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Legendary fastfood in Chinatown goes to San Juan

Chuan Kee in San Juan
(middle) San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora and Chuan Kee founder Gerie Chua led the ribbon-cutting during the grand openingin San Juan of the very first branch of Chuan Kee, the oldest restaurant in Manila Chinatown. With them in photo are (from left) Chua's children Royce Gerald, Geraldyn and Gerik, Chua's wife Rose and brothers Romy and Robert. (JERRY S. TAN)

THE oldest Chinese restaurant in the Manila Chinatown which in turn is the oldest in the world, is now in San Juan City offering its residents the chance to experience the most sought after old-time favorite Chinese dishes and food products without having to travel all the way to Manila.

Binondo-based food mogul Gerie Chua said that he and his family have decided to bring the 84-year-old Chuan Kee, the oldest fastfood chain in the whole of Manila Chinatown, to the eastern district of the metro in order to give those living there the chance to get the best of Binondo without having to battle traffic and long lines, by opening their very first branch outside of Manila.

San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora led the ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the formal opening of the said restaurant which not only offers Chinese foods that Binondo had been known for but also the staple products of its two other establishments -Eng Bee Tin Grocery and The Great Buddha Cafe- that serve as ‘go to’ places for Chinatown visitors who want to eat or buy and take home unique Chinese food products. Among those offered are the uniquely traditional nutritious soups that have Chinese medicinal herbs and spices and are known to have healing and aphrodisiac effects.

Zamora thanked the Chua family for bringing to San Juan what he described as the ‘legendary foods and products’ that can only be found in Binondo and for choosing his city as the site of its very first branch since the said restaurant opened in Chinatown im 1940.

‘Ang alamat sa Binondo, nasa San Juan na,’ the mayor enthused, as he also vowed to be a patron, saying just like countless others, he also is interested in trying authentic old-time favorites that draw crowds to the said original restaurant and grocery in Ongpin.

Zamora, who also heads the Metro Manila Council (MMC), meanwhile told an ambush interview that the local government units (LGUs) are set to meet with representatives from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to harmonize the implementing rules and regulations that would govern the operations of e-vehicles which were banned on national roads pursuant to a resolution passed by the MMC.

“Kailangan tugma ang aming mga polisiya kaya nga ho di pa nagi-implement ang MMDA at di pa nagpapasa ng ordinansa ang mga LGUS, dahil ito ang panahon na hina-harmonize natin dahil napakaraming classification. Kahit ako ay naguilat, di lang pala one or three classification, depende sa size , sa speed, marami, so we have to get clearcut guidelines from the LTO kung alin ang dapat me rehistro o me driver’s license,” Zamora said.

Zamora said the planned meeting will establish common policies and become the basis of local ordinances that all LGUs will subsequently adopt.

He said that the aim of the resolution is primarily to protect the riding public, noting that many e-vehicles are unregistered or even driven by minors with minor occupants too.

With regard the Supreme Court decision barring LGUs from issuing official violation receipts (OVRs), Zamora said the MMC is leaving it up to the LGUs themselves to either file a motion for reconsideration or have their traffic enforcers deputized by the MMDA.

In the case of San Juan, he said that they have taken the option to seek deputization from the MMDA in compliance with the SC requirements.

Just the same, Zamora said: “Pagdating sa MRs, choice na po ‘yan ng mga local government units. Kung sa tingin nila gusto nilang mag-file ng MR, that’s their choice.”

Itchie G. Cabayan
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