During my cousin’s 2nd-to-the-last-day-stay-in-Manila-before-heading-back-to-China-to-“fetch”-her-German-bf day, we met up after she got her driver’s license, both hungry so we decided to try out something new around the area.
For the last 25 years of living around Chinatown area, it was unfortunate of me to never have tried the food in Café Mezzanine. It’s found in the second floor along the corner of Ongpin and Yuchengco streets, right in front of Shopper’s Mart (you won’t miss it).
photo from: http://mayniladailyphoto.blogspot.com/2009/01/cafe-mezzanine.html (forgot to take a picture of the place and its ambiance)
This place is also known as the Volunteer Fireman’s Coffee Shop and its proceeds go to the volunteer firefighters association in Binondo. By the looks of it, you’ll definitely know that this place is dedicated to the firemen as fireman’s helmets, hose, and other firefighting gadgets were used as decorations around the area.
Also, as far as I know, and a few researches here and there, the place is also owned by the owner of Eng Bee Tin (very famous for their hopia and tikoy).
So on to our food choices… Just a few words of advice, make sure you go with someone because their servings are pretty big and filling.We thought the foods there were good for one serving, but it turns out that they were good for 2 to 3 people (yeah we forgot to ask).
My cousin was craving for Pansit Canton so we got that. Here’s a picture:
It’s not just the typical Pancit Canton that we see in other restaurants or how most households would cook them, this one came in with a hefty serving of noodles and toppings, very Chinese-style.
Next is Beef Maki Mi. It’s a noodle dish made from thickened beef or pork stock with either sliced beef, pork, or chicken (depending on your choice). You can order this without the noodles (beef maki), or with noodles (beef maki mi). Of course, being a noodle person, I must have it with noodles. Now I’m craving for a bowl.
Next were Fried Dumplings. Again, we thought it would be for just a few pieces, but when the order came in, we got quite a lot of dumplings in the table, not complaining.
If you’re in Binondo or Chinatown area, it is simply a must for you to try Kiampong. It’s a Filipino-Chinese version of fried rice with meat, mushrooms, seasoned well, and will not be complete without peanuts on top. It was definitely great with the dumplings!
Here’s another favorite… Ma Chang. Sticky rice with pork, chicken, and mushroom, usually covered in banana leaves. But this one was served without the leaves so it was easier for us to eat. Yum!
Verdict: We loved the ambiance and food, especially the Ma Chang. Despite that it’s one of my favorite foods, the one in Café Mezzanine was to die for. Although for smokers, this may not be a place to really stay and have chit-chat with friends because it’s an air conditioned place without a smoking area. But food wise, I’d definitely go back and order their other choices.
650 Ongpin Cor. Nueva Streets,