Our journey to Wai Ying Fastfood was part of a Black Saturday full of spontaneity. I had a horrible (just horrible!) week at work that included having to report for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. All I wanted to do on Saturday was to spend time with my girlfriend Haziel.
She’s been hinting that she wants to visit Intramuros, especially Fort Santiago, and I decided this would be a great time to go to the walled city. I took some MBA classes in PLM some years back but was unable to finish it due to work commitments. I’m familiar with that side of Intramuros but I have not been here before. Here are some pictures we took:
We were famished after an afternoon of sightseeing and walking. However, it seemed like the only open food places on this side of Intramuros were fastfood joints. I’ve had plenty of that during the week already and wanted something better. Then we remembered something: Intramuros is near Binondo!
Haziel wanted some mean Hakaw and I knew a place where we can get just that… Wai Ying Fastfood!
After an overpriced tricycle ride (dude asked for Php 100) and a little walk down Ongpin Street to buy Fried Siopao for our families, we finally found ourselves at Wai Ying Fastfood. It’s fast food, but not all that corporate crap I was shunning at the beginning of this post. ‘Wag kayong pilosopo.
It’s actually my first time to eat here. Me and my friends wanted to go here 2 years ago but that was about a week before the Chinese New Year and the place was packed! It was still full this time around but some seats were available upstairs.
The place is small but well lit and cool. Servers are attentive, kind and put up with your questions about the menu. It’s a popular haunt in Binondo but it’s not one of those fancy-schmancy restaurants. It’s more like a carinderia that sells some killer Chinese Food.
They crush lemon slices in a glass, top it with crushed ice, and then they serve it to you with a can of coke. For a minute there I actually thought they had an exclusive Coke product.
The acidity of the lemon (and they put a lot of lemons in there!) was actually amplified by the fizz of the coke. The first sip made me cringe. It did improve as I continued to drink and was finally able to transfer all the contents of the can to the glass.
You may be thinking: “Why are you ordering something as basic as siomai?”. These are not just any siomai! Four pieces of dumplings packed with pork and shrimp that just burst with flavor as you bite into them.
It’s juicy, fresh, and seasoned perfectly that you don’t really need to dunk them into sauce. They were so good that I had to order more to take home.
These things are just perfect, all the way down to the wrapping. They don’t break or stick together. The wrapper is able to wrap together all that shrimp filling and you are able to get the whole thing to your mouth. When you bite into these dumplings, you are treated to a fresh taste of shrimp that just has that right crunch to them.
Perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned, and Haziel was very happy. We also wanted to order some to take home but they were out of them by the time we ordered. That’s how good these things are!
Roast Duck and White Chicken with Fried Rice
You can’t eat at Binondo without trying any form of roast duck dish. This one pairs a duck breast with a more common chicken breast. The chicken itself is just boiled and a bit bland on its own. We guessed that the pesto was made for it and it did improve the flavor a bit with it’s fresh greens and garlic taste. The duck tasted good with that earthy tasting sauce, but it was cold! I was expecting more from this dish but was a bit disappointed.
Lemon Chicken Rice
The chicken is crispy and juicy. I like that. However, this was not lemon chicken. I’m used to the chicken having been cooked with the sauce. I feel that would help get all that tangy and sweet sauce flavor marry with the juicy chicken, seeping in the meat.
It just doesn’t feel like lemon chicken. It’s crispy chicken with lemon sauce. That is different.
The dish feels disconnected this way. A shame since the sauce was very tasty. I guess the way they cook the chicken would be ruined if the add the sauce with it but I will still prefer if the lemon sauce was given a chance to cook with the chicken.
The dumplings are awesome. They even cost less than other places in the Metro. Everything else (that we ordered at least) was… meh.
I would come back just for the Siomai and Hakaw, and maybe try more of their dumplings. I may also try some of their milk teas (people on IG attest it’s the best in Binondo). I may also give the roast duck another try. But I’ll be dreaming about that Siomai and Hakaw for next couple of days.
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