What will make you go around Katipunan even with heavy traffic? The Food. Known for having some of the best restaurants and eateries in the city, Katipunan has gained a lot of frequent visitors aside from the students and workers in the area. This is also because it has a variety of restaurants and eateries that are perfect for every occasion. Whether it’s a lunch break or a date night, there’s always a restaurant for you. But what if you’re just craving for Chinese food?
With the help of 5 of our friends from Ateneo and UP, we have created a list of some of the tastiest and most loved Chinese restaurants that will definitely make you fall in love with Chinese food all over again.
1) Lan Kwai Speakeasy & Hong Kong Cuisine
As their name suggests, Lan Kwai Speakeasy & Hong Kong Cuisine is a restaurant by day and a speakeasy by night. Serving HK style noodles, dimsum, rice bowls, shao kao, and crafted cocktails, this place is our respondents top recommendation. They said that this is the perfect place to hang out and have a quick bite with friends, especially after a stressful week in school. Plus, it’s affordable and friendly for a student’s allowance.
What made them love this restaurant however is the Lemon Chicken Rice (P135). While the chicken is already crispy and delicious on its own, the lemon sauce brings a zesty, sweet, and umami flavor that will take you to a whole new level of excitement. The said dish will also fill you up with the amount of side dishes included in every order. Sided with bok choy, char siu sauce, leeks, and a 63° egg, you will absolutely get your money’s worth. Another crowd-favorite is the Hong Kong Roast Duck Rice (P249), although it is a bit on the pricier side, its bold flavors with the sweet glaze will remind you of how good Chinese food can get. Loaded with sides, every order of this dish also includes bok choy, char siu sauce, crispy scallion roots, and a 63° egg. As they said, it’s definitely worth it!
Address: 42 Esteban Abada St., Loyola Heights
2) EAT FRESH Bao Dim
With various branches around the metro, EAT FRESH Hong Kong Famous Street Food opened a branch in Katipunan with EAT FRESH Bao Dim last 2018. Since then, students studying around Katipunan have been enjoying “the authentic taste of Hong Kong” that they promise in every dish.
When asked what their favorite dish is, our respondents answered with Hong Kong Style Fried Noodles with Siomai (P100). With just a hundred pesos, you can already savour a big bowl of authentic-tasting fried noodles and a few pieces of high-quality siomai. Perfect for satisfying your hunger, while still staying on budget! Another favorite is of course, the Special Laksa (P155 for regular, P275 for large). EAT FRESH is widely known for its famous laksa, and it truly lives up to our respondents’ expectations. The broth alone is already to die for as it is rich, creamy, and really flavorful. It is this dish that you wouldn’t want to miss!
Iskomai is arguably the Iskos’ and Iskas’ favorite siomai place inside campus. Known for being a reliable source of affordable and quality siomai, students flock this stall from time to time. As mentioned by our respondents, Iskomai’s siomai always satisfies their dim sum cravings, and the rice combo just makes it really sulit! It is the perfect meal to power you up for your classes, and at the same time, to get you by from an exhausting day.
Their top recommendation is none other than the Siomai rice (P35). One order contains 4 pieces of steaming hot, tender siomai that always light up the students’ taste buds. With that is a sizable cup of rice that could really fill up your tummy. What’s even more special about this dish is their signature unlimited chili oil. This chili sauce when drenched over the siomai rice, excites the entire dish with shots of spiciness and savoriness.
Address: 175 JP Laurel Sreet, Area 2, UP Campus Diliman
4) Wangfu Chinese Café
The creation of UP Town Center is undeniably a blessing to residents and students in the area. It has everything from bookstores to clothing shops to a supermarket and a ton of restaurants. Not to mention, the abundance of Chinese restaurants under one roof. According to our respondents, one of the stand-outs is Wangfu Chinese Café. Owned by the famous actor and businessman, Richard Yap, he made sure that your Singaporean and Chinese food cravings will surely be satisfied with the wide variety of options that their menu offers.
For starters, our respondents recommend ordering the Hakaw (P188). It is quite special for they used prawns, and not just any kind of shrimp. Served with high-quality and premium ingredients, this classic dim sum is definitely a must-try. For the main event, they recommend the Salted Egg Fried Chicken (P388). This dish brings a lot of textures from crispiness, saltiness, and savoriness- it’s so flavorful that you might find yourself eating it non-stop. Another notable dish, however, is the Hong Kong Style Porkchop Rice (P198). Above a generous serving of rice is their delicious pork chops, blanketed over their very creamy cheese sauce. Taste is definitely a champion here!
5) Mann Hann
Another must-try in UPTC is Mann Hann. Founded in 1966, this Chinese restaurant began as a deli and convenience store. Then after some time, they expanded by serving specialty Fookien cuisine such as Yang Chow Fried Rice and Oyster Cake. Today, with more than 20 branches all over the country, this restaurant has already made a name for itself. It has been continuously attracting families and friends because of its authentic flavors and affordable rates.
With the wide variety of options, our respondents’ top choices are the Fish Tofu (P385) and Seafood Hofan (P415). They said that Mann Hann’s version of these classics are really flavorful and memorable. Both dishes offer an exquisite taste that is quite different from the rest, so you definitely have to try these to find out why!
6) Tuan Tuan
To end our UPTC trip and our Katipunan food crawl with a bang, here we have the famous Chinese brasserie, Tuan Tuan. Tuan Tuan is a homegrown concept specializing in various Chinese comfort food such as the Mui Garden’s Curry and the Deer Garden’s Halibut Fish Soup. Set in a French-inspired ambiance, this restaurant doesn’t only have the best chefs, but they also have the best atmosphere.
Of course we wouldn’t forget recommending one of their specialties and one of our respondents’ all-time favorite, the Crispy Barbecued Pork Snow Buns (P178). Every order contains 3 pork snow buns that are milky, flaky, and savory. It is the perfect appetizer or afternoon snack! Another recommended dish is the Malay Laksa Noodle Soup (P448). The rich spicy coconut broth coupled with the smooth silky feel of the noodles blended really well to give an exquisite and pleasant experience to the palate. To add flavor, fish cakes, mushrooms, cuttlefish strips, and more were infused in the soup, which contributed to giving an overall delectable taste to the dish. It is one laksa that is worth every penny!
Did our list just make you hungry? Well, be sure to check these out once you get the chance to!