Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Toho Antigua Panciteria = 126 years of good food and service.

Binondo is known for its authentic Chinese restaurants that serves authentic Chinese meals and some well known panciteria not only serve food but history as well. 

Toho Antigua Panciteria (now known as the New Toho Food).  This panciteria was founded by Manuel “Po Kong” Bautista in 1888. Legend says that Andres Bonifacio dated his wife here in Toho where they ate Toho’s special asado pork. It was also said that Jose Rizal was a frequent diner . Singer Katy de la Cruz and Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson are known to eat at Toho, so does both Fernado Poe Sr. and Fernando Poe Jr. were loyal patrons of this restaurant, and also the late Philippine Comedy King, Dolphy. 

One thing that Toho is very proud of is that their recipe didn’t change, so that means you will still taste what the Katipuneros eat at the very same place.

In my experience of eating at Chinese restaurants, I've noticed that they always start with a soup. So, we were served large bowls of Nido soup (Sopa de Nido). Nido soup is the Philippine version of the famous Bird's Nest soup. It is made from the nest of swiflet AKA Balisawsaw (Aerodramus fuciphagus) and the black-nest Swiftlet (Aerodramus maximus) that are found in El Nido, a region in Palawan.

Some people say that the fried chicken in Toho is very much like a certain known brand, but when I tried it, I think compared to that brand, Toho's chicken is more tender and juicy. The outer layer is so crunchy that you will be surprised to see the inner meat so tender and juicy.

The Shanghai Fried Rice is superb! The taste is balance and with all the peas, vegetable bits and eggs, I think you can eat it even without anything else in between.

Now these are Chinese-style Que-Kiam (Kikiam). Fried to perfection, these kikiam are soft and they definitely smell so good. You can dip it in a vinegar sauce or you can just eat it as is.

Another must-try is roasted pork asado. Legend has it that this pork asado were the favorite Gat. Andress Bonifacio and the Katipuneros. They say that unlike those other "asado" you will find in other restaurants, Toho's asado was cooked very slowly and it didn't use any artificial coloring and flavoring. The meat was slowly smoked till cooked using choice woods. 

I've noticed that the meat was really very tender and it has this certain "smoky taste."

Not only does Toho boast good food but also good people. The attendants are quite respectful and friendly. Service was really good, wait time was short. I really recommend this place for you, your friends and your family. With this kind of food and service, it is not a surprise why this panciteria have been with us for almost 126 years.

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