Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My plate runneth over -- a Pinoy "schnitzel" at Tasty Dumplings in Binondo

Have you tried schnitzel?  You can enjoy the best schnitzel in Austria where the dish originated from.
Or you can try  a Pinoy version.  My favourite local "schnitzel" is a low-cost yet high-taste option  but you'll have to travel all the way to Binondo to enjoy it.

 Norberto Ty Street flanks one side of San Lorenzo Ruiz Basilica, aka Binondo Church. 
There are small stores along the sidewalk -- I passed by a stationary store where I was briefly tempted to buy reams of bond paper,  sold at wholesale prices and a dry goods store with Hello Kitty items.
But my main target was the yellow and blue sign that read "Tasty Dumplings" where the dumplings are great but the Pork Chop is the main event.

Compared to the "senior citizens" of Binondo dining (Sincerity, Masuki, Sa Lido, etc) Tasty Dumplings can be considered precocious -- I don't think it's been around for more than 15 years.
I first noticed it when it was still located on the other side of the church,  beside La Resureccion,
the venerable tsokolate tablea  factory (which has since moved to another location too).  The menu has not changed a lot since the first time I ate there.

I have not been to the other branch of Tasty Dumplings but this one is a bit cramped.  It's long and narrow with tables on each side of the room.  It's not yet lunchtime but the place is full and we get the last table -- the one right beside the door.  We have to squeeze in towards the wall to avoid being constantly bumped by diners entering and leaving. 

An order of steamed dumplings costs P90 for 8 substantial pieces.  If you're eating light or watching your weight, this would be a good lunch option.  They also have fried dumplings which are more flavourful --  as anything deep fried is.

I also ordered their mushroom meatball soup.  The broth is clear, not too salty and the meatballs are quite heavy so this soup would be good for sharing.

The piece de resistance, the star of the show, the bestseller that regulars come to Tasty Dumplings 
for is the Pork Chop rice.  If I were the owner, I would change the name of the restaurant to 
"Tasty Pork Chop".
The price has since gone up to P125 (it used to be well below that a few years ago) but it is money well spent.  
The pork is rubbed with a blend of seasonings and spices (I am guessing there is some 5 spice 
powder there),  pounded very thin then dredged in a batter and fried to a crisp, honey golden brown.  
It's so big it actually runs over the side of the plate.  As a concession to nutrition and good health, a  spoonful of sautéed vegetables is included.  
Because the chop is boneless, you can eat every last bit.  Yes, even the strip of fat -- it's been smashed to oblivion so it just melts in a puddle of goodness in your mouth (and may I add, in your arteries). 
If one piece of fried pork is not enough for you or you're on the Atkins' Diet, you can order another chop without the rice for just P99.  Better have a beta blocker on hand! Or a defibrillator.  
Happy Porky Eating!

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