We’re celebrating the Chinese New Year in a few days. In the Philippines, this Chinese holiday has become something like a national event. In fact, a few years back, the Philippine government began declaring the Chinese New Year as a special non-working holiday. One question that I get a lot: how to say proper Chinese New Year greetings?
We see and hear a lot of different variations, which has only added to the bit of confusion.
So is it –
“Kung Hei Fat Choi”? (What we read and hear most commonly)
For a foodie family such as mine, Benavidez Street in Downtown Manila is proving to be a haven. The original Masuki (Ma Mon Luk) is located there, as well as Wai Ying and Sushi Yum (affordable Japanese – will blog about it soon). Our newest Benavidez discovery is Lan Zhou La Mien, which serves authentic hand pulled noodles.
Lanzhou is a city in Northwestern China that is popular, among other things, for hand-pulled noodles. Hand-pulled noodles have always fascinated me. The pulling and twisting of dough that eventually produces noodles is another Chinese ingenuity. No tools are necessary – just strong arms!
I’ve been talking about VGood’s allergies. Last night, she did not have a good sleep – she kept on scratching! It seems like the meds and diet are not working yet.This morning, hubby was bent on buying Mopiko, a Japanese anti-itch cream sold in Chinese drugstores. His mom used it for all of their itchies, so why not give it a try? And so the first order of the day was an unplanned Binondo trip.
So off we (hubby and the 2 girls and I) go to Binondo in search of the itch remedy!
First stop, though, was at LingNam for congee. It was a debate whether to eat there or at Masuki. I wanted to try something new and I’ve never eaten at LingNam. The congee was good, though nothing spectacular about it.
After breakfast, we went to the drugstores along T. Alonzo Street. I cannot say enough how much I love each spontaneous Binondo trip. The kids found the different roots, powders, and dried sea horses at the drugstore fascinating. We bought 2 tubes of itch creams for VGood, and Pei Pa Koa (a famous cough remedy) for Patch.
A Binondo trip with the kids would not be complete without a calesa ride! We went around once, which cost P100.00. Last year (or 2 years ago), we paid P80.00. You bet the cars were honking at our slow pace, but the kids were not mindful at all! They enjoyed every moment of the short ride.
So the family went on a spontaneous Binondo trip last Sunday. Of course I brought home some Binondo food finds. 😀
Here are my Binondo food finds from our morning trip to Binondo:
1. Fried Siopao. It’s not the typical steamed siopao. The meat filling is ground pork with kuchay and spices. One of my fave Chinatown treats. Yum!
2. Kikiam. fish and pork sausage that’s already been pre-“fried”.
3. Pork Siomai. The kids love this.
4. Hopia. My favorite hopia mungo is made by Kim Chun, an unknown shop along Soler Street. It’s got a very homemade taste (even the packaging, as you can see). I like it more than Eng Bee Tin. My hubby introduced it to me, but there’s no other way to buy it but come all the way to Soler. Too bad I could not buy loads of it because the shelf-life is only 1 week. Well, I’ll enjoy while it lasts!
5. Machang. Sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf. It may have meat, egg, water chestnuts, and sausage in it. The “egg”-less type is my hubby’s fave.
These are my kids’ remedies:
1. Pei Pa Koa (P200.00 for a 300ml bottle). A thick syrup that’s known to relieve the sorest throat and loosen the stickiest phlegm! I had my Patchy try it. She says it wasn’t bitter and was cool to the throat. About an hour after taking PPK, she had a coughing fit and taran! Her phlegm came loose. Try it, I think it does work. I’ve heard celebrities talk about it too. You can buy it at Watson’s, I think.
2. Mopiko(P100.00 for 1 small tube). It’s a Japanese brand, tried and tested by my MIL. It’s cool like liniment. The package says it is for itching, muscle pain, and insect bites. Let’s hope it works for VGood.
3. “She Zhi” (P50.00 for a small tube). The drugstore owner recommended it to be good for itchy-ootchies. So we bought it. If it doesn’t work, then it’s okay — it’s only 50 bucks anyway. When we got home, hubby read the brand (it only occured to him to read it just now! how clever!). Literally translated, it says “Snake Fat”. :-0