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The Hello Lipa team loves Chinese food. Just to be more specific, we’re fans of affordable and delicious Chinese food. I’m sure we’re not alone on this one, with Chinese food one of the most popular cuisines not just in the Philippines, but in the world.
If you’re looking for affordable and delicious Chinese food in the past, you should be prepared to make the trip to Binondo. That’s not the case anymore because thanks to Five Fat Pandas, you can now have your own Binondo experience in Lipa City.
About Five Fat Pandas
Five Fat Pandas is a Chinese restaurant located at the Metro Events Zone in Lipa City that opened last May 28, 2016. The restaurant is owned by 5 friends namely Kirk Gutierrez, Alvin Chua, Mark Francis De Jesus, Eli Camaganacan and Barry Scott Uytiepo.
The restaurant itself is one of the bigger restaurants at the MEZ. Dining is mainly on the 2nd floor which can probably accommodate 30 to 40 people, with some tables set up in front of the restaurant for al fresco dining when it’s not raining. All in all, I think it can accommodate 80 people. After we’ve tried it, it’s safe to say that it’s going to be packed on most days.
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As mentioned, they’re serving affordable Chinese food. Here’s their menu:
Part of the Binondo experience is eating affordable Chinese food, and you can get that same experience at Five Fat Pandas. As you can see from the menu above, their dishes are very affordable especially because of the good serving sizes.
The rice toppings, while only good for 1, are very generous in their serving. But we were more surprised at the serving sizes of their ala carte dishes. You know with some restaurants when they tell you that it’s good for 2 to 3 people, but it could hardly feed 2? That’s not the case with Five Fat Pandas. For example, I saw how they prepared their Yang Chow fried rice. There were 3 cups of rice used.
Looking at the menu, you have to appreciate the fact that they kept it simple. After all, that’s what Chinese food is all about – simple but flavorful food. It seems that they chose the most popular Chinese dishes so they can focus on just a handful rather than try to offer everything and fail at some things.
Overall, the menu is nicely-put together. You can eat a complete meal from appetizer to dessert without feeling overwhelmed with all the choices. This is not to say that the choices are limited. You still get a lot of choices, but they’re familiar choices.
Tasting the Food
Of course, there’s no point in eating affordable food if it’s not delicious and part of the Binondo experience is the delicious food. During the opening, we tried several of the dishes and liked/loved them all. There was no “okay lang”. It’s either we liked the dish or we loved it.
We started with some dimsum. I got the pork siomai and was surprised at the size of it. It was also very meaty. You can really taste the pork. It tasted good and authentic.
My wife got the hakaw. She loves hakaw. I think it’s safe to judge a Chinese restaurant by their hakaw. As soon as the plate of hakaw was placed on our table, we knew that we weren’t going to be disappointed. We took a quick peek of what’s inside and were happy to see a huge piece of shrimp. It’s not like the hakaw of other Chinese restaurants that are not generous with the shrimp.
This hakaw is one of the best we’ve tasted which says a lot because we’ve tried a lot.
Our friend got the siopao special. It was massive. It can be an appetizer for 2.
The appetizers were good, and we’re ready for more. Our friend got the sweet and sour rice.
As you can see, serving size was good. You can see generous chunks of pork.
My wife and I ordered the Yang Chow fried rice for our carbs. You can probably eat it on its own. Check out the chunky chorizo bits.
For our protein, we got the beef brisket. It was so flavorful that I wished we had more of that siopao bun because I would have wiped that plate clean with the siopao bun. The beef of course was packed with flavor and was tender to the bite. It was probably slow cooked for hours.
We also had the salted egg fried chicken. The breading was crispy and the chicken juicy, with hints of salted egg with every bite. No ketchup needed. It’s perfect with the Yang Chow fried rice.
Oh, and get the wintermelon juice. I only took a couple of sips because my wife took my glass away from me after she downed her glass quickly, but the 2 sips (and the fact that my wife wanted more than a glass) were enough for me to recommend it.
Try it with Your Family
It’s the perfect family restaurant. Order some dimsum, get the Yang Chow fried rice, and get a couple of ala carte dishes. You’ll be in the company of the people you love while you’re enjoying delicious and affordable Chinese food. I don’t know about you. But that sounds like a perfect night to me.
Address: Metro Events Zone, Ayala Highway, Lipa City
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday 4PM to 11PM
Contact Number: 0916 725 4484
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