Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Cafe Mezzanine at Manila's Chinatown

Manila's district of Binondo prides itself in being a popular foodie destination, more than Maginhawa St. of Quezon City and of late, Lilac St. of Marikina City. In fact, some groups have been organizing a food crawl or gastronomic tour of Binondo, visiting the more popular Chinese restaurants, many of them several decades-old and 
still drawing old and new customers. 
One of such establishments is Cafe Mezzanine, which is on Ongpin St., very near Binondo Church. This restaurant is on top of another by the name of Chuan Kee. I believe that the two have one and the same owners because they offer menu items that are essentially the same. Cafe Mezzanine, by the way, is also known as the "firemen's restaurant" around here because its earnings 
go to the volunteer firefighters and rescue personnel of Binondo. 
Anyway, I've eaten twice at Chuan Kee before but it was my first time at Cafe Mezzanine some months ago. I was with 
my mom and two balikbayan sisters. 
Here are what we ordered:

                                               Pork asado with egg

                                 Shredded pork with century egg congee
                                                    Hema canton
                                                     Special tofu
                                                                          Spring rolls
                            Iced mocha java; Jasmin tea; Calamansi juice

                                            Inside Cafe Mezzanine

 Seen on the stairway
                         Cafe Mezzanine on Ongpin St. in Binondo, Manila

Some would expect Chinese food to be a little salty but everything on our table was just rightly savory. And we experienced none of the so-called Chinese food syndrome, thankfully. We liked it all, some in a lesser degree, though. But for me, it was the Kiampong that was tops. I was amazed by it, as I never thought rice and peanuts would be a good mix. The flavors blended well with the mildly saccharine Pork asado with egg, which was my favorite of the entrees that we had. My drink, the Iced mocha java was way too sweet, but the Jasmine tea was perfect and gave a nice ending to our lunch. 
All in all, it was a satisfying meal. 
Would I recommend Cafe Mezzanine? Yes, this place is worth your while and hard-earned buck. The prices, you surely noticed, are very affordable! And just think of the volunteer firefighters you would be helping. 
Happy eating!

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