Discover Authentic Chinese Delights at Lai Lai Restaurant in Binondo, Manila: A Budget-Friendly Culinary Haven


Have you heard the latest buzz in Binondo? There’s a restaurant making waves in the Chinese community, and it’s none other than Lai Lai Restaurant located in Lai Lai Hotel on Ongpin Street, Binondo, Manila.

Truth be told, this wasn’t my first time at this restaurant. I’ve been here multiple times because of its affordable and genuinely delicious dishes. Aside from the budget-friendly prices, they also serve great coffee, which is perfect for a coffee lover like me.

You might be wondering why you’re only hearing about Lai Lai Restaurant now. Perhaps it’s because the restaurant is somewhat hidden inside a hotel, and it may feel intimidating to visit a hotel without a reservation or check-in. But as they say, there’s no harm in asking for more information to get a better idea of whether it’s possible.

On my recent visit to Lai Lai Restaurant, I was accompanied by some friends from the blogging industry. The conversation flowed smoothly thanks to the abundance of food we ordered. Here are some of the dishes we tried: sour lapu-lapu (₱1380), kung pao chicken (₱480), pork kikiam (₱480), steam bactaw (₱480), mustasa kiampong (₱300), beef radish (₱580), cita misua (₱300), salted egg shrimp (₱480), oyster cake (₱480), waisan celery (₱450), sweet and sour meatballs (₱480), and YCFR small (₱300).

oyster cake

It may seem overwhelming, but almost everything we ordered was finished because the flavors were truly delightful. I’ve picked the top 3 recommendations, especially if you’re a small group (let’s say 3-5 people): their oyster cake, bursting with flavor; the mustasa kiampong, a budget-friendly option that can be a meal on its own; and the beef radish, tender and easy to eat, unlike others that can be rubbery.

mustasa kiampong
beef raddish

If you love spicy soup, the sour lapu-lapu is a winner with its after-spicy kick. It’s perfect for those who want to enjoy a variety of flavors in one seating, given its generous serving size and rich ingredients.

sour lapu-lapu

As for the restaurant’s interior, Lai Lai Restaurant has a typical classic Chinese vibe that truly immerses you in the Chinatown experience. The ambiance is enhanced by the presence of aquariums showcasing some of the ingredients used in your orders, such as shrimp and fish.

In terms of affordability, ambiance, and serving size, Lai Lai Restaurant gets a thumbs up from me. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, a less crowded place to bond with friends, and delicious large servings, this is the place to be.

And before I forget, aside from their big servings, they also offer a buffet and à la carte options. For more information, you can check out their Facebook page at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here