Food discoveries in the Banawe area, Quezon City's Chinatown

They have a wide range of skewered street food, but customers come back for their breaded scallops and bacon stuffed with crabstick, asparagus, and mushroom, which are best drizzled with their tangy and sweet special sauce.

HK Eat Fresh's best seller, asparagus, mushroom, and crabstick wrapped in bacon, sells for P120 for two skewers.

HK Eat Fresh's best seller, asparagus, mushroom, and crabstick wrapped in bacon, sells for P120 for two skewers.

Customers of HK Eat Fresh can choose from a variety of street food which is fried to order.

Customers of HK Eat Fresh can choose from a variety of street food which is fried to order.

If you’re not up for street food, they also serve traditional Chinese dishes like sweet and sour pork, special soup with abalone and mushroom, and rice toppings in clay pots, which are their best-sellers. 

Oedo

Oedo offers al fresco dining which is reminiscent of a more upscale Little Tokyo.

Oedo offers al fresco dining which is reminiscent of a more upscale Little Tokyo.

Price range: P90-P2500

Address: 105 Santo Domingo Corner Sgt. Alcaraz Avenue, Santo Domingo, Banawe, Quezon City

Banawe and its surrounding streets are filled not only with Chinese restaurants, but also with establishments serving other popular cuisines.

If you’re ever been to Little Tokyo in Makati, you’ll notice that Oedo has a similar vibe on the outside. The interior, however, is more upscale and homey. During lunch time, the place is more laid-back but once the sun sets and the Japanese lanterns are lit, the place comes alive. 

Oedo seems to have everything on the spectrum of Japanese food, from chirashi, onigiri, and makis to ramen and hot pots, udon and soba, curry rice, donburi, and omu rice, and a variety of both fried and grilled food. 

Bugis 

Families and groups of friends usually eat in Bugis. Bugis recently relocated to a space that is thrice as big as the original restaurant because of its increase in customers.

Families and groups of friends usually eat in Bugis. Bugis recently relocated to a space that is thrice as big as the original restaurant because of its increase in customers.

Price range: P35-P230

Address: 78 Nicanor Roxas, Quezon City, Metro Manila

Bugis, named after the street in Singapore that sells cheap hawker food, lives up to its namesake not only because of its affordable dishes but also because of its authentic Singaporean cuisine.

Their most popular dishes are the Hainanese chicken rice and the laksa, a slightly spicy noodle soup made of coconut milk, egg, shrimp, fishballs, and bean sprouts. 

Bugis' Laksa costs P230 and is good for 2-3 people.

Bugis' Laksa costs P230 and is good for 2-3 people.

Bugis' Laksa costs P230 and is good for 2-3 people.

Bugis' Laksa costs P230 and is good for 2-3 people.

Their meals are made from fresh and healthy ingredients, some of which are imported from Singapore. 

“Our tagline is ‘freshly made’,” said their manager Anna Tan. MSG is substituted with all-natural spices to make even cheat days healthy. 

Kangsheng Trading 

Kangsheng trading sells various goods from China, Thailand, and the US.

Kangsheng trading sells various goods from China, Thailand, and the US.

Address: 440 NS. Amoranto Sr, St Peter, Quezon City, 1114 Metro Manila

Remember the red, circular, haw flakes you used to eat as a child? Kangsheng Trading sells boxes of it along with other Chinese products like dried plums, Ginseng coffee, grass jelly drinks, noodles, Chinese condiments, dried shiitake mushrooms, and chill bean paste. If you’d rather cook Chinese food at home than eat out, this is where you can buy your ingredients.

Kangsheng trading sells various condiments which are imported from China and other Asian countries.

Kangsheng trading sells various condiments which are imported from China and other Asian countries.

Kangsheng Trading is a Chinese convenience store that sells imported snacks and cooking ingredients.

Kangsheng Trading is a Chinese convenience store that sells imported snacks and cooking ingredients.

The small family-owned grocery that has been operating for more than 10 years is inconspicuously tucked behind an old tree. It is reminiscent of dilapidated shops in Hong Kong’s many alleys. 

The restaurants are only half of what makes Banawe Quezon City’s Chinatown. The other half is hidden behind red gates. 

If you find yourself full after a food trip, why not explore temples in the area? 

Temple Run

The Thousand Buddha Temple offers a peek into Buddhism and Chinese culture. During Chinese New Year's Eve, many people gather in prayer at the different temples.

The Thousand Buddha Temple offers a peek into Buddhism and Chinese culture. During Chinese New Year's Eve, many people gather in prayer at the different temples.

Thousand Buddha Temple, located at 15 Don Pepe Street corner Maria Clara Street, Barangay Santo Domingo, Santa Mesa Heights is one of the biggest and most popular. Many statues of Buddha are displayed on the interiors of its walls. 

Tai Shong Temple along Linaw Street is its contrast, a small prayer area which was built inside a house’s garage. 

Other temples include Kong Tiak Temple in 27 Macopa Corner Banawe, Sto Domingo, and Guatama Temple located along Ubay Street, which is adjacent to Banawe Ave. 

Most of them welcome non-practicing visitors and would even be happy to answer questions about their religion and culture. Light an incense stick, say a prayer, or just soak in the quiet atmosphere. 

With its restaurants that serve a myriad of cuisines and several Buddhist temples hidden behind red gates, Quezon City’s Chinatown offers a taste of different cultures which are worth exploring – either through the temples or through one’s tastebuds. – Rappler.com

Planning to head out to Banawe for dinner? Book an Uber!