Tiap Chay: The Chinoy Meal Delivery

By Michelle Tan 30 June, 2017
Share

Nowadays, we are often too busy with work or other aspects in our life that we have no time to prepare food for ourselves or for our families. In fact, not everyone knows how to cook and would resort to canned goods. Some are fortunate to have maids, who can prepare their food. However, there are times wherein your maid had to take a long leave or probably would have to leave you permanently. What happens to these people who doesn’t know how to cook or who doesn’t have the time to prepare their meals? Well, they would move to our alternatives such as buying from fast food chains or cafeterias or sometimes subscribing for the diet delivery services to take care of their meals.

But what most people don’t know, before diet deliveries became popular, Chinoys already have the concept of family meals delivery, or more popularly known as “Tiap Chay”. These are weekly, monthly or even yearly subscription of family meal deliveries, wherein they are to receive two to three viands that are usually good for three to four people.

Growing up, I was fortunate to have a maid, who would prepare our meals. Given that my mom doesn’t know how to cook, we rely heavily on our maid to prepare our breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even then, the Tiap Chay concept was not new to me. Every time I visit my grandparents’ office, I would see these three-layer stainless steel containers, or what we called pombrera, near the entrance. Every 10AM, someone will pick the pombrera from the office and would later return it before the clock hits noon. That was the time that I was introduced to the concept of Tiap Chay.

My mother explained that for the past few years they have been availing for the Tiap Chay services in the office as my grandmother is already old. They are preventing her from exerting too much effort to prepare meals for her children. Instead, they want to spare her from going to the market and waking up early to cook by availing for the meal delivery.

Tiap Chay service has already existed and has been availed by Chinese families even back in the 60s and 70s.  Back then, having maids are not as common. Not all mothers know how to cook and some parents are too busy to buy the ingredients and prepare the food. While the service was not as popular as the diet delivery meals that most of us are familiar of, it is still present until now. There are a lot of restaurants, especially in Banawe and Manila, that are still offering this service. There are also some online business offering the Tiap Chay delivery services to San Juan, New Manila, Ortigas, and Banawe among others. Prices range from Php200-Php280 for 2 viands that are good for four people and Php300-Php380 for 3 viands, one of which is a vegetable dish, that is also good for four people. Given that the establishments who offer these services are usually Chinese restaurants, the food delivered are also the usual Chinese food that Chinoys grew accustomed with. 

Recently, our maid has also decided to leave. Since my mother doesn’t know how to cook and we don’t have the time either, we have also availed for the Tiap Chay service near our home.  Every night, we are excited to come home and to see what food is inside that three-layer container. The variety of food combination and the element of surprise both adds to the excitement.  I guess it is also because it gives us the illusion that we are “eating out” almost every day. Bring back the Tiap Chay practice in our home brings back old childhood memories when I linger around my grandparents’ office wondering what time will they claim the stainless steel container or what food will they service us that day. Admittedly, it’s really convenient since we don’t have to shop for all the ingredients in the market or the groceries. Isn’t it nice not to worry about your meal when you get home from a bad traffic during payday Friday or when you get home late from work?

If your maid is currently enjoying her long leave or if she doesn’t plan to come back at all, or maybe if you are a working mom, who doesn’t have the time to prepare the meals, why not look for restaurants that still offers Tiap Chay.

How about you? Do you have the same experiences? Are you looking for one? Drop your comments and share your experiences to us!

Rate this item
(63 votes)
Last modified on Friday, 30 June 2017 22:37

Related items

  • Sibling Love: The Achi and Shobe Relationship

     

    Having siblings can be a bit tricky. It can be annoying at times, but it can also be extremely fun and entertaining. We all have our fair share of complaints, experiences and joyful moments. You live in the same roof after all.  One thing is for sure, nothing beats the bond of siblings, especially the Achi-Shobe relationship.

    Sisterly bonding between an Achi and a Shobe is unique. It doesn’t matter if you’re the responsible one or the rebel one or if you’re the Achi or the Shobe, both of you probably have your own set of stories that people can relate to universally. Take a moment to reminisce your younger years. Think about the goofy stuff you and your sister did-- the silly role playing, the jamming sessions, the endless homeworks both of you are stuck with, or the numerous times you have both fawned over Korean guys.

    After x years of spending time together, you will know that having a sister is indeed a blessing. You may agree or disagree but let us tell you why it’s such an amazing experience to have an Achi or a Shobe.

     

    You have tons of inside joke that your friends can probably not relate to.

    With all the time that you have spent with your Achi/Shobe, it’s just not impossible to have inside jokes that both of you can randomly laugh about. It can be code names that your parents can’t understand. You can even have your own language if you have the time to formulate one. The connection is undeniable. Secrets are no exception. Whether you admit it or not, your Achi or your Shobe has shared a lot of things that she hopes and pray your parents won’t find out. Having someone to rant to or someone to share your feelings to can be a real stress reliever.

    You get the best of both worlds since you share a lot of things.

    If you’re the Shobe, you have probably been getting hand me downs from your Achi. It depends if you see this as a good thing or bad thing, but if you like her style and you want to save some money, GO AHEAD! Take her clothes and she probably won’t mind (of course you should ask permission unless she tells you otherwise), and we are not only talking about clothes. We can also talk about bags, phones, jewelry, shoes, anything!

    She gives you free food!

    Aside from sharing things, your sister has probably bought you food. And may I add, for free! While you parents are there to spoil you, your siblings are not far behind as well.

    She can be your #1 fan.

    Who needs tons of fans when you have a sister who got your back? It doesn’t matter if it’s your recital, your first paper, your first day in college, or your first heartbreak. She is definitely there to support you and to cheer you on.

    Although, she can be a reality check too.

    The truth hurts, but who can better break the harsh truth than her? If you’re the Shobe, your Achi has experienced life ahead of you. She knows when to wake you up and when to cheer you on. If you’re the Achi, your Shobe can be very insightful as well. It never hurts to have a mirror in front of you.

    She makes you realize that you have matured.

    Being the Achi forces you to grow up fast and to take the responsibility of watching over your shobe. You are the role model after all. It will come to a point that you will realize that you are not a kid anymore, and you start giving her your “words of wisdom”.  You wake her up in the morning to make sure she’s not late, and you tell her not to do things that would anger your parents. Well congratulations, you have now become her second mother.

    You have dirt on each other because of all the goofy things you guys have been doing.

    Admit it. Your sister has probably a selfie or two in your phone. After all, she is the most eligible person you can be crazy with without the judgments. She can divulge your secrets if she wants to, but she won’t. You miss each other when you’re away, and you send each other random messages during the day.

    If you get angpao every single time people say you look alike, you’ll probably be rich by now.

    You do have the same DNA after all. Most of the time, you would deny that you look like each other, but half of the time your friends are right. Sometimes, you take twinning to a different level. Some of your friends have probably claimed that your voices are the same too.

    Lastly, she is not just your sister. She is also your buddy, partner in crime, rival in video games, mother and even your babysitter all rolled into one.

    Talk about multiple personalities! Aside from your mother, your sister is probably the closest thing you can count as the wonder woman in your daily life. She will be there for you when you need the comfort. She is your mother and babysitter when your parents are away. She is your partner in crime when you are thinking of doing something crazy, but most of the time she is your friend, who you can be yourself at any time. No judgments involved!

     

     

  • 5 Dishes To Try in a Binondo Food Trip
    in Food

    What does it mean to grow up Chinoy? Is it with the language you speak? The clothes you wear? The food you eat? The places you go? I think identity is not dictated by such things. I’m still trying to figure it out myself. But while the places you frequent don’t dictate your identity, there’s a richness of knowledge and experiences you could get from visiting new sites. These could later help you in learning more about your own identity.

    As a Chinoy, I’ve been frustrated with my lack of knowledge about Binondo. I know that Binondo holds a lot of stories on the roots of Chinoys. After all, it’s the oldest Chinatown in the world! And what better way to study history than to take a historical gastronomic feast?

    UP Chinese Students Association (UP CSA), one of ChinoyTV’s online partners, recently joined the Binondo Food Trip by Ivan Man Dy. I tagged along to experience Binondo on foot and to visit hole-in-the-wall foodie destinations!

    The group met at the Binondo Church. We were told that Manila Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in the whole world! Ivan noted that it’s not designed in the stereotypical Chinese way–red and gold colors, Buddhist temples, and the like. In fact, one of the most prominent landmarks in the area is the Binondo Church.

    I think most of us are still tempted to think in these analogies: red and gold Buddhist temples is to Chinese, while Catholic churches are to Spanish. It’s interesting to look at a place like Binondo where these different cultures are adapted and turned not into Spanish or Chinese, but to Filipino.

    1. Fresh Lumpia at the New Po-Heng Lumpia House

    Our first stop for the trip was in a hole-in-the-wall lumpia eatery called the New Po-Heng Lumpia House. To get there, you had to enter through this gate:

    From the outside, you wouldn’t expect to see an eatery inside. It looks like a residential condominium. Who would have known that inside is a well-loved lumpia eatery?

    This is why I really like going with a tour guide, or at least someone who’s very familiar with the place–you get to discover places that most people won’t be aware of.

    Once you go through that door, you’ll see this sign:

    Ivan explained to us its ingredients and told us about his preferred way of eating it. The different kinds of sauces were made available to us on the table.

    We then walked to Carvajal Street, which is also referred to as Ho Sua Hang or Umbrella Alley. People used to buy and sell umbrellas there. While walking in that narrow alley, we went to Amah Pilar’s restaurant, located near the Merriam Webster bookstore.

    2. Amah Pilar’s Tofu

    This is one of my favorite dishes from the entire trip! (I can’t decide between this and #4. This dish was a mixture of sweet, spicy, and a little bit salty. I also like the texture of the tofu itself. Outside, it was perfectly crispy. Inside, it was perfectly soft

    3.) Amah Pilar’s Empanada

    4. Dong Bei Cantonese Dumplings

    Most of the things we tasted for the food trip were of Fukien Chinese origin, but this particular dumplings shop called Dong Bei are of Cantonese influence.

    The shop owner does everything from scratch! It was fascinating to watch him work. (I was told that he’s camera-shy, so we didn’t snap photos or videos of him.) But I did make sure to snap photos of the dumplings!

    I know the photo of the second plate doesn’t look very appetizing (my bad!), but it’s great. We even asked for a second serving. It’s crispy on the outside, and very juicy on the inside. I like how it doesn’t rely on saltiness just to give it more taste. Dong Bei is my favorite stop in the whole trip. Visiting Dong Bei alone would be well worth the Binondo traffic.

    5. Custard Pao in President’s Tea House

    Among the places we went to, this restaurants was the only one that I wouldn’t label under the “hole-in-the-wall” category. The place was clean, well-lit and fully air-conditioned. There were so many customers! We ate mango sango and this custard pao. It was my first time to eat custard pao, and I really liked it. I liked it so much that when I got home, I researched about President’s Tea House’s custard pao’s. I found out that it currently ranks #1 in Spot.ph’s Top 10 Salted Egg Custard Buns in Manila. Regine Rafael wrote:

    A Binondo institution for decades, President’s Tea House serves some of the most affordable dim sum in the Metro. You’d be hard-pressed to leave feeling dissatisfied, and we guarantee that your stomach (and wallet) will be full. Their version of the custard bao is the fluffiest of them all, and we won’t deny that their bang-for-buck prices make us love these treats even more. The custard is rich but somehow still subtle, and so wonderfully done that the butter doesn’t split from the yolk. The buns alone make intense Chinatown traffic absolutely worth it.

     This is something I’d definitely recommend to people who are looking for something new without having to spend too time or money. The whole food trip only took a few hours. If you ever find yourself feeling bored with your weekends, try taking a tour in Binondo. In case you’re interested, our tour guide was Ivan Man Dy from Old Manila walks. You could check out their website or Facebook page for more details on rates and schedules.

    We want to make an even more extensive Binondo Food Trip Guide. If you didn’t see your favorites in this post, please comment and tell us where to find your favorite Binondo dish! 

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Connect With Us

Get in Touch