23 August 2011

My Binondo Foodie Adventures Part VII: A Look Inside President’s Tea House Along Ongpin Street

When I go traipsing along Ongpin Street, there is one mystery that always appeals to me and it is wondering what is going on inside the big President’s restaurant along Ongpin Street. I have heard from so many people about the good reviews of this place but just that their price ranges are quite high. In Binondo, I have so far seen 2 President’s restaurant: 1 along Ongpin street and the other along Salazar street (this is a smaller restaurant reminiscent of other smaller restos in the Binondo area).

From the outside, you’d probably wonder how big the place was since knowing Binondo everything is like squeezed together and you see that out at the front of the restaurant you have this entryway staffed with waitresses in traditional red Chinese garb. Me and a few old friends walked inside and lo and behold I was shocked to say the least. The place was sprawling (and when I say sprawling, it really is big) inside with quite a number of round tables and a huge crystal chandelier to boot. The restaurant was huge. It was very well lighted too. It had all the hallmarks of a first class Chinese restaurant. We made our way through to the very end and had a Bisaya waiter attend to us. We checked out the menu and ordered. I couldn’t wait to try their food out.

Friend Kuya A and I both agreed on a first order of a plateful of century eggs. I sound crazed right! Century eggs are an acquired taste really but I just don’t get it why a lot of people are not fans of this food item. It really is delicious. That black and clear gelatinous (white portion) of the egg with that grayish and soft (yellow part) part which melts in your mouth. I can’t quite describe how it tastes but to me it tastes really good. 

Next, we had some Bird’s Nest Soup, the really authentic one. I missed this soup. The eggy and thick flavorful broth with the sort of gummy pieces in it was a joy to taste once again. It’s been too long since I had authentic Bird’s Nest.

After that there was a plateful of cold Chinese appetizers ranging from the steamed orange innards to the pale white chicken and seaweeds as well as century egg slices. Very interesting mix. I tried them all and found them okay. I didn't feel like rice but we ordered for the others and I got a taste of it and boy was it so yummy. 

Yang Chow fried rice with all the trimmings. Medium sized shrimps cooked to perfection. Heavenly rice with a heavenly aroma as well.

Friend R had to have his fried noodle fix and it was really delicious. Crispy canton noodles with a pork topping slathered with a rich and very delicious Chinesy sauce. This was one item I kept coming back to. It was a good thing I ate just a small portion of rice because I was on the noodle dish fixation episode. 

We also ordered fried pork with garlic and other herbs. It tasted like pan friend pork pieces seasoned with salt and pepper and topped with cilantro leaves. It was okay but not really great. Just the usual way of cooking pork. 

Then we had calamari with sweet and sour sauce. The calamari was cooked to perfection and the squid not gummy without a thick coat of breading. There was only a thin layer which made the squid crisp but I got to really taste the squid and the sweet and sour sauce was the perfect complement to it. 

We also had some really spicy stir fried beef in a thick sauce. The beef was so tender and sliced thin so it didn’t make you feel as if you’d eaten a ton. The sauce was perfect for it and I truly enjoyed this dish.

Almost all of the things I had eaten at President’s Restaurant was a delight. I enjoyed myself thoroughly as well as enjoying the time spent with friends who loved food like I did.

For those wanting a really great Chinese food experience, you can try out the big President’s Tea House restaurant located along Ongpin street.

P.S. I forgot to bring my camera with me so you’ll have to contend with my shots from my camera phone.



JD said...

CE- Good food plus great company! A typical Mano Po restaurant. I heard it used to be a theater? -JD

BisayaInManila said...

Hi JD! You're abslutely right. Hahahah! Great food, good company. Mano Po for one night!! Hmmmm. Really I didn't know it used to be a theater.

Kri said...

Chinese food is always oh so goood for me. Thanks for the suggestions. Will try next time!

BisayaInManila said...

@Kri: same for me. :) yep..try it next time

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