While waiting for my siopao, mami, and siomai to be served, I read a few articles posted on the walls of the restaurant. That’s the only time I get to know who Ma Mon Luk is. I find his life story interesting; coming from China and moving to the Philippines, poor Mr. Ma Mon Luk had to peddle chicken noodle soup for a living. Also, he used to be a teacher before entering the world of business…a parallelism with my life (just a thought).
As he became popular among Manileños, he decided to open his first restaurant in Binondo, Manila and still continued to peddle his wares on the streets. Two of the five restaurants he owned remain open, Quiapo and Quezon Avenue branches.
Even with the tight competition in the market, Ma Mon Luk maintained the same ambiance of the resto like it was so antique. What’s the reason behind it? They wanted the same atmosphere like it was the 1950’s.
Too many facts on the wall…let’s get to business.
On the table:
I was enjoying my hot chicken noodle soup a.k.a. Special Mami with a dash of pepper until my friend told me that squirting siopao sauce will make it taste better. It’s not too late though, with my bowl still half full, I added some siopao sauce until it gets brownish in color. It was more flavorful, indeed! Priced at Php 95, this big bowl of mami is to share.
The siopao is bigger than a fist… i’m not kidding. I was surprised to see a siopao that’s so huge. It has generous fillings; so savory that you barely need to put sauce on it. The special siopao is priced at Php55.
Note: Peel the paper and outer covering of the siopao (just for sanitary concerns).
I’m a fan of dumplings but sad to say Ma Mon Luk’s siomai failed to please my palate. Though they claim they use their own secret sauce, I’m still not impressed with their own version of siomai. It was chewy, the texture of the filling was crumb-like and was a bit dry . Ordering this was a disappointment. I find it pricey at 2 dumplings for Php40.
Overall, I enjoyed my experience eating at Ma Mon Luk. It reminded me of my Lolo since their siopao is one of his favorites. I was able to taste the “Original Chicken Mami” with siopao sauce. And… I felt good reading Ma Mon Luk’s success story.
Ma Mon Luk
Manila Address: 545 Quiapo Blvd, Quiapo Manila
Contact #: 7337596
Quezon City Address: 408 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
Contact #: 7123560/ 7328756