More Quiapo Fun: Wellmanson’s, Ma Mon Luk, Dibidi!

During our last trip to Quiapo, I ran out of money because I bought Shin-Chan2. I told myself I’d bring more money on our next planned trip. My sister Alex, having resigned from her job as well, had enough free time to look for new accessories so off we went. She led me to Wellmanson’s.

One word: WOW.

I wanted to ask a saleslady to pose for me, with the nice shelves of shiny accessories as her backdrop, but I was feeling too shy about taking photos (I didn’t know if it were allowed). Alex took shots with her Palm Pilot — albeit the photos weren’t too clear — so I suppose our Wellmanson’s trip will appear  on her website later. Here’s my loot, for a mere P480:

There are about four more accessories that aren’t in that pic. Notice that most of them are hair clips. I’m really concerned about how thick my hair is and how it’s always in my face (so annoying!), which is why I always pull it back with shiny clips.

After blowing our budgets by about P200 each, we went looking for Ma Mon Luk, that famous siopao and mami place that originated from Binondo. We didn’t want to ask for directions because the first person that Alex asked sort of bit her head off (“Kita mo may ginagawa ako, sa iba ka magtanong”). My sister had to keep herself from retorting, “Teh, you need to buy those medicines that will induce your menstrual period.”

Anyhoo, we found Ma Mon Luk after much circling around corners. I honestly didn’t know what to expect but the moment we entered the restaurant, I was reminded of old Chinese period movies. Ones that Jackie Chan used to star in, where he’d say, “Hey, you killed my (*points to nose*) master! You must pay!”

I was surprised that Shin-Chan2 seems to make the place…cleaner. Believe me, this is a romanticized picture. You should see what it’s like in real life. There was even a moment when Alex whispered, “Don’t move.” And then she used a table napkin to wipe off a cockroach leg that was right beside my elbow. EWWWWWW!

She grinned and said, “Part of the authentic, old Chinese movie experience.” My sister isn’t exactly Ms. Iron Stomach so it’s only a matter of time before I’d know if I’m totally safe. My tummy can handle much more than she can.

We both ordered the Special Mami (P95) and a Sprite (P25). The Sprite tasted like Old Manila. I can’t explain what that’s like but that’s the only description I can go with. I initially thought the dishes on the menu seemed too expensive for a Quiapo eatery. I was to find out later why.  First, the mami:

Um. It was good for two people. Alex wasn’t able to finish hers but I gobbled up mine, even finished off the soup.

See how big those bowls are? BIIIG. While eating, we noticed that there were lots of framed newspaper clippings on the wall. I enjoyed reading the clippings; they showed a lot of Ma Mon Luk’s history. At this point, we waited for Lei and Belle to arrive, but since they took so long, I decided to order the Special Siopao. Alex warned me that it’s P55 for a reason. No normal siopao would cost that much.

She was right. No normal person can finish this off single-handedly, especially not one who has eaten a huge bowlful of noodles.

But gawd, was it gooooooood! It had salted egg in the middle and we were supposed to share it — I halved it — but I ended up wolfing it down. When I was picking up the second half, the remaining salted egg fell off. I couldn’t get over the loss.

Later, I asked Alex if there might be a possibility that it had cat meat in it (this should bother me because we’re both cat lovers). She replied with, “Nah, I don’t think so. Maybe dead noodlemen?” It appears to have some special ingredient that we just couldn’t put our finger on. It doesn’t even need sauces, like most siopao do!

Crazy as this may sound — having encountered a roach leg and all — I want to go back. Seriously. It really was an experience, I tell ya!

As for the dibidi…we went back to the “Kingdom of Rare Movies” and got myself some classics. Can’t really talk much about it since I don’t have pictures. I really need to get myself a Samsung or Sony Ericsson phone (so I can take good photos without being noticed, hehe).

This trip happened this morning. In the afternoon, we went to Cubao X. I’ll post about that tomorrow.


  1. JennyO

    July 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Sama ako next time… 🙂

  2. Keane

    July 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    That's a huge siopao! Perhaps they have monster siomai too?

  3. skysenshi

    July 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    yep! sama ka next time!

    i think the menu is just full of mami and siopao. may regular and special for each. LOL.

  4. bleubug

    July 8, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Gosh, you had a comment in there that brought me back in time. When in LA a few years ago I was in Chinatown and ate at a restaurant that was used as a location in a Jackie Chan movie. The place was a bit tacky but the food was good. You never, ever would forget Mr. Chan was there since they plastered that fact everywhere. Really they should have renamed the place “Chan's Brief Presence Cafe”.

    I'd kill for a big siopao like that. I think I'll make one. 😀

    Thanks for taking us along.

  5. papavik

    July 8, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    “Nah, I don't think so. Maybe dead noodlemen?”

    LOL! yes, their meat is mighty tasty, hahahaha!

    I would love to go there too, especially since my parents had lots of “going on a date in ma mon luk” stories…but alas, my tummy is not made of steel. i can handle isaw and fishball from UP, but i don't know if i can survive the authentic old chinese movie experience.

    but that siopao…wow! that picture you took made the siopao look like IT could eat me for a change! 😛

  6. skysenshi

    July 8, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    My sister said that the Chinese don't clean up because the luck is there. So a lot of Chinese shops have dusty surfaces. Hence, the tackiness. But you're right! The food is gooooood!

    Lookit the photo, the siopao is gobbling up my sistah. Hahahahahaha!

  7. skysenshi

    July 8, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Hm. My stomach is intact. That means I can go back for mooooooore!

  8. DJ (Dong Jong)

    July 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I wanna try the Siopao! I'm hungry tuloy! Sana you tried mag pahula sa Quiapo I tried that before OMG they're really good, umm their price varies at 100 ordinary tarot cards and 200 special tarot cards, I tried special then she knew a lot even that somebody was stalking me and also that I have a secret enemy OMG talaga, even if you don't believe it's one of those must try things, I mean I don't believe on superstitious stuff but then again sometimes it's just a mystery.

  9. skysenshi

    July 9, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Babalik pa naman ako, with my COMM322 class next time kasi part siya ng field trip namin. Sige, tanong ko kung puwede kami magpahula.

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