Welcome back to late 2022’s delicious food rundown (Here’s Part 1 if you missed it!). These are the places I’ve been to that I think deserve a spot in this blog. We’ll be taking a look at some Japanese and Chinese cuisine today. Let’s go!
I’ve already blogged about MOS Burger before but it’s another place that we dined in and had a great time. Their rice burgers keep bringing us back just to taste the different kinds on offer.
There was a small mixup in our orders but for this visit, we had their MOS Cheese Burger and their MOS Cheese Rice Burger. They’re basically the same but with the bread bun replaced with one made of rice.
The lettuce, the eggs, and the sauce blend together so well. For a burger that has a lot of ingredients in every bite, it doesn’t feel heavy on the stomach. In fact, MOS Burger is one of the places where I can feel full, but still feel like doing other things aside from lie down and sleep.
We actually returned and had another round of burgers here. This time we got the Cheesy Beef Yakiniku Rice Burger and the Kimchi Beef Yakiniku Rice Burger. As before, we were happy with our orders. Both burgers had a delicious serving of soft-boiled egg on top and mixing it in with the other ingredients brought it to another level.
I liked how the kimchi wasn’t overpowering and I could taste the other vegetables as well. As for the cheesy beef, it looked absolutely beautiful to the eyes and even tastier on the tongue. We recommend ordering the garlic rice option just to add another subtle flavor to the mix.
We also ordered Poutine on the side and despite the name, it is absolutely nothing like the Canadian dish. It was quite literally fries with some salsa on top. Nothing remarkable for this one, but it rounded off the meal quite well.
I get a refreshing feeling whenever I bite into anything that MOS Burger makes. Maybe it’s a subconscious thing because it’s a Japanese brand and my brain has conditioned itself to believe that Japanese food is always healthier.
What’s undeniable is that the food here is good enough to warrant multiple returns despite the rather aggressive pricing.
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3F Mega Atrium, SM Megamall
EDSA cor., Doña Julia Vargas Ave,
Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
Binondo Food Trip
I’ve heard of the famous Binondo since my early days in Manila (13 years ago), but I’ve never gotten the chance to actually visit until recently. Ongpin street was fortunately just a few minutes walk away from the Carriedo LRT station.
We were welcomed into a very busy street reminiscent of the Jackie Chan movies I watched as a kid. Narrow streets with cars squeezed into every available space made traversing a challenge, as well as street peddlers selling different kinds of medicine and gold.
We reached a part where a long line formed and we knew this was the place to be. I bought some bicho (some kind of Chinese donut) that we snacked on while waiting. Finally, we reached the cashier and bought two bundles of their famous fried siopao.
We walked for a few more minutes until we reached a small shop with a faded sign that said Dong Bei Dumplings. There was a short queue and they only served take out because of the pandemic. We ordered two servings of xiao long bao and waited for them to finish cooking.
We ate a few pieces of the fried siopao while waiting. I was surprised to find that the filling was very different from what I expected a siopao to taste like. The dough itself was soft and gave way easily. Your mouth then reaches the generous filling and the juices trapped inside erupts. I can immediately taste and smell the spring onions used.
The meat is obviously hand-made with how uneven the mincing was (that’s a compliment). The best way to describe it would be to say that it tasted really healthy. It’s hard to eat just one and I understood why people in line ordered so many.
The dumplings finally arrived and we walked to Lucky Chinatown Mall to find a place where we could eat our haul. We entered a food bazaar right outside which was perfect for us. We also bought some sugarcane juice and fresh lumpia.
The sugarcane juice was fresh, tasty, and authentic. It reminded me of my childhood days gnawing on sugarcane stalks to extract the sweet sap. The fresh lumpia was a chonky piece of food. It was hefty and filled almost to bursting capacity. It reminded me of a well-packed burrito. Paired with its peanut sauce, every mouthful was a delight. I wish I could have this for lunch during office days. I bet a single lumpia is enough to keep me full for an entire day.
That was the end of our trip as we were already too full to function. We will be back to try some more recommended places, maybe to try their siomai.
Shanghai Fried Siopao
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7:00am to 6:00pm
828 Ongpin St.,
Binondo, Manila City
Dong Bei Dumpling
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8:30am to 7:00pm
642 Yuchengco St.,
Binondo, Manila City
Tubo Talaga Sugarcane Juice
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10:00am to 9:00pm
Ground Floor, Lucky Chinatown Mall,
Reina Regente St., Binondo,
This was another restaurant that used to be unremarkable. But it turns out I was ordering the wrong dishes. I already forgot what I had in my previous visit, but with the help of my partner, I was able to have a good experience this time.
I’ll start out by saying that Botejyu has probably the biggest menu when it comes to Japanese cuisine. They offer so many authentic and new wave Japanese dishes that first time diners will probably get dizzy with what to order. This is why I recommend dining here with a seasoned eater as a companion.
My partner recommended the Pork Tonkotsu Ramen and Original Chicken Karaage so that is what we went with. Additional dishes were the Smoked Bacon and Cheese Takoyaki and Botejyu Special Salad.
The food arrived quicker than I expected, so props to their kitchen staff. The special salad was anything but healthy with the amount of dressing it was served with, but it was very flavorful and the bits of thick-cut bacon and cheese completed the taste profile.
As for the takoyaki, even my mama who isn’t usually a fan was delighted. It was the right amount of chewy and crispy, plus the presence of the thick-cut smoked bacon made every piece so good to eat.
The karaage was standard. Garlicky and served with a side of shredded cabbage and Kewpie mayonnaise. Every bite was juicy and served as a perfect compliment to the main dish.
The ramen was so good. I have to really praise Botejyu for their perfect charring on the chashu slices. Probably my favorite bite of chashu so far. The charred edges give off so much flavor and texture. They add a lot of character to the fat and meat and I’ve never felt this much joy biting into other chashu before.
The broth was very, very creamy and it made me think that they added some dairy product to it. The tonkotsu flavor was still very much present and I enjoyed slurping up every bit of soup.
The only negative thing I can say was that the noodles were too soft for my taste. Not really a dealbreaker, as it can be solved by requesting firmer noodles when you order. It’s just weird that we were not offered any choice by an authentic Japanese restaurant.
For a place that doesn’t highlight ramen as its specialty, Botejyu serves a pretty good bowl (more memorable than Ippudo). I wonder what other culinary treasures it has buried in its enormous menu.
And that’s it for my recent foodventures! Thanks for taking the time to read. It’s time for me to disappear once more and not blog for months. 🥱 I’ll be back with some more content once I get up to it. As always, your comments are welcome down below.
Stay healthy and eat your vegetables!
Thanks to my partner for providing most of the photos. 📷
Looking forward to more food times with you!