Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Old World of Ma Mon Luk

Entering Ma Mon Luk takes you back to the old world. The place was dingy with no aircon, just big old ceiling fans, bowls and saucers in uhmm…less than perfect condition, marble tables that are chipped and not really that clean and attendants who hardly pay attention to you. I guess this is how things are in an old Chinese panciteria.

Even their pay phone is vintage.

But of course, Mamu and I are not her for the ambience and the service. We were there for Ma Mon Luk’s siopao and mami.

This is a first time of sorts for me, I don’t remember having a Ma Mon Luk experience, but according to Mamu she used to bring home their siopao as pasalubong for us.

After the waiter finally paid attention to us we both ordered the Original Mami and Jumbo Siopao. I looked around the place and found the tables full of customers, mostly families with bowls of mami and siopao.

While the siopao did not disappoint, although Mamu kept on saying “iba na, iba na” between bites. It was served hot, the bun was not super white but good nonetheless. I really like the meat filling, it was not fatty or saucy, you can actually taste the meat, bola-bola and salted eggs.

The mami isn’t really the best I’ve had. It was very simple, served in a very ordinary looking bowl, the broth was clear, the chicken white, the pork looked like pork and everything is topped with spring onions. I prefer my mami spicy with lots of fried garlic.

For a dish that has a lot of history to it, the mami is tasty but very simple. I guess this was how people enjoyed this dish when Ma Mon Luk was still peddling it around the streets of Manila.

We ordered two pieces of Jumbo Siopao for takeout. Lo and behold, when the siopao arrived it was in a brown supot, panciteria style, no clear tape, only the supot folded haphazardly to form some kind of handle. The kind of packaging that makes you want to say "Mga anak, may uwi akong siopao para sa inyo."

Definitely old world...

1 comment:

Rivka said...

Nothing like a huge Ma Mon Luk siopao to make the long trip to Quezon City worth the travel. I've actually met the son (or is it grandson?). Very down-to-earth and fascinating character.