Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ang Tunay Beef House in Binondo

Part of my walking tour of Binondo is trying the old yet popular restaurants in the area. So when I felt like I could use some snack food later that Sunday morning, I went into a hunt for good old Binondo restaurants. I passed the Eng Bee Tim restaurant, but I’ve already tried dining on this fastfood-type Chinese restaurant. I saw some new and old-looking restaurants, but I avoided them after I saw their empty tables.

The old-looking restaurant I saw with many Chinese patrons at past 10:00 am is Ang Tunay Beef House along Gandara Street. Judging by the number of customers they have at this lean hour, they must be very good, so I entered the restaurant. On the right wall, I saw a framed old newspaper clipping of the restaurant’s review, which reinforced my big expectation from the restaurant.

The restaurant’s counter displays food similar to carinderia style, manned by a Chinese lady who could speak Filipino when radioing the food orders on their kitchen areas.

Their ala carte menu is displayed in tarpaulin material on top of the counter and on its sides. From a tarpaulin food display, I found out that the “puso” rice on the above photo is called ma or tau zhang. They also have eels and other semi-exotic Chinese dishes.

I was given a complimentary house tea in a thick generic glass. Some of the food orders come from this partially visible kitchen below.

However, my ordered food came from their kitchen at second floor, through a dumbwaiter on the photo below. Here’s one of the dining staff as he gets food from the light blue-colored cabinet, containing the dumbwaiter. A buzzer prompts them that food is now available for pick up from it.

I was surprised at the portion size of the piping hot lomi soup I ordered, which arrived after about 15 minutes. Despite its being a single or snack size, it could easily feed 2 people. It has plenty of ingredients, including small shrimps, squid, pork meat and liver, justifying its selling price of Php 130 per bowl. The bowl used has some old stains, while the underliner plate has one small chip, showing their old age. 

The lomi soup proved to be very good with just the right saltiness. Using the chinese spoon on the table, I felt no need to use the wrapped chopstick. After happily consuming the lomi, I finished the meal with a glass of black gulaman at Php 35 each. This morning snack is enough to make me skip lunch until 4:00 pm last Sunday. Next time, I will try their signature dish -- the beef kenchi soup.

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