Manila Chinatown is teeming with little restaurants serving fine eats. On Nueva St., now Yuchengco St., two blocks away from the apartment, there’s the Sincerity Restaurant that has been cooking the same old dishes day in and day out. Thankfully, for several decades now, Sincerity has been making life easier on the kind of day when we crave for our mothers’ cooking, need to buy extra viands when food at home is scant, ought to have a hot bowl of chicken soup ASAP or when we want to just sit down and not care about anything other than eat delicious food like when we were young and carefree.
On our recent trip to Manila, we had our first meal at the little restaurant. The hubby wanted only one thing, a hot bowl of duck misua soup with some aromatic Chinese herbs called sibot. There was a time when I was required to eat something like it for one whole month (a Chinese post-pregnancy ritual) and after that chapter in my life, I developed a serious dislike for anything that reeks off sibot. My craving the moment I saw the menu was homestyle fried chicken with crabmeat fried rice. I now occasionally allow chicken in my diet after developing hypersensitivity in the past, though I still have to be vigilant. Happily, I might have outgrew my white meat allergy or the chicken at Sincerity was devoid of threatening synthetics. Anyhoo, I also sampled a piece of camaron relleno (deep-fried stuffed shrimp).
The Sincerity fried chicken made us remember the fried chicken of my 94-year old father-in-law who has stopped tinkering in the kitchen. Exactly the same sweetish and garlicky flavors sealed in juicy white meat. Though the crabmeat fried rice had more egg than meat, it was beautifully fried and chimed rightly with the shrimp and vegetable roll and a dollop of the dipping sauce. Happy tummy!
Non-Binondo residents have discovered one of Chinatown’s purveyor of unfancy-but-satisfying homemade Chinese dishes. I saw pictures of Kris Aquino, Kim Chiu and other celebrity diners on the wall.
My other favorites at Sincerity are oyster cake and machang, a must for first-time diners.
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