A sense of warm nostalgia: Ongpin Mañosa Restaurant Co.

A gastronomic adventure in Binondo’s Chinatown, the world’s oldest Chinatown (established in 1594) and one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines, is not total without eating at the seven-decade-old Ongpin Mañosa Restaurant Co.. Oldsters and habitues belonging to the Gen X’ers will attest to the fact that Mañosa’s chami or pancit guisado (either the regular or the special) is still high in desirability. Cha bihon, rellenong hipon, large siomai and maki are similarly sought-after.

I had a 95-peso regular pancit (with thick noodles). I give my word — the BEST chami I’ve ever had! I know when food is laden with MSG. Mañosa’s pancit tastes remarkable with the natural flavors of sauteed kikiam (pork roll), rellenong hipon (stuffed shrimps) and the like. I had a bit of the maki and the meat was so tender and likewise satisfying. Now I understand why food enthusiasts rave about this quaint restaurant on this bustling part of Manila.

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