We were in the Binondo District where Manila's Chinatown, the oldest in the world, is situated. I had not been to Chinatown for quite a long time. The last time I had been there was when a grandchild of mine (I have "old" blood among our relatives.) was baptized at Binondo Church many, many years ago. But at the time, we went straight to a restaurant for the reception and I didn't get to walk around a bit. This time, I was able to go around and have a short walk. This short walk took us to a restaurant we passed by during our drive to take a look at the roads for a study we were doing.
We spotted Cafe Mezzanine just as we were driving along Ongpin Street and were trying to look for familiar establishments like the Eng Bee Tin shop famous for its hopia and other savory treats. It was not hard to miss and there was even a sign identifying it as a landmark and a place to go to for a good meal.
|Cafe Mezzanine is well known as the hangout of the famed volunteer firemen of Binondo's Filipino-Chinese community. Their donation of all revenue to a worthy cause adds to the charm of this restaurant.|
|Pork and shrimp siomai|
|Wanton noodles - was just right and we didn't feel dizzy after slurping the soup; an indication that it wasn't loaded with MSG|
|Beef steak - the beef was soft and easy to chew, and the sauce was enhanced with the onions on the cafe's take on the popular bistek|
|Xiao long bao - I haven't tasted this favourite dumpling since we were living in Singapore and had easy access to really good xiao long bao with Din Tai Fung restaurants all around the city state.|
|Poster showing some special dimsum available at the cafe|
We had very good meals at Cafe Mezzanine and would likely eat again there the next time we were in Binondo and Chinatown if it weren't for the many other places where you can eat good food in the area. Still, the cafe is a must for visitors especially those who are in Chinatown for the first time. I would strongly recommend also the walking tour of Chinatown, which I haven't tried but which the Clairvoyant has gone with our friends before.-