28 September 2011

South Park: Ma Chicken Mami House

On one of our recent mall tralalas, Gus and I decided to give Ma Chicken Mami House, a shot. We've been seeing this quaint little mami house for quite some time now, first at Trinoma, then most recently at SM The Block, and for some reason, we only always end up talking about it, not trying it out. This time, however, we finally decided to give this mami house a try.

Unlike most Chinese restaurants, Ma Chicken Mami House looked much simpler. No extravagant lighting, or tables and chairs, no table cloths or folded table napkins. No chopsticks or table setting. Just a little store in a hole with simple square tables and chairs.

Hmm.. Now that I think about it, it looks like a more upscale version of small Chinese eateries in Binondo. :)

Moving on to the entry's heart, here's what we decided to try after much deliberation. (By now, I guess most of you know how Gus and I almost, always has a difficult time deciding what to get or what to eat or where to go.)

Gus wanted noodles. I agreed that he should get something with soup since he wasn't feeling well that day. He was torn between the Chicken Mami and the Binondo Mami. In the end, I convinced him to get the Binondo Mami since 1) this was Ma's specialty, 2) he loves Binondo Mami, at least the real Binondo Mami he used to always eat as a child, and 3) I also wanted to see what actual Binondo Mami was.

Binondo Mami

The Binondo Mami was similar to what Gus was expecting, except that, the noodles were a bit overcooked, according to him. It had the essential ingredients of a typical Binondo mami: egg, chicken, meat, leeks. The soup, as you can see, is also typical for this kind of mami -- cloudy. Not the usual clear broth you see on other soup-based noodle dishes.

As for me, I was craving for some kikiam. Ever since I tasted Chinese kikiam on one of our food adventures, I can't seem to get it off my mind. Every time we go to a Chinese restaurant, I quickly look for kikiam in their menu, in hopes of finding the same kikiam I tasted the first time. So upon checking Ma's menu, I quickly found what I wanted to order. Ma's Special Kikiam.

Ma's Special Kikiam

Ma's Special Kikiam had a generous serving of kikiam on top of what seemed like yang chow fried rice. The kikiam was crisp on the outside, though the inside had more fat than meat. It wasn't that noticeable, unless you look at the kikiam slices every time you bite. The rice wasn't that bad either. It had a generous amount of vegetables and meat, typical of any yang chow fried rice. It didn't have shrimp though, soI'm not sure if it really was yang chow underneath all the kikiam slices. However, the rice wasn't that hot. The bottom part wasn't yellow in color, unlike the top portion. It seems like the rice wasn't mixed and cooked well. There were some dry parts too. To put it bluntly, it felt like the rice wasn't cooked fried rice style, instead, it looked like food coloring was just added to already cooked rice. :(

Apart from the two dishes we ordered, we also decided to try their Pinsec Frito and giant siomai. According to Gus, Ma was also owned by the North Park Group, so we wondered if they had the same pinsec frito at a much lower cost. 

 Pinsec Frito

We guessed right! It was the same pinsec frito as North Park's. The only difference is that the meat inside the wrapper was lesser in quantity than the ones served at NP. It was a delight to have these as our appetizer. Not only does it have chunks of meat inside, not ground but chunks, the wrapper they use also has a certain flavor. I enjoy eating the crisp wrapper on its own as well.

Finally, the big siomai. Gus's curiosity was aroused when we saw this on the menu. Plain and simple, it says: Big Siomai P25. We both wanted to see how big this siomai is and if the size matches the quality. We ordered one piece, just to try.

Big Siomai

For P25, I think the siomai should've been a little bit bigger. It was unlike any other siomai I've seen or tasted before. As you can see, it looked so plain and cream-ish in color. Nothing special, sorry to say. It wasn't ground beef/pork inside, I think those were chunks of meat too, but I prefer Siomai House's siomai if we're looking at inexpensive, snack-time siomai only. I wasn't really satisfied with the size or taste.

What's the overall satisfaction rating for this little restaurant? If you're going for an inexpensive, Chinese fill, you can definitely go to Ma's Chicken Mami House. It may not offer the best or most authentic Chinese food, but for someone who's in on a budget and is located nowhere near China Town, Ma's a good bet for lunch or snack time.

Price Range: P100-P150/person

3.5 out of 5 for Ma's Chicken Mami House

Ma's Chicken Mami House
4/L SM The Block
EDSA cor Mindanao Avenue,
Quezon City, Philipines

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