Sunday, February 10, 2013

Celebrating Chinese New Year - The Food Alphabet way - Part 1

Happy Chinese New Year from The Food Alphabet

This past year has been difficult for me, as I have been switching jobs, not really getting enough gigs for my blogs and of course mourning the loss of my dad. The past year indeed is just a part of my history, that I would gladly put in my closet and just lock it up.  But with the new year of the water snake coming in our midst, I can only hope for better opportunities and more success in my field.

But let's all talk about something else, as we have a feast to celebrate, the Chinese New Year!  I have been in Ongpin Chinatown my whole life, I have been here since birth, grew up thriving in these streets and now still is living within the forefronts of Binondo Chinatown in Manila, the oldest Chinatown in the whole world.  Wow I'm so proud to be living here.  So the best way to celebrate Chinese New Year? Eat!!!

Notice the "N" in Ongpin is inverted, actually I'm not sure if that's intentional, but it's still up!
Well, Manila's Chinatown is known to be a food haven for foodies and trust me they do not disappoint.  I have witnessed some of our favorite restaurants from my early days that sadly have already closed down such as Lai-Lai Spring Garden Restaurant, Royal Garden, See Kee (I had very faint memories of this), Mandarin Villa, and Lotus Garden (which I think is the very first shabu-shabu place in Ongpin).



But I am glad as well that some of these original Binondo restaurants are still operating, and some even have expanded to open stores outside of Chinatown, such are the likes of Ling Nam (famous for their Wanton Beef noodles), MaƱosa (famous for their Maki), President Grand Palace Restaurant  (famous for as long as I can remember), Chuan Kee (famous for their Hong Kong style carinderia set-up and "Kiampong")


Chuan Kee

We have tons of other choices to go, such as Masuki formerly "Ma Mun Luk", Tasty Food Mart, Quick Snack and more but aside from going from one eating place to another, wouldn't it be great if you can bring a part of Chinatown with you?  And with that we have 3 of the most well known Chinese bakeries in Chinatown, one has even made their name so famous, you can almost see their product anywhere there are Filipinos or Chinoys.


Salazar Bakery, whips up delicious cakes and pastries for all Chinese feasts and celebrations, that's why every Chinese New Year, Moon Cake Festival, they will surely be packed!


Eng Bee Tin, well who hasn't heard of Eng Bee Tin, from their delicious hopia, tasty flavored tikoy, and other pastry selections, it sure has captured the taste of the Filipino, that even balikbayans are usually requesting for these treats to be brought to the U.S. to satisfy their craving.  From humble beginnings to today's successful ways, Eng Bee Tin is now a part of every Filipino's household.

And another famous Chinese bakery is Diao Eng Chay, more famously known as DEC. has captured the hearts of local Chinoys and Filipinos alike with their delectable creations.

On our Part 2 of Celebrating Chinese New Year - The Food Alphabet way, see how today's Binondo Chinatown lives up to it's name as we discover the many food finds it is known for, and how Filipinos and Chinoys celebrate their Chinese New Year.

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