Banawe Bound: Fook Yuen Food Center

By franco on 6 December, 2007

Fook Yuen Crabs from Fook Yuen Food Center by Table For Three, Please, on Flickr
Fook Yuen Crabs


Franco’s note: A little bit of a change this month. Instead of the usual three impressions of one restaurant, we will be writing about a food destination that piqued our interest, namely Banawe Avenue. The three of us will be visiting three different restaurants along Banawe Avenue. Enjoy reading.

For those of you unfamiliar with Metro Manila, Banawe Avenue is well known for one thing, after-sale car parts. From wheel rims to steering wheels, from spark plugs to seat covers, if it’s a part of car, it’s almost certain that one of the myriad of shops along this avenue has it for sale. But since this is still a food blog
, we won’t get into that.

This was my impression of Banawe. Until, I stumbled upon this post. Interesting. Who would have guessed that over the years Banawe would have some of the most authentic Chinese restaurants in Manila outside of Binondo, Manila’s old Chinatown? I just couldn’t resist. So after doing some consulting, I chose to visit the crab place, Fook Yuen Food Center.

Let’s get this out of the way first. The place is small–25 seats maximum. During lunch, it can get noisy and very crowded. With its white interiors, linoleum covered tables and plastic monobloc chairs, this food center is far from being a luxe Chinese restaurant. In fact, I imagine that under the definition of ‘hole-in-the-wall’, there is a picture of Fook Yuen.

With that said, let’s talk food. After taking our order, our waitress runs off and disappears in the back of the room. She returns holding a fat, very dark green crab, still alive and snapping. We ask for a smaller crab but she retorts that this 800 gram crustacean beauty is smallest they have. We approve. After a momentary wait, our crab returns to our table ready to be devoured.

Fook Yuen Crab (P100/100 grams) is amazingly delicious. The crab, quartered and dismembered, is served in a creamy curry sauce which, I imagine, started off as milky white but has turned a light yellow-orange because of the infused crab fat. The scent of crab, ginger and leeks steaming from the dish is simply divine. My mouth waters.

Eating crab is neither a clean nor civilized affair. It requires some effort and you will get your hands dirty. But in the end, the reward is worth it. The crab is fat and the flesh is succulent. Pouring the crab fat-enriched sauce over a bowl of streaming hot rice and tucking in is just blissful.

Salt and Pepper Frog's Legs from Fook Yuen Food Center

Salt and Pepper Frog’s Legs


In the middle of relishing our crab, the side dish of Salt and Pepper Frog’s Legs (P190) arrives. Initially, what surprises you about this dish is the size of the legs. They are unusually large. Seasoned, lightly battered and fried, these legs are a much-needed, delectable break from the rich fatty crab. The dish alone is tasty but it’s hard to ignore the star of the table.

I admit that I love eating in small, out-of-the-way places. The adventure of discovering restaurants like Fook Yuen Food Center always intrigues me. Would I go back? Absolutely. Whether my car needs an overhaul or not.

Fook Yuen Food Center
558 Banawe Street
corner Samat Street
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Telephone: (02) 711-3057, (02) 740 7849

Many thanks to Tanya and docchef for pointing the way.


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  • DECEMBER 6, 2007 10:32 AM

    ragamuffin girl said...

    This is my favorite Chinese place in all of Manila -and I don't eat out so much because I reside in the Chinese food capital of Asia (HK) and my mom makes the best Hokkien food, so this is saying a lot. :). Try their pata tim, clam soup and oyster omelet too. Oh I miss the frogs and crab already! Thanks for featuring Fook Yuen!

  • DECEMBER 6, 2007 10:54 AM

    docchef said...

    love the crab here. i hope my email to you helped:)

  • DECEMBER 7, 2007 3:14 AM

    mtan said...

    Ooo oyster cake! Yes, Banawe is the new chinatown, just not so quaint.
    We used to go to the vegetarian restaurant along the road, but lately I can't seem to find it. Looking forward to the other posts, maybe one of you found it.

  • DECEMBER 7, 2007 1:02 PM

    Franco said...

    Hi ragamuffin girl,

    The pleasure was all ours. :) And I will be going back soon to try the other stuff you suggested.

    Hi docchef,

    Yes, it did. Thank you soon much

    Hi mila,

    I'm not sure what exactly the other two are writing about but stay tuned anyway. :)

  • DECEMBER 10, 2007 3:30 PM

    Em Dy said...

    That crab looks sinful. Wow, aligi. Haven't eaten frog's legs in a long time though.

    The Chinese restaurants along Banawe were the perks when we did part of our training at NOH.

  • DECEMBER 17, 2007 2:24 AM

    tanya said...

    oh my gosh you blogged it! my cup runneth over :)it's a very nice post and i'm glad you liked the food.

    hey, i wonder where fook yuen gets their crabs...very good quality! i also see people buying live crabs there. hmmm, let me ask next time im there.

  • DECEMBER 17, 2007 10:16 AM

    Franco said...

    Hi Em Dy,

    Yes, very sinful. Thank God, there is a hospital near by. :)

    Hi Tanya,

    Thank you for leading us here. I asked were they get their crabs as we were leaving. But, I couldn't get a straight answer. They said multiple suppliers:P

  • JUNE 16, 2008 10:40 AM

    canDIshhh said...

    I so love the Crabs here! I always order this on my birthday - every year!!