Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Ma Mon Luk: The Birthplace of the Siomai-Mami Tandem Written in History

People pass along this name of an authentic Filipino-Chinese Restaurant with such seriousness and intensity, that it almost feels like discovering an underground cipher that has been kept over generations: Ma Mon Luk.

Ma Mon Luk proudly acknowledges itself as the House of the Original Mami Inventor.
Well, let's see: Mami comes from the sum of two words, Ma and Mi. Ma, was derived from the name of Mr. Ma Mon Luk, a poor Chinese who went to the Philippines to earn money and save so he can marry the woman he loves. Meanwhile, Mi means noodles in Chinese.
And so I guess Mami after all, means, Ma Mon Luk's recipe!

Ma Mon Luk restaurant is all-famous for The Original Mami, a twist to the original bami being sold in Quiapo and practically reinvented Chinese cooking to suit Filipino palates, and Special Siopao, the steamed bun with the best dough in the whole Siopao world.

Oh, and it's that Fil-Chi restaurant in Banawe, that extremely lacks ambiance, parking space and good service, but nevertheless is packed with Chrysler 300Cs and innumerable WHOA!Cars, sometimes even adjoining the streets.

The Original Mami. A lot of people says that it's one of the best noodles around. Sure, it is! The meat strips oh-so juicy, and tasty.
The egg noodles, it tasted better and better with every mouthful.
And the soup, ah, let me tell you a little secret about it: there's a right way of eating it :)
A lot of people find it bland. Because this, they don't know. Lo and behold, this secret has been passed down to me by my dad, passed down to him by my grandfather, and, well pretty much my great grandfather wasn't alive anymore when it opened in the 1920s :P
The Secret: Ask for extra spring onions, and sprinkle some soy sauce and calamansi ;)

Special Siopao. And by special, I confirm the premise: not all Siopaos are created equal.
This Siopao would make you lose your mind.
Why do they even bother to make Siopao some place else?
Incomparable. Way beyond words to describe.

Why not try it for yourself?
When lost in Quezon City one day, look for this landmark and be transported back to the era when people knew how to peel their Siopaos ;)

Ma Mon Luk
Along Quezon Avenue, near the Banawe Street Intersection
Filipino-Chinese Cuisine
Estimated Budget: ~100 per meal