A taste of Taiwan in Binondo

Shin Tai-Shang

For so many years, Binondo has been dominated by Chinese immigrants from mainland China. They knew how to tweak their recipes to suit the Filipino palate. Hence, the Chinoys of today grew accustomed to a different level of Chinese cooking. “More malasa, nothing like it in other Chinatowns abroad,” Chinoys overseas would say.

In vibrant Manila Chinatown, a store bearing the name Shin Tai-Shang beckons because food are beyond the usual. Flaky hopia-like balls are colorful, pies are dotted with black sesame seeds,  mooncakes are shaped like animal heads, sausages are stuffed with rice and shelves are filled with Taiwanese products.

“Rice meals that are healthier” (according to owner Christine) catch one’s attention. The vegetarian food I’ve tried are delish, not bland surprisingly.


I went deeper into the store and found unique Asian decor and lots of kitschy stuff such as original Sanrio, Cath Kidston and dancing maneki-neko that made me smile. A laughing Buddha is difficult to find, but they had one that was already reserved .

Laughing BuddhaFancyBiore and La Roche-Posay

Along with Japanese Biore facial washes and Taiwanese cosmetics, La Roche-Posay and Vichy moisturizers and sunblock are selling well, according to the SAs.

Shin Tai-Shang on Salazar Street was a revelation. I haven’t even checked out the condiment shelves.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

OOTD: Half Tourist and Half Dweller

Manila Chinatown 5

As you’ve seen and perhaps read my past features, the Manila Chinatown is both laid-back and vibrant, like yin and yang, like the Chinoy connection itself. Once again I was with the Lifestyle Network’s FoodPrints team for the opening episode of Season 2 this May.  It was not as hectic since I live in the neighborhood.

Details and more BTS will follow soon. Chef Sandy Daza has a new look, by the way. Meanwhile, I had my own little adventures, like I found avocado dirty ice cream and Thai iced tea and a cool shop for Vichy, Biore and La Roche cosmetics!

Manila Chinatown 6

Very reasonably priced Thai icef tea at Mr. Ube along Ongpin. The owners are the Chuas, who’ve been helping put out fire in the urban jungles of Manila and other neighboring cities.

Avocado Dirty Ice CreamAvocado Dirty Ice CreamPhotographerNikki and Cris

Scriptwriter Nikki Alfonso and Director Cris Sevilla-Bilbao in urban street wear.

with Sandy Daza And Jeric Chua

Chef Sandy and a third generation Chua of the Eng Bee Tin and Chuan Kee stores, Jeric Chua.


Chuan Kee’s famous kiampong. Hahah, I bumped into Ilocanos enjoying their authentic Chinese specialties.

Chuan Kee

Northwestern University President Ms. Liza Nicolas and her staff.

Manila Chinatown 12

Isn’t that cute?

Manila Chinatown 9Manila Chinatown 8

Multigrain rice with taro at this store I’m going to feature soon. Sooo goood!

Manila Chinatown 7Manila Chinatown 11King Chef

Ms. Maritess Ang, owner of King Chef, one of the best places to dine out in Chinatown. A yummy place!

Black and White

In black and white, Red Balloon Executive Producer Ms. Jennie Celdran and direk Cris Bilbao.

Bitsu-BitsuManila Chinatown 10

The teaser of the teaser. Street food.  Don’t miss my features on the FoodPrints intial episode on the world’s oldest Chinatown, established in the 1590s.

Avocado Dirty Ice Cream{Hahah! Outfit details: Thrifted shirt, Cotton On pajama shorts, Red Dot studded 2-way tote, Ipanema flip-flops}

Photographed by Nikki, Jeng, Patrick and Blauearth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014