Lam Dynasty is a hidden gem tucked away on the 2nd floor of the Pacific Center. It doesn’t boast on serving authentic Chinese cuisine, but serves Fujian-style dishes that we grew up and loved. Incidentally, the origin of the restaurant dates back to the 1950s. It was called Marquina Restaurant (萬金藍), located along Marquina Street (hence the name) in Binondo. It was a famous restaurant (go ahead and ask your parents or grandparents) known for their crab rice and fine seafood. The restaurant was eventually sold to another group, expanded it, and finally closed down during the 1980s. In 2010, one of the sons of the original Marquina founder reopened the restaurant and named it Lam Dynasty, hoping to provide the same good food that they used to known for to the generations of today.
The restaurant’s specialty is seafood, more specifically crab. This is one of the few places in Binondo where you can eat crab inexpensively. First-time visitors can try: Crab Rice, Crab Lomi, Crab Sotanghon, and Crab in Ginger Onion. But for our visit this time, we opted to try their other dishes as well.
Of course, we cannot just eat at Lam Dynasty without ordering their specialty crab rice. Double crab rice in fact. Their same good o’l crab rice but double the amount of crab meat for more loaded crab flavor in each spoonful of rice. This is also a good tip to those who love eating crab but hate de-shelling. (Ehemm.. *cough* Michelle *cough*)
Also their best seller, we always include this in our order when we’re here. The squid is soft stir-fried in soy and cooked like adobo, for a sweeter taste.
One cannot go wrong with their buttered chicken especially when you have children eating with you (or even for those who just love chicken). Buttery and garlicky with crispy outer batter but tender meat inside. Homemade fried chicken Chinese-style.
A favorite Chinese delicacy especially with the older generation, Cha Yochi or Stir-fry pork kidney is usually cooked in soy sauce, ginger and chives. When cooked perfectly it has an outer bite feel but buttery-soft inside. If you give it a go, it taste a bit like eating Foie Gras but more affordable. 🙂
A traditional Fookien dish much like torta, Oyster Cake is made with large oysters that are mixed with egg and potato flour then fried like a pancake. It is best eaten with ketchup.
Vegetarian? Lam Dynasty also offers varied vegetables and soy-based protein fares.
A definite must try is their beancurd dish that is unlike anyone’s as they make their own beancurd. It has a thin but firm case but as you bite into it, a soft, fluffy custard-like soy just oozes with milky-like flavor.
We were particularly fortunate that their Chili Tausi Bamboo Shells were available that day as their availability are usually seasonal.
Even when we already ordered a lot, we just couldn’t resist getting our family’s favorite Suahe Sotanghon. Their shrimps were large and they were generous with the number of pieces of shrimps inside the pot.
Eating here feels like you are dining at your Chinese friend’s home. The place is just humbly casual who offers no frill, good home-cooked food at a very reasonable price. And the fact that the owners are always present and very hands-on with their restaurant, you’ll be sure that quality of food is maintained.
So when in Binondo, why not go off your usuals and visit Lam Dynasty Restaurant located on the 2nd floor of Pacific Center, Quintin Paredes Street, Binondo, Manila.