If you are in Banaue and craving for Chinese, Singaporean or Malaysian dishes, then you should definitely go to Old Chinatown Kopitiam (OCK). While waiting for your dishes to arrive, you can enjoy watching the NBA games like I did. You can even have your car washed at the nearby Tazza Cafe and walk to OCK.
I always like to know the story behind the name of the restaurant. I asked Darren, one of the owners, about the origin of Old World Kopitiam via email and he said,
“Actually, we thought of the name Old Chinatown because we wanted a place with nostalgia and rustic ambiance. We serve mostly Malaysian Chinese food inspired by the hawker stalls in Penang. The kopitiam concept is inspired from my Singapore trip. Kopi is Malay word for coffee and ‘tiam’ is Chinese word for ‘shop’. So we just did a hybrid of a resto and coffeeshop concept. Our food are all Short orders.. good for sharing.”
The place can only accommodate limited seats so it quickly fills up during lunch/ dinner time. Usually, the people who eats at OCK are repeat customers and you can tell by the way they make their orders. We would usually give the menu to Aidan and ask him to order what he likes. He would look at the menu and pretend to read it and he would shout hakaw. He loves shrimp dumplings and the closest that we can order is the jumbo siomai.
Char Kway Teow (P228). Despite its greasiness, we love this! Tasty! This is how I remembered when I have eaten this noodle dish at hawker stalls in Singapore. A lot better than the commercialized version of Banana Leaf and it taste more authentic.
King Fish in Spicy Meat Sauce (P248). I liked the spicy meat sauce. My wife and I agreed that the fish tasted “lupa”. We were wondering if it was not washed properly or because it was the way it was and there’s no way of knowing if it would taste good.
Jumbo Siomai (P98). We did not like this. It is like eating a jumbo dumpling of fat cleverly discussed as meat. I guess that’s how they do it in Old Chinatown but some preferred it this way. We do hope it would be full of lean meat for the next customer to enjoy.
Old Chinatown Kopitiam
86 Maria Clara St., Sto. Domingo, Quezon City
Near the busy intersection of Maria Clara and Banaue.
For Reservations : 415-1145/ 467-6141