358 – On The Mr. Ube Experience (Part 2)

Let’s pick up from the first part of this two-entry series.

The impetus for this entry came about while I was checking my Instagram archives for possible new posts. I previously posted my two earlier visits to Mr. Ube Rice and Noodle House, which made me consider a third trip. I then plotted out a visit to the Mr. Ube branch in front of St. Luke’s Hospital on Black Friday. I took a taxi to the hospital after finishing some bank transactions, disembarked right across the hospital façade, and crossed the street.

My arrival was timely, as the lunch hour was just starting and customers wanting to have lunch were yet to arrive. Medical staff and patients at the hospital frequently dined at Mr. Ube and bought various baked pastries to take home. This was the nearest and most accessible branch for many as its locations are mostly concentrated in Binondo – Manila’s Chinatown and the oldest in the world, being established in 1594.

It’s a common practice for Filipinos who dine at Chinese restaurants to order one or two dim sum items while waiting for their meal. I stuck to this traditional practice and ordered two – Chicken Feet (P110) and Steamed Hakaw (P140).

Chicken feet are common dim sum picks, though I did not really find anything special about this take from Mr. Ube other than it was a previous menu item I ordered. The hakaw (har gow) or shrimp dumpling, meanwhile, was rather delicate that it easily fell apart when picked up with chopsticks. While the shrimp dumpling was good, the wrapper being stuck to the bottom of the bamboo steamer made things rather difficult.

I ordered the Green Milk Tea (P75 / bottle) to wash down the dim sum. This beverage is similar to matcha milk tea sans the pearls. I also happened to order this years ago, so I got it again for nostalgia’s sake. The green milk tea’s taste and creaminess helped cleanse the palate of the savory explosion from the dim sum. The only downside of this is the PET bottle it is served in.

Of course, a trip to Mr. Ube is never complete without the star of the show – the Salted Egg Chicken Rice (P210). As I mentioned in the first part, this dish consists of “chicken pieces deep fried and coated in salted egg sauce, with curry leaves cooked the same way mixed in for that additional texture.” It came with a glass of cold winter melon tea and a bowl of soup to offset the taste of the salted egg powder used.

A word of warning: People may find this too salty for their taste as it uses the powdered salted egg mix. But nonetheless, I found it rather delicious. While one cup of rice may not be enough for this, the chicken pieces themselves more than sufficed. The curry leaves also added extra texture to the tender chicken.

I found myself having a hard time finishing this one during earlier trips, but this time I managed to do so. I discovered that a combination of chili oil and soy sauce, a common dip for some dim sum, cuts through the overwhelming taste of salted egg. I then drizzled this combination from the shrimp dumpling I had on the remaining chicken – to much success.

The Crispy Lava Buchi (P80 / 3 pieces) was a fitting treat to cap off the meal. This Filipino-Chinese dessert is similar to the glutinous rice snack muah chee, but rolled in sesame seeds and fried. Unlike muah chee which is simply rolled in crushed peanuts without filling, buchi is typically filled with sweet red bean paste. Mr. Ube, however, replaced the red beans with egg custard.

The frying process melts the frozen egg custard filling, which causes the “lava” effect when one bites into the dessert. The custard was not cloying at all and had the right amount of sweetness. There was also a contrast of textures involving the sesame seed-coated glutinous rice ball shell and the “lava” custard filling – which made eating this buchi a delight.

I’m glad that this visit to Mr. Ube turned out right. This trip also served as a post-birthday treat for me, and a much-needed break after being stuck at home for some time now. While this branch is the nearest I can visit, I need not go far to visit Mr. Ube‘s parent company Eng Bee Tin. The iconic brand has set up stalls in different malls in Manila – including SM Fairview, a mall near me.

That ends this two-parter. Until the next post, bon appetit!

Mr. Ube Rice and Noodle House
284 Eulogio Rodriguez Sr. Avenue,
Brgy. Damayang Lagi,
New Manila, Quezon City 1112


24 thoughts on “358 – On The Mr. Ube Experience (Part 2)

  1. These Crispy Lava Buchi…OMG I really want them especially I never tried egg custard filling version! I love red bean paste version too, but that lava effect sure makes people obsessed🤤👍💕

    • It sure is! Especially as someone who’s tried the red bean sesame balls for almost all of my life 😅

      Most Chinese restaurants here in the Philippines serve the red bean-filled version, though other newly-established joints put their twist on it. Aside from egg custard, there’s also chocolate fudge! 🍫

  2. Oh, my, I should really stop reading your blogposts after dinner. I‘ve just eaten, but reading your post and seeing the photos, you make my mouth watering again. 😁

    I didn‘t know there were chicken feet dim sum in the world. We have „checker“ which are chicken feet in soups around here, but I‘m not a fan of it, too many bones and just too slimy for me. But I can well imagine that the dumplings made with these things are much different. 😉

    The salted egg chicken rice sounds absolutely delicious! I am a huge fan of salted duck eggs, so a sauce made from them must be amazing. 🤩

    • Haha, you should view them BEFORE having dinner! 🤣 Here in Southeast Asia, chicken feet is a delicacy as most people prefer to utilize all parts of the bird. In the Philippines, it’s even grilled in roadside stalls — with the apt name “adidas” as it looks like the shoe brand’s old logo!

      Chicken feet are often cooked as they are, mainly for the texture. Eating them is a challenge though, I have to admit. Many are turned off by the effort, but I’m personally satisfied when I clean out the chicken feet.

      Word of warning, though: This is the one that uses the powdered version of salted egg I was talking about. Knorr brand, if I remember it correctly. You could actually make a sauce out of that, though you’ll need ample amounts of salted egg yolks and butter. Grate the salted egg yolk; melt some butter in a pan; add in the yolks in along with some (optional) red chili slivers and curry leaves; then season to taste. 😊

  3. I’ve been craving Chinese food since last Sunday because of the Chinese New Year.
    All these dishes you’ve talked about along with so many mouthwatering photos didn’t help, but can’t for the life of me fathom eating chicken feet.. 😰

    • I guess it’s an acquired taste? Some people may like it, some people may not. But as someone who’s tried chicken feet since childhood, I’d say it depends on the way it’s cooked.

      Most Chinese restaurants do the basics — braising the chicken feet until they turn tender. It’s different when we do it at home: we first fry the chicken feet, then cook it in a pressure cooker until the bones become soft enough to chew.

  4. The crispy lava buchi is always a favorite! I can almost mentally taste it in my memories, my favorite is the red bean paste but the egg custard is yummy too. With a name like Mr. Ube do they also have yummy ube desserts like ice cream and cakes? I love ube so whenever I see it on a menu I always make sure to order it

    • It’s always a favorite! Tried it in 2018 and 2019, and it never fails to impress!

      Unfortunately, the “ube” in its name pertains to the violet color scheme in the restaurant. Most of Mr. Ube’s offerings center on rice and noodle dishes.

      However, it does have ube hopia — a flaky pastry traditionally filled with red mung bean. Eng Bee Tin (Mr. Ube’s parent company) replaced the mung beans with mashed ube paste, a best-seller for the joint. Thank you for stopping by, Janet! 🙂

    • Definitely! Thank you for stopping by, Juliette!

      Well, green milk tea tastes similar to Japanese matcha (the green tea powder that’s mixed with hot water and whisked until foamy). The milk turns the otherwise bitter beverage into a creamy and sweet drink with a leafy hint.

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    • I guess the joint was gunning for convenience? Most of the drinks it sells are in PET bottles. 😦

      Incidentally, Mr. Ube had a lot of those washable glasses — and that would have prevented a lot of waste had it opted to serve the green tea to customers in these tumblers.

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