Spring by Ha Yuan: Binondo Goes to McKinley Hill! [CLOSED]

People who read my blog often comment that I’m such an elitist and picky eater -- little do they know that you can take me anywhere, as long as the food is good and the place is safe. Erase all sosyal pictures of me in your mind and imagine me in a carinderia instead -- for in truth, I do that sometimes (READ: post-dancesport training starvation). If you don’t believe me, ask the cooks from the eatery below BBQ Pete in front of Madison Square Pioneer, Dinky’s outside Citylane Subdivision in Pasig, and our secret liempo spot in Pasay. And yes, that nameless carinderia behind GA Towers in Boni!

The place doesn't have a signboard, so I deleted the address.
No, you can't invade our liempo place. Haha!
The point of that introduction is not for you to ask me out on a date in a carinderia (LOL) but to understand that I basically eat anything delicious—yes, that includes styro food. A P50 rice-and-ulam meal is always a steal, a bargain if it even tastes fucking awesome. That’s why when Spring by Ha Yuan opened in McKinley Hill a few months back, I got terribly excited and quickly assembled my patay-gutom friends to try it out.

inside Spring by Ha Yuan

Spring is no carinderia, but considering that it is located at the Venice Piazza alongside Red Crab, Agave, and Ramen Bar, it’s like a breath of fresh air for me—and my wallet! Spring serves some really scrumptious Chinese food which are reminiscent of Binondo and are both healthy and affordable—I dare you to top that, YOU PRICEY, PRETENTIOUS RESTAURANTS OF MCKINLEY!

(Digression: Yes, Rufo’s has also opened in Piazza and is in the same price range as Spring, but Rufo’s food sucks. Don’t eat there. Seasoning is an entirely foreign word to them. Soup for them is synonymous with water. Thanks. Bye.)

With a menu of fresh ingredients cooked upon ordering, Spring is set to deliver what may be the cheapest and best Cantonese fare McKinley Hill has ever tasted. Chinese favorites like siopao and siomai are of course available on the menu, all made in-house. The two-piece Asado siopao is so delicious I won’t mind eating four of them in one sitting.

2 pieces Asado Pao, P70
I always say that noodles is not on my top list of cravings, but Spring’s lomi is surprisingly a real delight! A thick and savory broth, generous toppings, and firm artisanal noodles seemed to conspire that night to make me love noodles. The best lomi I ever tasted was one in a nameless carinderia in Laguna, and fuck, Spring reminded me of it. I was slurping away like a madman!

Chang Tiu Lomi, P160
No Pinoy can ever be contented without rice, so why not order the Taiwanese Pork Chop Rice while you’re in Spring? Crispy pork cutlets on top of rice and served with side vegetables and a savory sauce. For P130, you get an incredibly delicious and filling meal!

Taiwanese Pork Chop Rice, P130
Craving for something light? Try the Shrimp and Spinach dumplings, which are poached and submerged in soy ginger broth. These dumplings are refreshingly light and yummy!

Shrimp and Spinach Dumplings, P90
Spring also has a lumpia bar—perfect for the health-conscious diner. The Formosa Taiwanese Lumpia is a good choice, and comes in regular (P80) or small (P65) servings. I've tried their Vegetarian Spring Rolls and Lumpiang Shanghai as well , and both are really good. Next time I’m going to try the Ha Yuan Signature Lumpia.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls, P60
Formosa Taiwanese Lumpia
Still have room for dessert? Try Spring’s homemade Sweet Potato and Red Bean Buchi. I’m amazed that Spring doesn’t scrimp on ingredients; compared to Chow King’s or any other fast food buchi, Spring’s was generous on fillings. And they serve it warm and freshly made!

Sweet Potato Red Bean Buchi, P60 (4 pcs.)
My only problem with Spring is the space: if you talk a bit loud like I do, you will piss off the entire restaurant with your senseless gibberish (LOL) and #lovelifeproblems. If you were claustrophobic, you’d die upon entering. If you hate pink, you’d puke all over—but then again, this is not a space issue.

In terms of service, Spring has improved a lot and I attribute it to the new lady who supervises all operations, from taking orders to food preparation to the actual serving of food. Is she the manager? I have to ask her name and thank them for firing the asshole waiter who could’ve messed up their (promising) business.

So while you’re in McKinley Hill, drop by at Spring and partake in their wide array of delicious Cantonese treats. Hap Chan has closed down—I’m not saying I’m happy that they did, but the only things I like there are the Hot and Sour Soup and the Beef Broccoli. Spring doesn’t offer both, but there are cheaper, better alternatives. I can’t wait to try their Maki Mi and Mami and mooncakes and Ka-Pao dishes—which I heard are all ingenious creations! Perhaps I’ll visit the original Ha Yuan as well!
Asado Wanton Mami, P180

Spring by Ha Yuan
G/F The Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill. Taguig
Spring’s Menu: Click here
Locations: Click here

Update 15 October 2014: Spring by Ha Yuan in McKinley Hill has closed down. (WHY?!?!?!) Check out their other locations above.

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