Saturday, February 09, 2008


President's Tea House on Salazar Street and Ongpin remains to be a personal favorite when it comes to dimsun. Its variety of offerings is one of the finest and most scrumptious. There are times I'd go there for lunch and order pork siomai, Japanese siomai and shrimp dumplings -- 170 pesos for these three orders.

President's Tea House has a branch in SM Megamall. There was once a Tutuban branch also, but it closed much to my disappointment.

I do not know the name of this take out food shop right in the corner of Ongpin and what appears to be more of an alley since it's really narrow, Bahama Street. Anyway, it simply has a hanging sign that says, "Shanghai Fried Siopao."

I was surprised to see this shop mobbed during the Chinese New Year. I had no idea it's very popular to many people who came to Chinatown to welcome the lunar new year. Besides the tasty fried siopao, this store also offers lumpia Shanghai, kikiam, and many other Chinese foodstuffs. The siopao sells for 14 pesos a piece.

Since it happens to be one of the most blogged about eateries in Binondo, I wouldn't be surprised at all if many folks knew of or had already gone to eat at Dong Bei Dumpling (located in the corner of Yuchengco and Oriente Streets, a few meters right off from Ongpin).

I am one of those who have become a regular patron, and many of those I had brought with me ended up returning on their own with their other friends and relatives. That should prove how delicious its dumplings are; not to mention the affordable prices.

I always order this plateful of kuchay (chives) steamed dumplings which costs 100 pesos. You can also order other fillings such as in combination with pork or other vegetables. And if you're a vegetarian, an all veggie filling is also available for your pleasure.

Dong Bei's dumplings are prepared fresh but there are frozen packaged sets available for take out orders.

Dong Bei Dumpling and the Shanghai Fried Siopao shop I discovered through Ivan Mandy's Chinatown Food Wok walking tour (see photo below).

Ivan Mandy's Binondo Food Wok held on the eve of the Year of the Rat.


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:41 AM


Blogger Bugsybee said...

14 pesos for a siopao is certainly a steal!

Next time I go to Manila, I MUST include Chinatown in my itinerary. I'm sure it will be a refreshing change from the usual malls and judging from all the eating stops I have to make, it will be gustatorily satisfying.

Your blog will serve as my guide. Thank you, Eric!

February 09, 2008 10:16 AM  

Anonymous Rey said...

those are indeed delights, eric.

I'm hoping to get my teeth into some chinese food today since all chinses restaurants were closed the past two days.

Happy lunar new year!

February 09, 2008 10:34 AM  

Blogger princess_dyanie said...

Amazing pics! :)

Btw, President's Tea House is also located in one of the food stalls in Food Choices in Glorietta. :)

February 09, 2008 12:08 PM  

Blogger g_mirage said...

Having gone for quite sometime, I do not know if 14pesos costs much...I love siopao, dumplings, and all those! Sarap naman...This is another kind of store na hidden Senor, I meant you don't need the big Neon signs and all ads because by word of mouth, people know how very good food they have...

February 09, 2008 5:37 PM  

Blogger Ang Kuwago said...

Vegetarian options, Eric?! Now, that got my attention! I am always on the lookout for good veg eats, so I should definitely look for these places.

The fried siopao, I first tried in 1994 on one of my trips to Binondo with an old classmate. I haven't found the place again since.

Another favorite of mine is Quan Yin Chay vegetarian resto along Salazar St. I absolutely insist that you try the place out. It will change the way you see vegetarian food.

Thanks again for the benefit of experiencing Binondo without the usual hassles! :-)

February 09, 2008 6:40 PM  

Blogger reyd said...

WOW!!! (Ibalik niyo ako sa Ongpin !!!) hahaha!

Grabe na nga ang mga kainan diyan sa Binondo. I need a refresher's course when I come back. I heard from a friend that many Mainlanders are opening up some stalls(Deli) that offers their different style of cooking but at the same time making them compatible with most of the food being served in that area.
(Marami na raw nag tatabaan na mga Chinitas) :D

"The mother of all Lumpia" awaits me when I come back.

February 10, 2008 4:09 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You have got to try their fried siopao, Bugsy -- an interesting alterntive from the usual bola-bola and asado.

By the way, Mitch had left a comment (on my entry previous to this one) in which he mentioned the special king of siopao, "siao lun pao" at Ang Tunay Beef House -- located at Padilla (formerly Gnadara) and Ongpin. I will look for this place and will let you all know.

February 10, 2008 7:15 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, Rey! And a happy one for you and your entire family as well :)

I can't imagine the Chinese restaurants closing in Manila. Lots of people will definitely get upset ... hehehe.

February 10, 2008 7:17 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Didn't know that, Princess Dyanie. Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely check it out next time I find myself in Glorietta.

February 10, 2008 7:18 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, G. Mirage, 14 pesos is quite cheap in comparison to the price of siopao over at President's -- 50-to-60 pesos, I think.

Yes, word of mouth is by far one of the best advertising medium there is :)

Except for the President's Tea House, the fried siopao and Dong Bei shops are very much like hole-in-the-wall operations yet they've acquired quite a following.

February 10, 2008 7:22 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hello, Kuwago!

Well, wouldn't you know -- that is going to be my next eatery post. Heard about Quan Yin Chay from many folks so I was really curious to look for it. And I did!

Watch out for my next post.

And if you know of any other veggie establishments in Chinatown, please let us know. I for one would love to try it. Thanks!

February 10, 2008 7:25 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

And if the plans to gentrify Chinatown goes through, I bet more and more eating places will open up. And that might be the ideal time for you to come home for a vacation, Reyd!

But do you know what they don't have here in Manila? The spare ribs served with honey sauce which is a regular appetizer offering at any Chinese restaurant in the States. I miss that terribly.

February 10, 2008 7:28 AM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

100 bucks for a dozen dumplings!! Wow, that's really cheap!! I must go to this Dong Bei resto. Without even reading first, I knew they were kuchay dumplings. I can smell them from 30 kms away :)

Have you tried Emerald Garden and Emerald Tea House? They're both along Roxas Blvd. right across the US Embassy. I'm a frequent visitor there and the food is absolutely WOW!!

February 10, 2008 3:01 PM  

Anonymous tina said...

senor i've never heard of fried siopao before i'm not well versed
in chinese food, you got me curious of it. here they have this fried
humburger and that's humburger coated
in batter. at take away food here they have this so called "ribs on the run" they home deliver spare ribs yum with barbeque sauce. thanks for sharing.

February 10, 2008 6:50 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, Cookie, you must check it out. They also have frozen packages for take out.

Unbelievable! You must really like kuchay dumplings to be able to smell them that far away ... hehehe.

I've seen Emerald Garden before. Actually, my cousin invited me to have lunch there when I first visited Manila, but we ended up going to Aristocrat. Anyway, it does look like a restaurant that serves fine Chinese cuisine. Perhaps, sometime in the near future I'll get to try their dishes :)

Thanks for the tip!

February 10, 2008 8:00 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

They have them where you are, too, Tina? I really couldn't understand why they wouldn't have those spareribs here in Manila. I should complain to the Chinese restaurant owners association; that is, if there is one :(

The fried siopao has been pre-baked, of course, prior to their frying the bottom part :)

February 10, 2008 8:03 PM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

i also brought some friends over to dong bei dumpling a few months after the food wok. they loved it. =)

February 11, 2008 12:32 PM  

Blogger luna miranda said...

All these talk about fried siopao, siomai and dumplings make me crave for Chinese food! The last time I was in Ongpin was 5 or 6 years ago, but I remember the food was soooo good. I should re-visit Ongpin soon. Thanks, Eric.

February 11, 2008 2:44 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

They've added more staff, Carla, which means business is really going very well for these Taiwanese couple :)

February 12, 2008 7:59 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You haven't visited Chinatown since then, Luna? Whoa!

Better bring along your new dSLR (did you get one?) when you return to enjoy the sights and foodstuffs!

February 12, 2008 8:01 AM  

Blogger grumpyurbanslacker said...


re President, i have reliable info that the resto will close by Feb. 18th...officially for renovation daw, but possibly for good. So you might want to eat there one last time!

re Emerald Garden recommended by Scroochchronicles, i totally agree! for me, its the best Chinese resto in manila, by far!


February 12, 2008 10:26 AM  

Blogger mtan said...

Dong bei's dumplings make me miss the dumplings in northern china, at least it is a lot closer. They also have, by request, northern chinese food, just no mutton.

Now we just need a real Sichuan restaurant!

February 12, 2008 4:18 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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