A few days before the Chinese New Year, I got to romp thru Chinatown with the All New Ford Focus. Our journey began at the BGC showroom of Ford. I was assigned to drive the black 2.0L Titanium 6PS model, the top of the line sedan model.
Luckily the traffic situation was light that afternoon. Roominess was just right for me since we drive compact cars but taller people might find the interiors a bit cramped.
Starting is very easy, no need for the key, just press a button and the engine starts. The steering wheel also has additional buttons on the side to make controlling everything in the car as safe as possible.
You can change the stations on the radio as well as read text messages on the screen once you’ve locked your phone in with the SYNC program of the Ford Focus.
Once we reached Binondo, we were met by our esteemed guide, Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks. He showed us an old map of Manila showing the creation of a Chinatown, making ours the oldest in the world.
First stop was Cafe Mezzanine, a place I’ve actually never been to. It’s located on the 2nd floor of Chuan Kee, which I’ve visited many a times. We had the Kiampong partnered with Fish ball soup and some Lo Tofu (braised tofu). I was srurprised to find out the the cafe has a fireman’s theme with hats of different nationality’s fire service and even hoses hanging on the wall. The owner is very active in the volunteer fire brigade, you won’t be able to miss the ube (purple) colored fire trucks.
A short walk later and we were at the doors of Dong Bei Dumplings, a place that is famous for serving Northern style food. What’s different about Northern style dumplings is that they are boiled instead of steamed or pan fried hence the paler color. The boiled dumplings were a little lacking in flavor for me, I much preferred the fried pancakes, stuffed with different meats and vegetables. All of the dumplings are made right on the premises under the eyes of the owners. An unusual dish we tried was the Chicken Sin Jiang, a stir fried chicken and vegetable dish flavored with cumin, reflecting a Muslim influence in some parts of China. I really enjoyed that one also.
Next stop was Awi’s Cafe & Restaurant, which serves comfort Chinese food, ET Yuchenco (for. Nueva), also where Sincerity is located. I can’t believe I’ve never been to all 3 of our resto stops. We had Lo-Bihon (P130, left) a soupy vermicelli soup. I’d rather have this the dry version where leftovers are used as filling for white bread. Next we had a plate of Gabi Cake (P180, right), something I’ve never had in long time. Think tikoy but made with taro, for a sticky and savory experience. The last thing we tried was the Coffee Spare ribs (P230). I’ve had coffee spare ribs in Boon Tong Kee in Singapore before and adored that dish. Awi’s is a bit different, batter coated spareribs are tossed in a coffee caramel sauce.
Leaving Awi’s we stopped over for some sundries and preserved fruit before ending at Polland Hopia for you guessed it, hopia. I was filled to the brim by that point so I passed. It was a short but wonderful food filled Binondo tour, we then proceeded to our rides parked in front of the Binondo church.
Here’s a nice little tip c/o Ford, who really put value into safety. Our vehicle also has some very nice features like the Active Park Assist and Active City Stop. With a touch of a button, the car can park itself totally hands free and it can even stop the car for you if the car in front has stopped suddenly.
I found the All new Ford Focus a charm to drive, it’s quiet, powerful and nimble. So head on over to your nearest Ford dealer to test drive the All new Ford Focus.