Monday, April 5, 2010

Binondo Food Trip: Our Cafe Mezzanine Experience

Binondo, a.k.a. Chinatown, is one of the top tourist destinations in Manila. This is where you could find anything and everything Chinese, from porcelain wares and antiques to Chinese medicines and authentic Chinese cuisine. Last Holy Wednesday, my three officemates, Edwin and I took advantage of the declared 'half day' working hours in all government offices. We trooped to Binondo and had lunch at Cafe Mezzanine, the Volunteer Fireman's Coffee Shop. It was an afternoon of gustatory delights which we will always remember with fondness.

Cafe Mezannine is a quaint little restaurant at the second floor of an old building on the corner of Ongpin and Nueva streets. The ambience is laidback and homey. The fireman hats and fire scene photos hanging on the wall on the left (from the entrance door) do not fail to steal people's attention. I guess they serve as a tribute to the brave firemen of Binondo, the owner of the restaurant being one of its long-time sponsors. The same person is the one behind Eng Bee Tin Shop, or so I heard.




Once we got seated to the table near the entrance door, the wait staff immediately handed us the menus and prepared our cutleries. I didn't have to think hard because I came there for the kiampong, which is always one of the highlights of popular street walker Ivan Mandy's Binondo tour. It's not once that I heard of blogger friends raving about this dish. Indeed, the raves have basis as I would learn later that the kiampong was a satisfying meal on its own, very flavorful and yes, very Chinese.


Cafe Mezzanine's famous kiampong, P48 per serving

I almost forgot to take photos of the food as I got so excited to eat. Add to that the fact that we took a long walk on our way to Binondo which made us quite famished. Anyway, below are some of the snapshots I managed to take:


lumpiang shanghai


asado and egg


camaron rebosado

Everything was as good as they looked. I especially liked the beef and wanton noodle soup that we all shared in little bowls. For 195 per serving in a big bowl, it was good enough for five people. The soup was rich and the beef was juicy and tender. It was so easy to remove the fat from the meat! The aroma of the soup was inviting, with hints of sangke (star anise) penetrating the nose in each spoonful. It couldn't be better than that. Good thing the resto had air-con, we didn't perspire while enjoying the soup.


the delicious beef and wanton noodle soup

We would've ordered desserts had we not been so stuffed. I guess we'll just reserve that for our next visit. As for the prices, Cafe Mezzanine didn't burn a hole in our pockets. We paid only P200 plus each, and that already included drinks and tip.


lemon soda


Cafe Mezzanine
650 Ongpin Cor. Nueva Sts.
Binondo, Manila

(+632) 242-9759
(+632) 241-9999
(+632) 247-2222

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  1. my gf and I are planning to have our binondo trip soon! thanks for this very useful post. :)

  2. I think I saw this when Jericho do the chicken dance,right?

  3. ..yummy., is it cheaper when we try to experience it there? ;-)

  4. @POEA JObs Abroad: sure. enjoy your binondo trip! :)

    @Web Design COmpany Australia: what did you see?

    @philwebservices: i guess so. :)

  5. This place is like a pinoy version of Chowking, right?

  6. love this post! after visiting the food stalls along jalan alor in kuala lumpur, i realized that we also have that kind of thing in binondo. thanks to your post, i'm raring to have our very own binondo food trip soon.

  7. after going to church, i always eat here.
    @ Upholstery Leather this place is more chinese than Chowking will ever be.


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