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Dining | Estero Food Is Yummy

When I was still young (I'm still young right now), estero food was something so iffy in terms of sanitation.  Estero is a small creek of sorts and you know how waterways in Manila is.  So putting up a food court or stall along its waterway is not your ideal place for eating.  During my student days, this place was a bit rundown and you will have to think twice in eating here.

Fast forward 2 decades later and estero food is not what its used to be.  Now the place is well lit, some shops have upgraded with airconditioning but this still the charm of chinese cooking is prevalent.

Nowadays the estero food is located at one of the bridges along Ongpin Street.  There's no sign saying where it is but simply try to find some stairs leading down to a hall of tables and chairs.  Only then you will find it.  If you are simply walking along Ongpin and look for a big sign saying Estero Food, you are out of luck.

Everything is still fresh and you have to simply to choose among the stalls where you want to eat and simply sit down along its hallowed corridors.  A server will bring you menu and wait for your order.  Everything is cooked as per order so you know it will be served piping hot.

During our visit here, I had a hard time choosing which food I like so I asked our server for some suggestions.  The staff was very accommodating while I  rattle off some of my questions regarding food.  This isn't your usual fast food menu so I needed a little bit of help.

I settled on stir fried seafood and a cup of rice.  The server left and came back with my utensils and a glass of hot tea which was bottomless they say.  Oh I like tea, keep them coming.

Since its stir fried, cooking this meal was fast.  I barely finished off my first glass of tea when my order arrived.  Wow nice. It was night time in an unfamiliar area, I need to get back to my hotel fast.  And they are fast.

My stir fried seafood was piping hot when it arrived as expected and it was gooey as well.  Gooey in chinese food is good.  Its just the cornstarch that made it gooey and I like my chinese food with it. Serving size was huge as it covered 3/4 of my big plate.  It was as if it was prepared for two people already.  I had a little bit of problem finishing off my order.  

Flavour wise?  Super yummy is my verdict.  My stif fried seafood dish had lots of seafood items in it.  From what I can see, I had some clams, shrimps, scallops and squid in it.  I saw some octopus hanging from the kitchen, I don't know if they placed some here.  It also had some fresh vegetables in them and I like the inclusion of mushrooms (tengang daga)   Super yummy as all these flavours I can taste in my dish.

Price is just Php175ish and that's with rice already.  The hot jasmine tea was free already so having a flavourful dish, huge serving, fast service, I really can't complain.

Overall, eating in the estero offers a very much different kind of a dining experience.  Along a river that doesn't stink anymore (I was glad), an airy dining area complete with ceiling fans, wooden tables covered with laminates, utensils soaked in hot water (for sanitary purposes), with hot jasmine tea, its so ghetto, eating here is heaven if you ask me.

So whenever I'll be back in Binondo, for sure I will be back here for lunch or dinner.