One of those places is New ToHo Food Center in Binondo, Manila.
|New ToHo Food Center|
Originally started by a group of 5 Chinese immigrants, New ToHo Food Center serves comfort Chinese food. If Susan Calo Medina of Travel Time is to believed, Jose Rizal even dined here while he was still studying in Intramuros.
Now handled by the children and grandchildren of one of the original 5 owners (the others have since returned to China, as I have been told), New ToHo Food Center has seen better days. Needless to say this place is not for the squirmish.
Cracked floor tiles, poor ventilation and dirty "comfort" rooms reminiscent of the days of a young Manilyn Reynes in her Shake, Rattle and Roll movies (I used to hate going to their restrooms alone. They were simply of no comfort at all, pun intended) are enough to make you do an about face.
|Worn out chairs and tables have definitely seen better days|
But the saving grace of this rundown establishment is the food. Forget the ambiance. The eats here take center stage.
Halo (Php120 for a small platter and Php360 for a larger one)
Halo is the Tagalog word for mix. As the name implies, this dish is a mixture of roasted pork asado, dila (ox tongue) and bituka (pork intestine) pieces. Technically considered as an appetizer; but we order this as one of the main dishes too.
Also comes with this sweet and tangy sauce. Yum!
ToHo Chicken (Php200 for half and Php400 for a whole bird)
The ToHo Chicken is one of their specialties. Fried chicken drenched in their special sauce topped with a generous helping of sauteed pechay and carrots.
No other sauce or condiment needed.
Pata Tim (Php540)
Ever wondered where my inkling for Pata Tim came from? Well, it all started with New ToHo's version.
Stewed pork knuckles in soy sauce and all those other good stuff. Unlike other versions I've tried, New ToHo's isn't all that sweet and is generously heaped with veggies.
Pancit Canton (Php110 for a small platter and Php300 for a larger size)
New ToHo is also the reason why I love a wet, sauce-filled Pancit Canton. Dry ones sometimes just doesn't do it for me.
The perfect cup of rice to accompany all these food. Drooling just thinking about it.
|Yang Chow fried rice|
New ToHo Food Cener: Great food minus the ambiance. Hehehe! J
New ToHo Food Center
422 T. Pinpin St.
T (+63 2) 242 0294