Ho Hop, Wo Hop or Po Palace

Binondo, the Oldest Chinatown in the World, may well be your only bet to eat New York Style Chinese Food. Not only in Metro Manila but anywhere in the Philippines.

The above Photo is a painting by Arko, depicting Binondo in Metro Manila.

In Bacolod, it is a mixed bag about Chinese Restaurants. They have Chinese Food and that is the only positive. None really light a fire with even a spark. None have that notch kicker to make me enjoy Chinese Food. I lived in China for 9 years, where I worked as an English Teacher. I enjoyed American-Chinese Food in America for 3 decades and I enjoyed Chinese Food in Binondo, when I lived in Manila two times.

There is one main Chinatown in NYC but there are actually 8 different Chinatown Neighborhoods in the Big Apple. The Chinese of NY have developed their own Style of Chinese Food, known as NY Style. The owner of Joy Young Chinese Restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama sent his Grandson Chef to NYC to actually study NY Style Chinese Food at Pearl Palace Academy.

Opened in 1919, Joy Young was the First and the Oldest Chinese Restaurant in the entire State of Alabama. Joy Young Property was reportedly sold to Developers in the 1980s and no more Joy Young! However, a Descendant of Joe Young, owner of Joy Young, had their famous recipes. He opened the Chop Suey Inn on Green Springs Hwy in Birmingham.

The Po Palace, with the appropriate name, in Alachua, Florida offers NY Style Chinese Food on a Budget. If you have $4 or $5, you are eating a good NY Style Chinese Lunch! Gainesville, near Alachua, has a a NY Style Chinese Restaurant near the University of Florida Campus. Many meals are served in the Iconic cardboard Chinese Takeout Box with Wire Handle, for authenticity.

Did you know that those cardboard Chinese Takeout Boxes can be folded out to make a plate?

Wo Hop is a famous Chinese Restaurant in NYC Chinatown. They keep alive NY Style Chinese Food and they are open 24/7.

Ho Hop is a NY Style Chinese Restaurant in Green Cove Springs, Florida. The Politically Correct Squad has not zeroed in on Ho Hop about their name. I doubt a Judge in Florida would make the owner change it, anyway.

American-Chinese Chefs not only created a New Style of Chinese Food, they also created New Names for Chinese Dishes. In China, you will never see or hear…Moo Goo Gai Pan, Egg Foo Young, Crab Rangoon, Chow Mein, Chop Suey, Won Tons, Egg Rolls, Egg Drop Soup, Pineapple Chicken, Fortune Cookies, Chinese Mustard or other American-Chinese specifics.

Cold Sesame Noodles, Chicken Almond Ding, Shrimp Chow Mein, Pineapple Chicken, Chow Mai Fon, Goon Bo Gai and Walnut Shrimp are a few examples of Original NY Style Chinese Food.

You gotta love NY Style Chinese Food. It is an American Icon. originated by Chinese-Americans. American Chinese Food will blow your socks off! It Rocks and will never die.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

Vaya Con Dios!

A Taste of Canton in Bacolod

Mai Pao
We recently had a family lunch at Mai Pao Tea House, located on 6th Street in Bacolod. Their specialty is dim sum and other Cantonese Chinese dishes. After living 9 years in Hong Kong and mainland China, I am a pretty fair judge of Chinese food! We all enjoyed the food we ordered very much.

Mai Pao
For starters, we had chicken feet dim sum with salted black beans. I have been known to be a Soldier of Fortune of sorts for the past 14 years in Asia and while I still enjoy good ole southern style home cooking, I also greatly enjoy many Asian dishes. Chicken feet is one of them. I also enjoy chicken feet adobo, Bacolod style!

Mai Pao
My order has arrived! Sweet & Sour Pork Bowl. Served with spring rolls and prawn crackers. It was great!

Mai Pao
Beef Brisket Bowl. Looks delicious, doesn’t it?

Mai Pao
Beef & Mushroom Bowl. My wife ordered this one and she really enjoyed it.

Other than the chicken feet, our other orders were from the Big Bowl Value Meals. Only P120 lang! There are 7 different choices for you to enjoy.

Mai Pao
You will find a very nice atmosphere at Mai Pao Tea House. If you enjoy Cantonese food, I think you will enjoy your meal at Mai Pao.

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I hope to see you one day, somewhere..all around Bacolod!

Year of the Horse: Golden Fortune

Chinese New Year
It’s Deja vu all over again! After spending 9 years in China teaching English, The Chinese New Year celebration is also celebrated in the Philippines. In fact, it was a national holiday! Bacolod City also has the 3-4 day Bacoladiat Festival, which is the Chinese New Year celebration in the city. This is Year of the Horse and I was born in the Year of the Horse. This is my lucky year! Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Chinese New Year
On Chinese New Year Day, my family and I, together with a family friend, went to Golden Fortune Chinese Seafood Restaurant. Golden Fortune is our favorite Chinese Restaurant in Bacolod and we have dined there many times since 2009. It is located on the side of Luxur Place Hotel, on the corner of Magsaysay and Lacson Extension.

Char Siu Pork
Char Siu Pork! This is one of my favorite Chinese dishes, which is Chinese roasted pork. I always order extra to take home, as this pork also makes fabulous BBQ pork sandwiches. I sometimes add a little Hunt’s Hickory BBQ sauce to kick it up a notch on a sandwich.

Hong Kong Noodles
This is a fabulous dish, Hong Kong fried noodles! The Hong Kong fried noodles are authentic, with crispy fried noodles, shrimp, mushrooms, carrots and cabbage. I spent many years in and out of Hong Kong and living in mainland China, while I was teaching English. My three months vacation each year was spent in the Philippines, where many local dishes are Chinese influenced.

Hong Kong Noodles
Plated Hong Kong fried noodles. I like adding table soy sauce to my noodle dishes and I did!

Yang Chow Fried Rice
Yang Chow Fried Rice! I am not a big fan of plain white rice but I enjoy fried rice. Shrimp fried rice, pork fried rice, chicken fried rice and beef fried rice rock the house. Bring it on!

Golden Fortune has a large selection of seafood but we often eat seafood at home, so we wanted to stick to the actual Chinese dishes. Duck, roasted chicken, pigeon and suckling pig are also on the menu, together with many other Chinese dishes. Check out Golden Fortune when you want to experience the taste of China in Bacolod City.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere all around Bacolod. Kung Hei Fat Choy!

~ Gary ~