Manila’s Chinatown has a lot of iconic restaurants, eateries and bakeries, and most of us are loyalists of at least one. When it comes to bakeries, I admit it, I’ve always been an Eng Bee Tin girl but not because I grew up with Eng Bee Tin products. On the contrary, because both my father and mother were fans of Salazar Bakery, I grew up eating Salazar’s hopia. I was already in college when I was introduced to Eng Bee Tin and I have been a loyal customer since. I’ve been happily in love with Eng Bee Tin’s products that there was never any opportunity to be tempted to buy from another — until two days ago, that is.
Speedy and spent the morning and half of the afternoon in city traffic to attend to some business permit requirements. Before 4.00 p.m., we were done but we still had to do our grocery shopping before heading home. TriNoMa was along the way so we went to The Landmark Supermarket there.
Between the elevator and the entrance area, there’s a row of food stalls. I’ve seen them before, of course, but never really paid attention. But, that day, I was hungry and I was perhaps subconsciously searching for something good to eat. We passed by the Polland Hopia stall and I think I would have broken my neck because my eyes were glued to those domed mini-pies while my feet continued to walk toward the entrance. I snapped out of it, announced to Speedy that I wanted those and, later, when the shopping was done, as Speedy was queued up at the cashier, I walked over to the Polland Hopia stall and ordered two mini-pies, two egg yolk pies and a bottle of water. We did manage to make it home before I tore the paper bag open.
The mini-pie was packed with meat and vegetables in a sticky brown sauce. So good. The egg yolk pie (I had eaten it before I remembered that I should have taken photos of it too) was a dream. The filling was the yolk of a salted egg wrapped in sweet bean paste. I was so happy I took a chance on Polland Hopia. I think Speedy was even happier because he finished his share even before I was done taking photos.
So, better late than never. I now proudly announce that I am a Polland Hopia girl AND and Eng Bee Tin girl.