Saturday, May 10, 2014

Discover awesome food & culture secrets in one of the world’s oldest Chinatowns - Binondo of Manila

Join the Lucky Chinatown Tour
and discover Chinese culture at the awesome food & culture secrets of Chinatown Manila 

The LUCKY CHINATOWN walk way where the Awesome Food and Culture: Secrets of Lucky Chinatown is held every Saturday. Most of the food stalls featured in the tour are not around on weekdays. Experience the First Awesome Food and Culture Tour: Secrets of Lucky Chinatown. It's one of a kind. The tour is a can’t miss experience and will run for 4 hours, from 11:00AM to 3:00PM on May 10, 24 and 31 and on June 7, 2014. Each batch is limited only to 30 persons. Hurry up, buy your ticket now. Guests can buy tickets at the Lucky Chinatown Concierge or the Eastwood Mall Concierge. For more info call the Lucky Chinatown Concierge at 576-8139 or visit
This time, Mercato Centrale set up a wonderful food and culture tour in Binondo, Manila. Ms. Tinay Magtira, the Communications Manager of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls wrote the following: 

One of the world’s oldest Chinatowns, Binondo lies at the heart of the Filipino Chinese experience and walking its streets is a great way to discover Chinese culture, from its deeply rooted religious practices to its delectable cuisine.

This May, Lucky Chinatown, a heritage project of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls in Binondo, will be the place to go to explore some of these fascinating traditions at the Awesome Food and Culture Secrets of Lucky Chinatown Tour.

Hosted by Our Awesome Planet’s Anton Diaz and Mercato Group’s RJ Ledesma, the food and culture tour costs only P888 and will run for 4 hours, from 11:00AM to 3:00PM on May 10, 24 and 31 and on June 7, 2014. Guests can buy tickets at the Lucky Chinatown Concierge or the Eastwood Mall Concierge.

At the intimate launch of the tour, guests were able to sample a variety of authentic Chinese dishes and learn more about Chinese traditions. The first stop was at the Botanical Herbal Hall at Lucky Chinatown Annex A, where Chinese tea was served.  Tea is well known for its medicinal benefits and is believed to have been enjoyed by the Chinese for more than 4,000 years. 

HONGKONG BOTANICAL HERBAL HEALTHY TEA are not the conventional tea we found in the Awesome Food and Culture tour in Lucky Chinatown. They are from brewed organic dried fruits and flowers. No preservative and no sugar added as they are naturally sweet and refreshing. Each flavor has distinct medicinal benefit to drinkers. You can have the the Plum tea, LO'5 Tea, the May Bloom Tea, or the Pear'c Tea (in that order from Left to Right)

Guests were able to taste different teas like the Lo’5 or Momordica Grosvenor Five Flowers Tea, with Oriental Wormwood, Chrysanthemum, Honeysuckle, Selfheal and Kapok, which can help reduce phlegm, the Snow Pear Chrysanthemum Tea, said to improve eyesight, Maybloom tea, which is good for lowering lipids and Plum Tea, which aids digestion.

Offering a prayer with incense in Miao De Amituofo Pureland
Teaching how to hold an incense and offer a prayer at the Miao De Amituofo Pureland
Some books and literary prints about Buddha are given away for free by the Miao De Amituofo Pureland to the participants of the Lucky Chinatown Awesome Food Culture tour

Their second stop was at the Miao De Temple, where they were able to light incense and learn more about the meaning of this age-old ritual. Next was a feast of delicious dishes at the Chinatown Walk – from Fu Dao Dumpling, Sate Seafood Noodles with Dumplings were served, while Cha Cha Food House dished up Wanton Noodles and Pumpkin Cake (said to be good for the skin), two dishes popular in the northern region of China. Other Fil-Chi favorites like Cua Pao, Maki Mi and fresh lumpia was also on the menu, courtesy of Mr. Fast Foo.

Reflexion Studio

At Reflexion’s Studio, guests were able to learn more about traditional Chinese wedding and engagement practices, for example, the tea ceremony and “teng hun” described as an act of wedding etiquette performed by the soon-to-be-wed couple before their wedding. Guests were also able to take home a commemorative photo of their tour group.

Phoenix Dragon - The Feng Shui Store
At Phoenix Dragon, guests were able to listen to a forecast on the Year of the Wood Horse from a renowned feng shui expert. 

Mr. RAINBOW SNOW explaining the concept of his many-flavored and colorful snow flakes delight.

Then they were able to try refreshing summer treats from Rainbow Snow, a dessert place inspired by the Taiwanese dessert culture located at the Food Junction at the 4th Floor of Lucky Chinatown. Rainbow Snow specializes in snow ice dessert, which is like a mix between ice cream and sorbet.

FISH SPA at the Wellness Sanctuary acupuncture and detox. The Dr. Fish Spa Therapy is lots of fun for those who are ticklish

A 15-minute EAR CHINESE ACUPUNCTURE is free for those who participated the Awesome Food and Culture: Secrets of Lucky Chinatown
TUI NA foot massage at the Wellness Sanctuary acupuncture and detox.
The Chinese also have a long and varied history of medicinal practices and at Lucky Chinatown’s Wellness Sanctuary, guests were able to choose between trying acupuncture, tui na or fish spa. Acupuncture is a system of healing that involves pricking of the skin or tissues with needles to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions that originated in China.

Wellness Sanctuary also offers Fish Spa Therapy services wherein tiny fish, called the Doctor Fish, clean off the dead skin in various parts of the customer’s body.

BIRTHDAY NOODLE is with very long noodles and thick soup with shrimps, coated quail egg, fish balls, and fish fillet, thinly sliced pork, and bokchoy leaves. Ideally served when wishing a long-life to the birthday celebrant. It is offered at the Tao Yuan Restaurant

The experience, both cleansing and relaxing, was followed by a sampling of another traditional Chinese food practice – the lavish lauriat. The word "lauriat" is actually derived from the Fookien dialect and means special occasion. A lauriat usually consists of at least 10 special dishes and dining lasts for hours.

Guests were able to try some of Tao Yuan’s best-sellers like their delicious Mango Lapu-Lapu, which is fried lapu-lapu with ripe mango and green mango sauce and their Hainan Chicken with Chicken Rice.

MANGO LAPU-LAPU is an original recipe created by Tao Yuan Restaurant. It is actually an upgraded variation of sweet-and-sour fish. The lapu-lapu (grouper) is deep fried similar to Tagalog "binukadkad"then laid flat on sweet-and-sour sauce made with a special Singaporean sauce with finely chopped red chilis, and the fried fish is topped with shredded ripe mango and garnished with sliced cucumber, tomatoes, onions, capsicum, and ginger

“Being a heritage project, Lucky Chinatown is committed to showcasing the best in Filipino-Chinese culture. So we are very excited to partner with food experts like Anton Diaz and RJ Ledesma to bring people the Awesome Food and Culture Secrets of Lucky Chinatown Tour this summer. It’s a great introduction to different aspects of Chinese culture and the variety of Chinese cuisine, all in one place,” said Kevin L. Tan, First Vice President and Commercial Division Head of Megaworld Corporation.
For recreation lovers and foodies, this tour is a can’t miss experience! For more information on Awesome Food and Culture Secrets of Lucky Chinatown, please call the Lucky Chinatown Concierge at 576-8139 or visit

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About Edgie Polistico

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Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary. A lexicographer since the age of 14.  Filipino Linguist. Blogger with 11 blog sites. Researcher of food culture, pop culture, places, structures, transportations, churches and whatever interest him about the Philippines. Visual artist. Photographer. Traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints. 

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