less aware of our mini Chinese New Year tradition. Together with my few workplace friends, we visit Estero before the actual date of the Chinese new year.

Before we reach  Estero, allow me to share some pictures on the way to the place

The surroundings may not be too pleasing because Binondo is characterized by its narrow and busy streets. Since Binondo is a business district, expect the regular crowd of people that doubles during the Chinese New Year.

Stores selling different charms are always present in any street.

Here's how Estero looks like from the outside

It doesn't look so pleasing but they provide clean and airconditioned dining areas

Ambiance is definitely not a find in Estero. They compensate though for the best, clean and cheapest food in Binondo
Here's what we pigged out :)

From left clockwise, Calamares (Breaded Fried Squid), Shanghai Fried Rice, Breaded Beef in Oyster Sauce, and Buttered Chicken, all for less than Php 600!

I hope my blog friends abroad enjoyed this post. Most of you told me that you enjoyed reading something about my country. So here it is!

Wishing everyone a great week ahead! :)


  1. Yes Diane, I definitely enjoy this kind of posts. You just made SUPER hungry with all that yummy food. I'm always very interested in learning about other countries cultures. Enjoy the new year food. :P

  2. I've only been in Binondo once, I tried eating there as well. I forgot the name of the resto but it was really good and cheap. :) Here in SG, Chinese New Year is widely celebrated. If you have plans of visiting SG, don't come on CNY coz its a lot like ghost town coz the establishments are closed.. even the hawkers. :D

    1. Oh, thank you for that tip. I haven't been to SG and I will take note of that :)

  3. The Chinese market looks like such an exciting place. As far as the food goes, I am so hungry looking at those pictures. I'm not much for squid but everything else looks divine.

    Thanks for posting. The more I see of your country, the more I know I will make a trip there.

    1. Hi Cheryl! Yes Manila's Chinatown is one of the exciting places in the world you can see :) It can qualify as a venue for Amazing Race. I hope you will be able to visit my country someday. I would love to meet you here :)

  4. Wow! Looks delicious!! Happy Chinese New Year!!! :)

  5. Diane naman! Now you're making me crave for Chinese food! Hahaha.

    1. You started it last night sa twitter :) About dun sa Mcdo's cadbury ice crem

  6. the only food i was dying to eat was tikoy...and guess what, i never had the chance...haha

  7. Hi Diane, alot of the pics remind me of when we visited Chinatown in San Francisco. We ate at a restuarant reccommended by our hotel. The inside of this restuarant looked similar. The food there was inexpensive and delicious. I can see that yours looks super yummy. Glad you had some fun with friends. Happy Chinese New Year. A bit late I suppose.


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