My fascination for finding new mami-siopao combinations has never ceased. For that, blame my ultimate in comfort food, Ma Mon Luk or Masuki Mami and siopao combination.
I remember when I was a kid in bermuda shorts, how chef Rox and I would take the jeep from the UP campus to Cubao just to satisfy this weekly craving. As soon as you walked into Ma Mon Luk, there was that familiar aroma that many Ma Mon Luk or Masuki habitués longed for.
That craving is with me to this day.
For me, no one has surpassed their siopao so far, although I have found a few worth sharing. There is a chasm between the new and older generations when it comes to preferences for this kind of food. The new generation likes places like Ling Nam, while we like the other two.
A new player has just come onto the scene.
My partner Ding and I like to explore new dining places. It doesn’t have to be an expensive place—I myself prefer a hole-in -the-wall type. It is places like these that I consider a real discovery.
In one of our drives along Timog Avenue in Quezon City, we stumbled across a very attractive sign—MA Chicken Noodle House. (From Edsa, take Timog, as soon as you see the Petron station a few meters ahead, turn right. It will be to your left.)
It was a rainy afternoon when we stopped by. I had been to one of its branches but that trip didn’t really result in a craving.
My experience, this time, however, was different.
I decided on a safe choice and asked for the most popular mami dish. A few minutes later, Binondo Mami was served before me.
It had slices of tender delicious and fatty pork, very flavorful wanton, nicely al dente and tasty noodles, but the one that brought all this in harmony was the broth. It was very tasty and rich. You could tell it took hours to simmer this to its richness.
With a little chili oil added to it, it was nice to just watch the rain while blowing and feasting on this piping hot broth with heavenly fillings.
We also ordered pinsik prito with the sweet-and-sour dipping sauce, the boneless fried chicken with fried rice, the humongous siomai and the asado siopao.
I loved everything. The mami stood out. The siopao was also very good but I would describe it as new-generation siopao. I would take home 12 of these and, with my growing boys Franco and Arturo as competition, these would be gone in a day.
For dessert, I ordered the very rich leche flan or was it yema? I loved it, my partner wasn’t too crazy about it. He ordered mais con yelo with almond jelly, which was quite nice and refreshing.
Every time it rains, I get a craving for this new find. Or even if it doesn’t. I always make sure I have a few asado siopaos in the freezer. Anytime there is a midnight craving, we just pop it in the microwave for a minute, and just hum away.
My search for mami siopao doesn’t end here but this is one place I surely frequent.
Ma Chicken and Noodle House is along Sct. Esguerra Street, Timog Ave., QC; tel. 4411993