Thursday, August 25, 2005


839-843 Ongpin Street, Binondo, Manila. Tel. No.: 733-3130
There are perhaps many other better Chinese restaurants on Ongpin street, but I wouldn't know because I only keep returning to Lai-Lai Palace. It's name, which the owner, Mr. Tan said means "welcome welcome" feels as authentic as a Chinese restaurant can get for Binondo. It's funky carved columns and sepia photo collection of pre-Communist mainland are a wonderful contrast to the typical minimalist - post - modern - new - shanghai inspired decor and exposed flourescent lights of other establishments lining the street. On some afternoons, local matrons even perform Chinese karaoke on Lai lai's second floor to complete the ambience. But whatever the case may be, I only go because their food tastes authentic too (their salted fish fried rice and butter chicken are fabulous) and that's the only thing that really keeps me coming back for more;.
Prices are midrange. Parking available in a secured lot next to Salazar Bakery at the corner of S.Padilla (formerly Gandara).