Monday, November 29, 2010

The Less Traditional Side of Chinatown - Mr. Ube Rice and Noodle House

(First of all, I apologize for the super late post!)

As someone who grew up eating at every Chinese restaurant in Ongpin, I have to say I'm sort of tired of the usual fare. You know what I mean: siomai, siopao, pork asado, and so on and so forth. Although I still love a nice hot bowl of noodles, it's not easy to find something unique from all of the restaurants offering the same menu.

And then comes Mr. Ube Rice and Noodle House, a relatively new competitor branching out from the famous Eng Bee Tin Hopia franchise. In fact, the store is named "Mr. Ube" after Mr. Gerry Chua, the owner of Eng Bee Tin who found success in his world-famous ube (purple yam) hopia that's being copied across the country.

Inside Mr. Ube Rice and Noodle House

So let's talk food. We first had some of their pork asado (or char siu) noodles. What, you ask, that's totally generic. Let me tell you, it's not. Their pork asado is different from the red-tinted asado you find at every other Chinese restaurant. While Mr. Ube's pork asado is slightly tough, it's very flavorful with a nice smoky aroma, and you can taste the herbs and spices that go into its marinade. This makes the soup slightly sweet and wonderfully tasty.

Their noodles is also different from those of other Chinese restaurants, being slightly chewy but still soft. Almost all noodles in Chinatown are different, and it depends on your own personal taste on which you prefer.

Pork asado noodles
The next item on my list is Singaporean Laksa, a unique blend of seafood, spicy curry, and coconut milk, making these noodles one of my favorites (out of all the noodles in Chinatown, yes!). Spicy, salty, and slightly sweet, the soup makes the entire visit worthwhile. I've never had real laksa from Singapore, but this one is good enough to satisfy me for now.

Singapore Laksa

Have I mentioned that their servings are huge? One bowl of noodles, costing around 100 pesos, would be enough for two people or maybe one very hungry person.

The next dish is this stir-fried sate beef noodles. The noodles are the same as the ones used in the previous dishes but they're a bit more firm in this soupless version. The beef is tender, the sate sauce mildly spicy, and the entire dish very savory. It's not too rich because of the spring onions, but I can't help wanting some cilantro to go with it. But then again, that's just me. ;)

Stir-fried sate beef noodles

This last dish is called Herb Chicken and comes with unlimited rice (which I can't help thinking is their answer to the nearby Mang Inasal). It's chicken cooked similar to asado (not Mr. Ube-style asado but the typical Cantonese style), with a nice sticky sweet sauce to go with the soft fluffy rice. It's good and flavorful but nothing really special.

Herb chicken
Mr. Ube also serves a lot of unique twists to traditional Chinese food like their ube-pao (steamed pork bun), which is slightly purple in color and apparently contains ube in the dough. It tastes like regular siopao, so I don't know what's different about it. At least it's relevant to the store name, I guess.

Another unique side of Mr. Ube Rice and Noodle House as well as its other sister stores, Chuan Kee and Cafe Mezzanine is that part of their proceeds goes to supporting the local Filipino-Chinese Volunteer Firefighters. Considering that their prices are already very cheap, this is just more incentive to go eat at Mr. Ube Rice and Noodle House.

A sticker on their tables
All in all, another great experience at Mr. Ube Rice and Noodle House. I've been there several times before, and once again, I am very satisfied by their great food and service.

Mr. Ube Rice and Noodle House
707 Imperial Sky Garden, Ongpin St., Binondo
Manila, Metro Manila
(02) 241-9999
Branches: E. Rodriguez Ave.


  1. Ano ba yan Charmie?! Ikaw ba kumain nyan lahat?! Hahaha!

  2. of course NOT!!! kasama ko buong pamilya ko!! :))