24 March 2012: The President’s Grand Palace Restaurant and why I love having Taoist friends

After Tin’s graduation, my family had a nice lunch before proceeding on to our different plans. Mine was to head over to Binondo to attend a Taoist feast.

Since it was still early, my best-est buddy, Gin and I made plans to hang out first before going to Binondo. We were supposedly to hang out somewhere “north” and nearer to where she is currently staying. However, I got to persuade her to meet up with me in Rob Manila. :)

We tried Cara Mia (and was annoyed at the amount of people who literally went ahead of us when we were about to place an order), and later regretted it when we saw Gong Cha. I seriously want to find out what all the fuss about Gong Cha is!

Gin and I went window shopping afterwards. She wasn’t supposed to buy anything but we found this gorgeous dress that she could use for her baccalaureate mass. :)

When we decided that it was time to head to Binondo, heavy rain started pouring! Gin and I started walking towards Taft Avenue and then realized we should have simply taken a cab instead. Unfortunately though, it wasn’t an easy task as we were stuck in a sidewalk and the streets were already flooded. We were forced to ride a pedicab just to cross the street!

Not taking a cab was a good idea since riding a Divisoria-bound jeepney only took around 30 minutes. Gin and I were the first ones to arrive!

This is actually an annual event for us. Ever since we were freshmen, RJ would invite us to either their temple or the The President’s Grand Palace Restaurant for their Taoist feast. The night always ends up with foodgasm! Haha!

Here are photos of food on my plate. :)

Plate #1: Noodles

Plate #2: Platter(?). I adore century eggs!

Plate #3: Shrimp Salad. This does not look much in this photo but this dish is one of my favorites! Fortunately, they served it earlier than the previous feasts and I still had room for lots of it in my belly. Haha!

Plate #4: I’m not sure if this is a roasted duck.

Plate #5: This isn’t some kind of brain! It’s some kind of unique meat, I guess. Haha!

Plate #6: Soup. I don’t know what it’s called, as usual.

Plate #7: I don’t know what this is called but it’s heavenly! Some kind of rice and nuts mixture is wrapped with well cooked meat that sits atop of some greens. The meat is so well cooked, it falls apart with the least amount of pressure. Yum!

Plate #8: Spare Ribs.

Plate #9: Need I say more?

Plate #10: Fish dish. I didn’t take a bite of this one, though.

Plate #11: I don’t know what this one is called too, but at first, we thought it was some kind of mini siopao.

As it turns out, the filling wasn’t meat, but the same filling you find in sesame seed balls (butchi).

Final plate/dessert: Mango Sago, with huge chunks of mango in it. :)

Thank you RJ, for the invite! I hope to still be invited next year! Haha! :)

Dong Bei Dumplings (Php 100/14 pcs)

Dong Bei Dumplings, 642 Yuchengco St. Binondo, Manila

Sincerity Cafe & Restaurant

As I mentioned from my previous post, C and I went to Binondo to eat. If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’d know that C loves eating chicken. Even his sister who maintains her own food blog, takes his opinions on chicken dishes in consideration. If you still don’t believe me, here’s my latest birthday gift for him. Haha! The thing with C is, he’s not really picky with food but his taste buds are very hard to please. Yes, he’ll eat it but it does not mean it’s exceptional.

I often call him Chicken Guy and then nicknamed myself as Choco Girl so we’d both be CG. But he’d always say, “No! Ikaw si Potato Girl! PG!. But of course, if I’d be PG (Patay Gutom. Haha!), he’ll be Pizza Guy.

That was a random over-share.

Moving on..

I was looking for places to eat chicken and found out about Sincerity Cafe & Restaurant in 497 Yuchengco St., Binondo, Manila.

How to get there is fairly easy (via public transportation).

  • From Taft Avenue/Harrison Plaza/Baclaran/Pasay-EDSA, take a jeep going to Divisoria.
  • Get off before you pass Binondo Church.
  • If you’re familiar with Eng Bee Tin or Tasty Dumplings, take that street, walk forward and pass Eng Bee Tin and Tasty Dumplings. Else, simply go to the street at the right of Binondo Church and walk towards the intersection.
  • Take the first right turn and walk straight ahead until you see Sincerity Cafe and Restaurant at the right side of the street (well, it depends on your perspective. Haha!).

The menu

They have around 7-8 tables for four inside, and since we got there around 5 PM, there were only about 4 tables that are occupied. C simply sat back and let me decide what to order, knowing that I already did my research. Here are our orders:

Sincerity Fried Chicken (Php 150/half)

It had around 6-7 pieces in it and served with ketchup and hot sauce. I was doubtful at first, since I love really crispy chicken skin and the chicken skin here is really attached to the meat. I had C taste it first, and when he had his first bite, he smiled and said “Masarap!”. For starters, it didn’t taste like the usual oily fried chicken.. Basta it really tasted yummy! Looks like it passed C’s taste! Evidence: I only ate 2 pieces of the chicken and he ate the rest. Takaw!

Fried Oyster Cake (Php 120/small)

It wasn’t small at all! Or so I think since there were only two of us, but I didn’t find it small. I don’t know how it should taste since I’ve never eaten oysters prior to this. We had to take this out because we can’t finish it. Both of us feel like we’re going to explode already!

KiKiam (Php 50/pc)

We only ordered one piece of Kikiam. It was served with a sauce that resembles gravy but doesn’t taste like it. Whatever that was, I loved the combination. This is by far, the tastiest Kikiam I have ever had! At first I wondered why one piece of Kikiam would cost Php 50, but if I had known how it tastes like, I might have ordered more! I thought the white stuff that was served with it was atchara but when I tasted a bit of it.. I can’t quite point a finger to why I don’t like it, I just don’t.

I had Almond Gulaman (Php 40) for drinks while C had Coke in can (Php 35). The service was very fast (although I had to note that it wasn’t peak hours), and the food were served real hot. It was, overall, a pleasant dining experience. I can’t wait to go back and try their other bestsellers (i.e. Honey Fried Chicken, Pata Tim, Shanghai Lumpia, and Shredded Beef with Onion).