As engrossing as the stories are in Chinese dramas, the mouthwatering food featured in these shows always steals the scene. Every scene around the fictional dinner table leaves us seriously craving Chinese food—whether it’s noodles, dumplings, or one of the more exotic fare.
As the world’s oldest Chinatown, Binondo is the ideal place to start hunting down these dishes. There’s nothing quite like a yummy food trip after spending a few days binge-watching your favorite C-dramas on Viu! Pay homage to your favorite shows by feasting on these tasty eats from Chinese shows that you can find in Binondo.
As seen in: Go Ahead (Watch here)
A Binondo alternative: Beef Lamien at Lan Zhou La Mien
Heartwarming and funny, Go Ahead chronicles the lives of an unconventional family consisting of three young friends-turned-siblings and two fathers—one of whom is a noodle chef who likes whipping up mouthwatering dishes in the kitchen. Every episode has multiple scenes of the characters enjoying a hearty meal together!
There are all kinds of food featured in Go Ahead, but a dish always front and center is a delicious serving of beef noodles—the characters eat it so much that it’s practically a character in itself! For some of the best noodles in Metro Manila, visit Lan Zhou La Mien. The restaurant specializes in pulled noodles known as lamien, and their hearty bowl of Beef Lamien is a must-try.
As seen in: Go Ahead
A Binondo alternative: Golden Fortune Special Combination Hot Pot at Golden Fortune Restaurant
The family that eats together stays together, amirite? And sharing a hot pot is a great way to bond with loved ones over a meal—exactly how they do in Go Ahead!
If you’re in the mood for a feast, the Shabu Shabu at the famous Golden Fortune Restaurant is among the best in Manila, an appetizing hodge-podge of fresh seafood, high-quality meats, and tasty broth. Alone? The restaurant also serves a mini hot pot alternative for diners who are visiting on their own.
Doufunao (Tofu Pudding)
As seen in: Go Ahead
A Binondo alternative: Indonesian Tauhu in Quik Snack
Trust us, you’ve never had taho like this before! China’s sweet version of a tofu pudding may look familiar to us Filipinos, but the more savory version is a whole new experience. Known as dou fu nao, this aromatic dish makes use of soy sauce, meats, peanuts, and even mushrooms. As Li Hai Chao’s family showed in Go Ahead, it’s usually eaten as breakfast or a snack.
It’s not quite dou fu nao, but a savory tofu dish that you can enjoy in Binondo is the Indonesian tauhu in Quik Snack. While it uses whole fried tofu instead of pudding-like silken tofu, ingredients like soy sauce, peanuts, and chili mean that it features similar flavors with the Chinese breakfast staple.
As seen in: Happy Noodle (Watch here)
A Binondo alternative: Gochujang Jjigae at Romantic Baboy
Happy Noodle may be several years old but the food-centric romantic comedy is still a great binge. The show follows an aspiring Korean noodle chef and a Chinese fencer as they fall in love and pursue their dreams in and out of the kitchen. This is a fun, heartwarming, and mouthwatering journey that shows off the art of noodle-making.
In the first two episodes of Happy Noodle, protagonist Jiang Xiu Can catches the judges’ attention in a rookie noodle competition by making a Chinese-style version of a Korean stew Jjigae. Enjoy a taste of Korea in the heart of Manila with a meal at Romantic Baboy Masangkay in Binondo’s neighboring district, Tondo. Every order of the unlimited pork and beef comes with a serving of Gochujang Jjigae (spicy stew).
As seen in: The Brightest Star in the Sky (Watch here)
A Binondo alternative: Sincerity Fried Chicken at Sincerity Café & Restaurant
A fan-favorite romance on Viu, The Brightest Star in the Sky is the story of an assistant-turned-manager in the music industry, Yang Zhen Zhen, who is appointed to a popular but arrogant idol, Zheng Bo Xu, the latter played by ex-EXO member Huang Zi Tao. It’s a charming show following young stars living the ups and downs of chasing their dream in the music industry.
This may not be a food-heavy show, but there’s one yummy scene of Zhen Zhen indulging on drumsticks after a particularly tough day at work—relatable, right? Sincerity Café & Restaurant serves some of the best fried chicken around, so if you need a plateful of extra-crispy chicken with ultra-tender meat, this is the place to go.