Filipino-Chinese Dishes at Chiow Express in Mandaluyong City

Chiow Express had opened last May 2018. This is one of the places to visit when you are near Mayilo circle and in front of Mandaluyong Medical Center in the heart of Mandaluyong City.

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Chiow Restaurant facade

The dishes are comparable to some well-known restaurants within Chinatown or Binondo district in Manila. For those living within San Juan and Mandaluyong. One will not travel far just to have these delectable dishes.

chiow-express-group-photo

bloggers, reviewers pose for a souvenir shot in front of the restarant

Considering the traffic, travel time and price, This restaurant is a clear stand out in the area.

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Chiow Express restaurant had a dining capacity of between 28 to 35 people at any given time.

Short History

Chiow means a lot of things, It is a colloquial term to eat. But according to one of the proprietors, the term “Chiow” was a nickname for a friend who died in 2016. They decided to name the restaurant Chiow in honor of the great friendship and memories shared. Same with the logo which looks similar to their friend.

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They planned to open a Filipino-Chinese restaurant about 5 years ago , but only materialized early part of this year. The place is clean with several mouthwatering dishes to offer.

Dishes

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Chiow Express special fried rice

Chiow Fiesta Fried Rice had an assorted array of mixture added, such as minced carrots, scrambled eggs, scallions, green peas and pork meat. This also had a strong hint of sesame oil added. The special fried rice is served in small , medium and large size.

kikiam

Chinese style kikiam

Chinese- style kikiam ( Quekeng) is another MUST order when you visit this restaurant. This is almost the same taste and texture with other well-known panciterias in Chinatown, Manila.

hototay-soup

Hototay soup

Hototay Soup is another MUST order, when you visit this place. The soup had a rich flavors with a young corn, squid, slices of straw mushroom, pork meat and can be shared.

calamares

deep fried calamares

Deep Fried Calamares had a soft batter mixture, fresh quality ingredient were use. This is best eaten with their own version of chili oil and sauce.

buttered-chicken

buttered deep fried chicken

Chiow Buttered Fried Chicken – Is one of the MUST try or one of best seller dishes of this restaurant. The chicken is well coated with butter and batter mixture. One can clearly taste the butter without overpowering the taste of the chicken.

pepper-chicken

Chiow Fried Salt and Pepper Spareribs – Another highly recommended dishes for those who like spicy spareribs.

chiow-express-sisig

Chiow Express crispy sisig

Chiow Crispy Sisig– Their version of sisig is best eaten hot in a sizzling plate. It is crispy with added hint of spiciness from chopped banana chilies, onions and egg. One can squeeze calamansi and bird’s eye chilies for extra spiciness.

chami

chami beef noodle

Chami noodles is another specialty of the restaurant. This had a generous topping of carrots, meat, cabbage and with slight tinge of sweetness. This is a perfect light meal or snack during early afternoon. They also offer several bilao style pancit ( noodle dishes) for larger group.

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Chiow Express chami beef sate

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some of the well-loved dishes

Address: Ground Floor Garv’s Boutique Hotel, 604 Boni Avenue Bgy. Plainview ( in front of Mandaluyong Medical Center ), Mandaluyong, Philippines 1550

Operations: Everyday from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm

Landline : (02) 579 5289

Cellphone (0906) 675-87-68

Email: chiowexpress@gmail.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ChiowExpress/

Delivery Service and Bulk Orders: minimum of Php 300 within Mandaluyong City

Note: Prices quoted at this blog are subject to change without prior notice, This is due to increase in prices of the ingredients and other factors.

How to Commute:

1.) from MRT Boni station, there is a jeepney route with Gabby’s -Rizal Technological University, Maysilo circle. minimum fare is Php 10.00

2.) from Kalentong -Jose Rizal University- there is a jeepney route with signage Maysilo circle, MRT minimum fare is Php 10.00

Chinese New Year Sumptuous Buffet at Hotel Ramada-Manila

 Hotel Ramada Central – Manila , Philippines

Ramada Manila Central

Binondo Fireworks and Firecracker Lovers Organization in partnership with Walk with Chan organized a Chinatown tour together with freelance writers, bloggers , instagram users, advocates and balikbayans from the United States.

 

We decided to book at the Hotel Ramada, Manila – Special Chinese New Year buffet to spend quality eating good food , cozy atmosphere , away from the crowded restaurants and have our moments inside the hotel.

stuffed monkey

This is the best and classiest hotel within Binondo district with 4-star rating classification.

buffet table

They also offers regular breakfast and lunch buffet at the second floor ( News Cafe) which cost around Php 390 to Php 400 plus .  With tens of thousand of people, foreigners , balikbayans , tsinoys and even pinoys are within the vicinity of Chinatown attending the event . The restaurants within the area cannot accommodate all these people with hungry appetite for food and adventure. It is wise to try their buffet meal for a little change.

Luna Function Room

The management choose a ballroom which can accommodate between 250 to 300 PAX specially intended for the occasion . A big leap from 150 to 200 PAX last year held at the Luna Function Room with a spacious balcony overlooking streets and skyline .

Plaza Calderon dela Barca  aka Plaza Binondo , Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila with iconic Binondo buildings

Despite last minute advisory about the buffet schedule ( They have an earlier and longer promo last year 2015 )  , We still manage to huddle around a dozen people and referred at least some more thru our social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

 

Chinese kikiam ( quekeng ) ala Hotel Ramada

The group was later joined by Mr. Ralph Soriano and Mr. Ronald Ongham after about half an hour later at past 12 noon .Mr. Ronald Ongham is a regular client at the ( News Cafe) and the waiter instantly recognized him from our group.

Atty. Dulce Punzalan enjoyed the lunch buffet

pork asado and peking duck station

salad station

sushi station

steam pork with special sauce

group photo with the manager

The group stayed about an hour or so at the function room . We enjoyed the hearty meal and photo opportunities .

Here is our group review of the Special Chinese New Year buffet meal and a few other people which also ate there  . The ratings are based on our criteria like pricing , service , quality of the foods, presentation and ambiance of the hotel.

Pricing – There is not a big difference between eating a Chinese lauriat-style dining and the buffet meal, considering it is Chinese New Year and almost all the restaurants within the vicinity area are full to their capacity .

Food – In general , our group liked the foods that they have included in their menu minus the Peking duck ( which is a little wet – I think they only marinated the duck for just a day or so ) Some of our group always eat at Chinese restaurant so there is a difference over the Peking duck that we have tasted .

Yang Chow Fried Rice

Yang Chow Fried Rice , A little bit soggy ( the rice is a little bit malagkit at dik-dikit ) I am not fond of eating rice which i cannot see the grains.

Almond gelatin – We missed the white fungus soup served last year .

Desserts and Pastries are almost similar to last year . They also have fried tikoy

Chinese style-kikiam ala Ramada Hotel is better compared to other traditional kikiam in Binondo.

Drinks – Having a bottomless powdered juice by Oishi and bottomless brewed coffee is definitely a big change over last year .

Sushi bar , Soup Station, Dimsum corner and Salad bar – are almost the same as last year with slight changes.

We also think that they should have brought back the boneless lechon and marinated chicken with sauce last year .

Overall , We gave the rating of 7.80 out of a possible 10 points which is fairy good but those who have eaten in last year’s buffet would rate the 2015 Chinese New Year edition higher .

Walk with Chan : Special Chinese New Year 2015 Tour

Chinatown , Manila – Philippines

 Santa Cruz church group photo

Walk with Chan in partnership with NGO groups like Binondo Fireworks and Firecrackers Lovers Association , photography groups, freelance media , bloggers , food and cultural hoppers went for a whole day tour of several important and historical places  which encompasses Santa Cruz, Binondo, San Nicolas and Divisoria areas.

Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz

We started the day quite early , most of the participants arrived at past 6:00am at the fountain area within Plaza Santa Cruz, We saw some photography group and families that are waiting for their tour around Chinatown.  The largest contingent was from Novaliches , Quezon City which numbered around a dozen participants , while there are some participants which came all the way from Nueva Ecija,  Cavite , Pasay , Parañaque , Makati , Pasig , Manila and Rizal province. There were 50 plus participants from different age group.

Golden Pharao ,  Chicken Plant , Rabbit’s Foot, Golden Chicken Fern, Lamb’s Foot

 Local peddlers selling them at a few hundred of pesos for unsuspecting buyer – They call them with different names  . They are being sold as good luck plants which are gathered from the forest ( Mount Banahaw and Mount Cristobal in Quezon province  ) according to the seller .  This fern species is critically endangered species and is found between 200 meters to about 1, 600 meters in altitude.  If grown improperly and grown in Metro Manila conditions , This fern species will surely meet its untimely death !

Cibotium barometz – This is medicinal and throughout its range some shamans , witch doctors , native people believes that it can ward -off evil spirits , hence a lot of them seems to e sold during auspicious times like Chinese New Year or Christmas season. This fern is slow growing and due to forest destruction and illegal collecting for the past hundred of years cause its dwindling population .

Range:

China, Taiwan , Nepal ,  Indonesia (from Java to Sumatra), Japan, North East India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines .

Website: http://www.forestferns.co.uk/tree-ferns/cibotium/cibotium-barometz

The common Chinese names for this tree fern species include ‘Jinmao Gou’ or ‘Jinmao Gouji’ (Golden Hair Dog Fern, Scythian lamb, Golden Fu Dog Fern ), in Guangdong province it is called “Huanggoutou” (Yellow Dog’s Head Fern). In Malaysia the fern is known as Penawar jambi, bulu pusi, bulu empusi. The common European names for this fern include the ‘Woolly Fern’, Tartar for ‘lamb’, the vegetable lamb’.

ordinary house plants become extraordinary ” Good Luck Plant” with red ribbons and nice plastic pots

It seems that it is very interesting mix of Philippine festivities like ati-atihan,  fire-blowers ,  people in vampire costumes, mardi-gras dancers and among others.

 fire-blowers

 The fire- blowers  are accompanied with loud banging noises ( mardi-gras beat)  are also an added attraction to the event. They held a small envelopes ( Ang Pao) and solicit money or goods from the spectators, tourists and even shop owners.

radish cake

We passed -by several places like Ongpin, T. Pinpin , Sabino Padilla, Salazar street then Benavidez site of our favorite Maki Place by Mañosa.

Maki Place

Lucky Chinatown Mall

The group slowly went to Lucky Chinatown Mall for a quick stop over ,It started raining before we left  the mall .

Ramada Manila Central

Some of the participants eventually break-away and toured the nearby Seng Guan temple just a few blocks away and then promise to return by lunch time at Ramada Manila Central.

Ms. Sydneylyn B. Tan- Business Development Specialist ( Ramada Manila Central)

Our group was warmly received by Ms. Sydneylyn B. Tan which explained the Emperor’s buffet promo . It was the grand launching of the promo  ( Luna Deck) and the hotel is starting to offer them on February 20, 21, 22 , 2015 at News Cafe Mezzanine and all sundays starting March until December 2015 including declared holidays .

participants and guests

 This is the time of the year that all restaurants within Chinatown district are filled to the capacity . We opt to book this place as this had a commanding view of the Binondo and San Nicolas district . Security is also tight and visitors had more time to relax and have some time bonding with each other.

desserts

There were exciting array of western, asian , fusion desserts fruits,  white fungus with dates, lotus seeds ( supposed to be good for a person’s skin and digestive system)    almond jelly , emperor’s salad , dimsum, bite size tikoy , muffins, cookies

pork crispy lechon

Another must try is the pork crispy lechon , Unlike other lechon in other restaurants, The skin  is very crispy and the meat is tender. It is also accompanied with sauce. We were fortunate to take photos of the food before it was chopped-up and eaten.  In few minutes , It was GONE !!!!

chicken feet with tausi

stir fry broccoli with fish fillet

noodle station

glutinous rice cake , firecrackers , umbrella and Chinese hat

 I was not able to taste all the foods offered by the hotel ( downside of being one of the organizers of the tour)  ,  We had a short program and need to entertain some guests .    . Maybe next time.

Website: http://ramadamanilacentral.com/

Panciteria Macanista y Buen Gusto- photo courtesy : Binondo archives

The old photos shows the glory days of the old panciteria ( noodle house) . This was mentioned in the El Filibusterismo – Chapter 25

Panciteria Macanista y Buen Gusto crowd along San Fernando street, Binondo

 The old panciteria ( circa 2015) building is almost in a sorry state and it was now owned by a Filipino-Chinese businessman who plan to convert and demolish the house into a building .  This is also a popular debate on several facebook pages and forum site on the real value of the old house. Sadly,  very few of the participants  knew the place even existed .

Wikipedia : http://tl.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_filibusterismo

lion dancers

The group toured parts of San Nicolas district and before 4:00pm , The group decided  to took a passenger jeepneys plying San Nicolas -Escolta route .

New Toho Food House

Antigua Toho or New Toho Food restaurant is considered as the oldest still existing Filipino- Chinese restaurant within Manila’s Chinatown- the store is located along Tomas Pinpin street near Dasmariñas street.  The restaurant was established in 1866 and was even mentioned in Jose Rizal’s -Noli Me Tangere novel .

pork asado

 Pork asado is a MUST try when you want to eat at the restaurant. It is always out of stock and it must be pre-ordered days or even weeks in advance, especially on special events and occasions.  It had a smokey flavor and had a right texture .

spring rolls

lumpiang Shanghai is another popular dish in this place

Pancit canton

 Pancit canton with pork liver, liempo , carrots, beans, shrimps , chinese cabbage

Chinese kikiam ( or Que -Kiam / Que Keng )

Another MUST TRY , Basic ingredients includes ingredients minced ground pork ( giniling na baboy),  diced carrots, shrimps ,finely chopped red onion ,minced garlic, chopped green onions or chives, minced Chinese mushroom, diced water chestnuts wrapped in soybean ( tao peh ) . Its special sauce ( spicy and non-spicy ) are to crave for.

participants ( photo credit: Mr. Ralph Soriano )

We then distribute the t-shirts which was sponsored by Binondo Fireworks and Firecrackers Lovers Organization and printed by Nick Printing

Nick Printing Services: 0923-375-5851/ 099-8615-76-90

The group took its final leg walking around Ongpin, Sabino Padilla, Yuchengco , Teodora Alonzo and Zacateros street.

Zacateros street could be derived from Spanish word for the one who works with hay either by cutting or selling it. We finished  the tour at the temple , ending our full day of tour.

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