Just outside the city of Bacolod, in the Negros Occidental providence, at the Silay International aiport is a quick 50 minute flight that lands us in the Aquino International Airport in Manila. Before there was the pandemic there was six daily flights to Manila out of Bacolod City airport, now with Covid-19 everything has been put on pause. Hopefully if you are reading this article now, things have returned back to normal. Most people living in the providence get excited when talking of taking a trip to Manila because of the huge variety of goods and restaurants that are available there that you can’t get in your home town. So when one of my family members mentioned the need to go to Manila for personal business, I jumped at the chance to tag along.

The selling point for me was the chance to check out Manila’s Chinatown and the great Chinese restaurants they have. Being located away in the providence there are very few Chinese restaurants and even fewer one that serve good Chinese food.

Manila is a very big and crowded city so getting around a big city such as Manila can really be overwhelming especially for foreigners like me. Lots of traffic, traffic jams, side streets to get lost on , crowds of people and of course those certain people looking to take advantage of tourist & newbies like myself.

Manila Chinatown

I was blessed to have my wife, who has lived in Manila as my tour guide.  Heading into Chinatown or as it also known as Binondo is a great experience, its almost like entering into another country.  My wife wanted to try one of the more famous and well-respected Chinese restaurants in Binondo, Mei Sum Tea House.

Best and oldest Chinese restaurant in Manila’s Chinatown

Food Costs  

But really, the big question for anybody thinking about checking this establishment out, is just how much is it going to cost me?  A quick peek at the menus and a couple can have a dinner for two in the 700 pesos range which is about fifteen dollars USD with of course plenty of leftovers for takeout. 

Mei Sum Teahouse menu
Mei Sum Teahouse menu
Mei Sum Teahouse menu
Mei Sum Teahouse menu
Mei Sum Teahouse Menu

I have confess that I am a sweet and sour pork fanatic. In fact, I fancy myself as some sort of sweet and sour pork expert having sampled that dish in several different countries. But I can tell you their sweet and sour pork was some of the best I have ever eaten. Yeah, I know what you are thinking, Tourist Bill you can get that dish just about anywhere, why not try some of the more exotic items on the menu, say chicken feet?  For your information I have tried chicken feet, but it really didn’t do much for me, too much bone and too little meat but theirs looked good, maybe next time.

Sweet & Sour Pork
Sweet and Sour Pork at the Mei Sum Teahouse, Manila Chinatown

Upon entering the restaurant, the place gives off an older and dated look but inside lies some of the best Chinese food I have eaten since being in the Philippines.

interior of mei sum teahouse
The inside decor is nothing to rave about but the food is.

House Specialty

Where Mei Sum Teahouse really shines is their homemade dim sum and siopao. They even have a little stand setup outside the restaurant with hot, steaming dim sum in bamboo steamers so people walking by can grab a quick bite to eat on the run. I think I counted over 27 different types of dim sum to choose from you could have a different dish each day of the month.

dim sum for sale in front of mei sum teahouse
siopao from mei sum teahouse,manila philippines

Here is some basic information about Mei Sum Teahouse .

 Hours: 7am till Midnight ( yes they do serve a breakfast)

Address: 965-967 Ongpin Street, Santa Cruz, Manila

Phone:+63 2 733 6495

Feel free to check out my other trips here.