Ramblings about food, cooking, recipes, travels, history and walking around Manila.
Every morning, my mom sees to it that there’s fresh bread on the table for breakfast. I grew up with my mom making sure we had sandwiches inside our school bags for recess time. Now that I’m an adult, my mom still continues to make sure we have fresh bread on the table for breakfast.
My mom has a knack for walking around Binondo at least once a week, looking for fresh ingredients or the best buys that she can get her hands on… and bread is no exemption. She likes walking to the other side of the district where you can find old Chinoy bakeries for bread, when there are about a dozen bakeries near our house.
Recently, Sarah and I met up for lunch for a bonding session. It has been weeks since we saw each other and we needed some catching up to do. At the end of that lunch, we headed to one of those old bakeries for some good ‘ol yummy goodness.
The bakery is small, nothing fancy. Upon entering, you will immediately give you the feel of the 1950s bakery. It’s plain looking, cluttered and quiet… But don’t let that description discourage you from trying any of their baked goodies. Most establishments in Binondo look rundown, but you’ll be surprised with the products they offer.
As I purchase my goodies, I asked Edith ( the one manning the cash register) about the bakery. The bakery had different names, changed by the original owner until they decided to stay with the name Wan Kee around 1972 when ownership became a corporation.
Like any other businesses in Binondo, the establishment is facing the similar succession dilemma. Other factors like rental space, typhoons to name a few affect small businesses like Wan Kee. Typhoon Ondoy left the bakery with a shattered glass window, flooded ovens and two feet high of murky flood water. That was enough damage for a small establishment to stop operations for two weeks.
It’s a good thing they recovered from the temporary set back and continued to bake our childhood favorites over the years. Below, the haul I took home for the family to enjoy.
Let me tell you a secret, whenever I make trifles I use their orange chiffon cakes. And whenever I make tiramisu, I use their mocha chiffon cake instead of lady fingers/broas. Saves me time when I’m too lazy to make trifles and tiramisu at home.
L-R asado roll and bola-bola roll The giant siopao… it’s as big as my personal planner!!!
I think that’s enough food for the day, hope you guys can visit establishments like Wan Kee Bakery. We only have a few of these bakeries left in Manila, who knows… maybe there’s just a few of them left in the country as well.
Wan Kee Bakery
Address: 828 Benavidez Street
Binondo, Metro Manila
Phone: (02) 244 8831