Thursday, February 2, 2012

Binondo Food Trip: LGA Fastfood, Estero

My Chinese food craving this morning led me to Estero, a popular foodie haven in Binondo (Manila's Chinatown). We had a quick dinner there before going to SM Manila to do some grocery shopping. Estero has several stores inside and we just did a little wandering before settling for LGA Fastfood, one of the restos there. Just like the rest, it serves authentic (exotic is optional since they have, what do you know, frog dishes on the menu!) and affordable Chinese food.

Our quick dinner that night consisted of just three items: Crab and Corn Soup, Yang Chow Fried Rice, and Buttered Chicken. We paid a little over P300 for it. Not bad for another satisfying Binondo food trip.

Estero means "canal" in English. Here in Manila, most esteros can be described just the same: garbage-laden, stinky, and filthy. If cleanliness is a big issue to you, then I suggest dining somewhere else (like Cafe Mezzanine or Sincerity Cafe). But if you're a brave soul who's into exploring new foodie destinations, take the road to Estero and you'll be in for a delicious surprise.

the dining area

the open kitchen of LGA Fastfood

Once we got seated to our table, a waitress immediately handed us their menu filled with a variety of dishes priced according to the size of your appetite (small, medium, and large). There were pork, beef, chicken, seafood, and frog (read: exotic) dishes. There were also various kinds of pancit, soup, and vegetable dishes. Prices start at P70 up.

While we were ordering, I was looking for some familiar Chinese fares like Shanghai rolls, dimsum and kiampong but didn't find any on the menu. It made me a little sad but I recovered in a snap upon seeing our food that was served to us quite fast.

Crab and Corn Soup, P100 for Small

This soup came in a big bowl and could easily feed three to four people. It was rich, tasty and flavorful. I could really taste the rich crab flavor and even saw bits and pieces of crab shell, claw and feet underneath my bowl. Aside from corn, there were also green peas and carrot bits in the coup which made it healthier. The soup was just too much for the two of us. I felt a bit guilty we had to leave what we didn't finish on the table.

Yang Chow Fried Rice, P90 for Small

Our fried rice came in a small plate. At first, I thought it wouldn't be enough for us but since the soup was quite heavy on the tummy, we already got satisfied sharing it. It was as simple as it looked but definitely delicious. I saw some small shrimps, ground pork, and veggies which made the rice more satisfying to the palate.

Buttered Chicken, P120 for Small

Our Buttered Chicken came in several small chicken pieces. They were lightly-seasoned and the richness of the butter was evident in each bite. There was also a good ratio between the breading, the chicken and the butter which was a good thing for me. Not too thin, not too thick. The chicken definitely went well with our fried rice.

I was happy to see our drinks because they reminded me of my childhood back in the province where these sodas in vintage bottles were sold:

I love, love the vintage bottles!

At Estero, just like in most restaurants, you pay your bill after you have finished eating. I haven't checked if they had restrooms there but I could see there were more restos inside. I hope to dine there soon.

A decent parking lot is non-existent around the area (except at Salazar's Bakeshop) so I suggest not to bring a car, unless you want to risk its safety by parking it on the sidewalk of the narrow road that is Ongpin St.

Our Estero dining experience can be summed up in two words: quick and satisfying. Just like how eating at a fast food place should be, only this time around, it's not just any fast food, it's Estero's own brand of authentic Chinese food. :)

Ongpin St.
Binondo, Manila

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  1. You can also try chinese restaurants along reina rejente, binondo.

  2. Really, there are many Chinese restos there as well? Will go there next time, then. Thanks for suggesting! :)

  3. sarap! i like chinese food talaga:D


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