Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Little Store on the Hill

I love Little Store on the Hill, though I am not here as often as I would like. It's a small Chinese restaurant grocery store with a serving (you order your food canteen-style) and eating area on one side while the rest of the shop is devoted to fresh vegetables and all sorts of Chinese delicacies.

People say that they serve the best Chinese lumpia in the city and I'm inclined to believe them. Other thing to try include the Crab Fried Rice, flavorful dry fried rice that tasteof crab and egg. My use of “dry” as an adjective is not derogatory. It is to distinguish the rice's texture from that of the Kim Peng, which in turn is sticky. The later is sweet and savory and is a meal in itself, the rice turbo-boosted by being cooked with peanuts, pork and chicken sausages, which account for its rounded meaty taste.

One of my favorite dishes is the Tofu with Terriyaki Sauce. Fresh tofu, soft on the inside and firm on the outside, is served with sweet terriyaki sauce. Goes well with the crab fried rice.

And then there is the Chinese lumpia. Chinese lumpia is characterized by minced vegetables, crushed peanuts, seaweed strips and Chinese lettuce, all rolled in a thin wrapper and served fresh, sometimes with a sauce that resembles that of the lumping ubod's. Little Store's lumpia is light on the tastebuds but heavy on the stomach.

An interesting dish is the stewed catfish – tough, dried catfish served with a sweet sauce. It comes with a crab claw cake over rice.

The Little Store is also home to different dishes that only a Chinese person would love, but that others are beginning to appreciate. One of them is the Balut Misua, which marries the Filipino balut with the Chinese misua (a type of noodle soup). Flavored with Chinese herbs, the soup has a medical tinge to it, and is recommended for folks who are trying to regain their strength.

Another Chinese delicacy that people come from far and wide to sample is the Black Chicken Soup. It's made from Chinese chicken, a type of fowl with downy white feathers and black skin. This medicinal soup (it is said to impart body heat) is light and clear and surprisingly does not taste of herbs. It's a soup that, as they say, adds hair to your chest.

If you're in the mood for authentic home-cooked Chinese food but don't want to go all the way to Binondo, head to the Little Store on the Hill. It's the Chinese equivalent of home away from home.

Little Store on the Hill
2 Jose Abad Santos st.
Little Baguio, San Juan
7219174, 7212359

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