I begin this series on Manila’s Chinatown by giving the spotlight on Panciteria Lido which is considered a culinary landmark in the area, having been established in 1936. Located on T. Alonzo St., Sta. Cruz, Manila, it has the buzz of the traditional Chinese teahouse, complete with Chinese reading Chinese language newspapers. Weekends are usually packed and Lido hosts VIPs like Sen. Alfredo Lim who goes here without fail on Sundays.
The scions of the owner Mr. King are trying to ‘repackage’ the place and now they’re selling it as having the ‘best pugon-roasted’ asado. Having tried equally-good asado elsewhere, this leaves room for contention but I do doff my hat to Panciteria Lido for having my favorite coffee in Manila. It comes from this Japan-made machine and has this strong, full-bodied flavor when brewed.
I was fortunate enough to go inside their kitchen and found it clean (pardon the comment, but I heard that some unscrupulous cooks elsewhere spit on the soup or something). They roast more than 100 kilos of their asado daily, so the man on the kitchen told moi. Freshly sliced, the Lido asado is fork-tender and you can taste its unique, wood-fired flavor when you bite. This panciteria’s noodles and sandwiches are also must-tries and I should remember to eat them on the next visit.