Saturday, April 26, 2014

Random Cravings: Binondo Treats

Exploring Binondo was a blast, and we got to take home a few treats from the Chinese pastry shops in the area to boot. This post is all about those treats, which we are actually planning on coming back for soon. Our stash ran out within a couple of days -- well, we got some for family too, we didn't keep everything we bought -- but it was all just so good. Here's a rundown.

Custard Hopia from Eng Bee Tin
I had no idea this existed until my friends opened the cooler at Eng Bee Tin and I saw hopia packets labeled custard and ube. Hopia is a sweet filled pastry. There are a ton of varieties and fillings, but the custard one is new to me, and let me tell you, it was insanely addictive. The husband and I just loved the cold custard filling. It kind of reminded us Camiguin's pastel, but with softer pastry.

Hopia Hapon from Eng Bee Tin
When I was a kid, my mom would buy hopia hapon from the neighborhood bakery. I love hopia with black or red mongo, so naturally, I love hopia hapon. It's pretty much a slim version of hopia mongo, and it usually has a cute embossed flower design on top. Eng Bee Tin's version is a bit weird with the mongo peeking out of the pastry, but it's pretty good. I do think the hopia hapon from the neighborhood bakeries have a thicker mongo filling though.  

Red Mongo Hopia from Eng Bee Tin
This is the best mongo hopia we've ever had! The pastry is really soft, and the filling is thick and creamy and utterfly flavorful. I don't have anything else to say about it except that if you ever find yourself in Binondo, you have to get this hopia!

Mini Mooncakes from Salazar Bakery
When we got this I thought it was diced hopia (hopia for those who like small bites) in a different shape. As I don't normally like diced hopia because the pastry has a different flavor than regular hopia. They're like little mooncakes, and I don't like mooncake much. Well as it turns out, there were mini mooncakes, not diced hopia. Salazar's version is okay. It tasted more like diced hopia than mini mooncakes, but it made me like diced hopia/mini mooncakes more than I usually do, though it's not something I would go back there for.

Sponge cake/Mamon from Salazar Bakery
I have no idea what this is called, but I love mamon, so when I saw these, I grabbed them. They're the biggest pieces of mamon I have ever seen, and they have a nice, toasted top, plus some crushed red mongo at the bottom. It's really good, and I don't see these at Salazar Bakery's mall branches, so it's something to go back to Binondo for.

Haw Flakes from Salazar Bakery
Haw Flakes is another childhood favorite of mine. It's candy made from the fruit of the Chinese hawthorn. I didn't know that there was a red version until my friend Cielo got a packet at Salazar Bakery though. I got a packet too, and it's great! It totally brings me back to my childhood days, and the red version is somehow more flavorful than the regular haw flakes.

That's about it! We also got some ampao but we gave them to family. Here are the pictures of the treats when they were still in their packages. I can't wait to go back to Binondo to get more. 

Loot from Eng Bee Tin: Hopia Hapon, Red Mongo Hopia, Custard Hopia

  Loot from Salazar: plain ampao, red ampao, Haw Flakes, diced hopia

Still from Salazar: those sponge cake mamon things I don't know the name of.


  1. I think those are really mini mooncakes! Verns got the diced hopia and parang square sila. :-) Hehe! I can eat mooncake better than hopia pero di ko rin favorite. :p

    1. Oh I thought they were diced hopia, just a different version with a different shape. I'll edit! :P They didn't taste that mooncake-y though. Somewhat mooncake-y lang.

      Do you know what the mamon things are called?