• Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila

    Isa sa mga libangan nating mga Pilipino ang kumain, andiyan ang iba’t ibang putahe, ulam, minatamis, mga sawsawan at kung ano-ano pa. Ngunit pagdating sa mami o mainit na sabaw at siopao na asado o bola-bola man, isa lang ang ating pinupuntahan. Ito ang “Ma Mon Luk.”Dumating si Ma Mon Luk noong taong 1920 sa Pilipinas nang walang pera at trabaho. Sa dahilang ito, ang tanging pag-asa niya ay kung ano ang kaya niyang gawin at ito ang gumawa ng “chicken noodle soup” o mas kilala bilang mami. Ang mami na ito ay kanyang nilalako sa kahabaan ng Binondo, Maynila. Ang kanyang mga suki ay mga estudyanteng kolehiyo na naghahanap ng masarap at swak sa bulsa na pagkain. Hindi nagtagal nakaipon siya ng pera para makapagtayo ng unang restaurant sa Binondo na kalaunan inilipat rin sa may Quaipo, Maynila na hanggang ngayon ay doon matatagpuan. Dito na nga nakilala ang siopao at siomai na paborito ng lahat hanggang sa nakapagtayo pa ng isang puwesto sa may Banawe, Quezon City. Ilang taon man ang nagdaan, ang Ma Mon Luk ay binabalik-balikan at pinanatili nito ang kanilang orihinal na lutuin at lasa. Ngayon 2020, sila ay magdiriwang ng kanilang ika-isang daang taon. Ikaw, ano ang kuwentong “Ma Mon Luk” mo? Ibahagi sa amin. #ManilaSupportLocalChallenge#BuyLocalEatLocalManila#BagongMaynila#SimplyNoPlaceLikeManila

    Source: https://www.facebook.com/dtcamanila/posts/633242627330101


    Ma Mon Luk soon opened his first restaurant in Binondo, where he introduced his equally famous siopao, a steamed pork dumpling enhanced by a secret sauce. Ma Mon Luk nonetheless continued to peddle his wares on the streets, advertising his restaurant by giving away free samples. By the 1950s, Ma Mon Luk and his mami were nationally known, and Ma Mon Luk became the iconic Chinese restaurant, sprouting many imitators who failed to equal its success. At one point, in the mid 1990s, there were at least six Ma Mon Luk restaurants in Metro Manila. But, as of 2006, only the branches in Benavidez Street, Mla., Quezon Avenue, Q.C. and Quezon Boulevard in Quiapo, Mla. remain open. Ma Mon Luk died on September 1, 1961 of throat cancer and is buried at the Chinese Cemetery in Manila. He is succeeded to date by four Mamonluk generations.


    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Ma Mon Luk and its famous mami. How many times I’ve seen it being featured on different local newspapers and magazine shows. I’ve wanted to try it but never had time to visit until my lakwatsera buddy, Grace, accompanied me and my fiancé. Even though I studied in the university belt area I’ll still get lost in Quiapo. I rarely visit here. Grace had been here several times.

    She warned me on the surroundings and the restaurant itself since they trying to maintain the old feel of the place but she guaranteed me that price will be worth it.

    It was a rainy afternoon, tired from walking looking for an eye center in Recto area when we decided to eat at Ma Mon Luk. Grace step into a place with tables and chairs and my eyes were just looking all over the place. The place was a bit noisy with different people walking here and there and street vendors almost shouting to get attention. I asked her where’s Ma Mon Luk and she said here. I asked again exactly where. She said exactly where we’re standing. I didn’t notice the signage of the restaurant and there’s no door where one should enter. It’s literally open. If you’re after some neatly maintained restaurant and a little privacy while eating, well, this is not the place.

    Nothing fancy inside. Walls were adorned by different framed magazine and newspaper where their restaurant had been featured both locally and internationally.

    Old style ceiling fan. I wonder who’s older between the two of us. 🙂

    We ordered mami (noodle soup) and siopao (steamed dumplings) which are their bestseller. We asked also for siomai (P40) since they’ve mentioned it’s also good but we’re told that it’s no longer available. Sold out for the day!

    Mami noodles were different from the noodles I’m used to which I believe being made in a very traditional way. Plus I love the milky broth. Tasted very delicious.

    The combination of mami and siopao is perfect. After eating these two I’m already full, not able to finish my meal actually. I would really go back and hopefully able to try their siomai. It’s good that they were able to maintain the taste and authenticity of their food. Not using any artificial ingredients and food coloring. But I would love them to at least improve their facility to serve their customers better especially their restroom. 🙂 From used to be 6 branches of Ma Mon Luk they’re now down now to two branches. One here in Quiapo, near Raon. The other one in Quezon City.


    Growing up having a family who loves to eat is such a wonderful blessing. I remember my childhood days, filled with a lot of culinary and gustatory introductions to different kinds of dishes that my parents and grandparents love. It’s so awesome to think that I have a tradition to follow and that is for me to pass on to my kids the family favorites.

    One of the family favorites I’m talking about is a classic combo from a classic Chinese restaurant. The Mami-Siopao Combo of Ma Mon Luk.

    The old Ma Mon Luk branch in Quezon Avenue corner Banawe is still a family favorite whenever we crave for the good old mami-siopao tandem.

    The place is still the good old place we used to go to when I was younger. The feel is still the same and I honestly don’t want it changed or renovated.

    I failed to ask if they deliver…

    I was surprised to actually see the place still get packed during merienda time.

    There are actually a lot of other things on Ma Mon Luk’s menu. However, I would recommend you guys to stick to their Mami and Siopao.


    Here’s what we ordered:
    But before that, lets talk about mami and Ma Mon Luk very briefly.
    Mami – Introduced by the Chinese, Mami is actually a dish that was brought about the fusion of Filipino and Chinese cuisines. It is a noodle soup usually with chicken, pork or beef cutlets, served with noodles, boiled egg and chives.
    Ma Mon Luk is an entrepreneur form Guangzhou China who went to the Philippines and introduce his famous noodle dish and his equally delectable siopao. First in Binondo and opened several branches more around the metro. A lot of establishments copied his famous mami and siopao recipe but none succeeded.
    So here it is! The famous Ma Mon Luk Mami!

    I am not really a mami fan. As I have said previously, I find it rather bland and tasteless. However, my sister told me that the right way to eat the mami is to actually add asado sauce and hotsauce to it.

    Hot sauce and Asado sauce in the Mami. Makes it more flavorful

    Now, the Siopao!

    I love their siopao. Seriously, I’m a siopao lover and a siopao enthusiast should never ever miss the chance to sample this one. By the way take note that this the one you’re supposed to order, not the Asado Siopao.
    Aside from the combo, I was also tempted to order Siomai which totally disappointed me.