HAD lunch at Mr. Ube Rice and Noodle House at Lucky Gold Plaza Ortigas in Pasig City on the way to the office. My husband Raff and I have stopped over at Mr. Ube for lunch many times in the past. Truth is, it’s one of our favorites. Lucky Gold Plaza is located at the foot of the Ortigas Bridge, and Mr. Ube is situated towards the back of the mini mall, whose major tenant happens to be Robinsons Supermarket. We like stopping by Mr. Ube because parking is not a problem. You can park at the back of the mall, and since Mr. Ube is surrounded by glass windows, you can see your car while dining, so you somehow feel secure.
More than the lack of parking problem, though, we like having lunch at Mr. Ube because the food is good. It’s simple, as the menu carries mostly noodle soups, rice toppings, stir-fried noodles, dimsums and short orders like Fried Spring Roll, Fried Wanton, Chinese Kangkong with Shrimps and Fried Chicken.
If the name Mr. Ube sounds familiar to you, it’s because it is a sister company of Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli, whose main man, Gerry Chua, is often featured on TV and in newspapers every Chinese New Year because Eng Bee Tin specializes in hopia and tikoy. Gerry innovated on his parents’ traditional Chinese deli offerings and came up with delicious Hopia Ube and multi-flavored Tikoy, including ube. Violet happens to be his favorite color, so he’s often seen wearing a violet shirt, and that’s what prompted people to start calling him Mr. Ube. Well, he decided to live up to his name and opened a restaurant called Mr. Ube.
Of course, Mr. Ube sells Eng Bee Tin’s famous Hopia Ube, plus all other hopia flavors, Tikoy Roll and Tikoy Bar, Mochi Balls, Peanut Cake, Chinese steamed cakes, and fresh noodles in plain, malunggay, ube, carrot and spinach variants. There’s a deli portion, complete with a glass-door chiller, to the rice and noodle house that carries all these delicious bites. But more than just the hopia and the tikoy, people stop by for the meals that it serves.
My favorites, when it comes to rice meals, are Herb Chicken Rice and Fish Tofu with Tausi Rice. Raff’s sole favorite (he always, as in always, orders this!) is Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet Rice.
I don’t know how they cook the Herb Chicken Rice, but the chicken is really tender and flavorful, and the portion is big (the entire drumstick is cut into three pieces and served with steamed rice).
As for the Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet Rice, the portion is a bit small, but it’s fully satisfying, and the sweet and sour sauce is excellent.
The Fish Tofu with Tausi Rice is a new addition to the menu, and it’s a good alternative to the Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet Rice on days when your palate looks for a more savory than sweet treat. We see a lot of diners ordering Lechon Macau Rice, and quite a few have opted for the Porkchop Rice and Beef Ampalaya Rice, and they seem to be enjoying their own meals, as well.
Raff and I have also tried several other items on the menu, including Singaporean Laksa, Seafood Dumpling Noodle Soup and Tom Yum Noodle Soup. Now, the noodle soup servings are huge – as in huge and served in huge bowls – and can be shared by two people if you’re not too hungry. And it’s a real steal at Php100 to Php135. Other variants available include Beef Noodles, Beef Wanton, Meatball Noodle, Japanese Shoyu, Wanton Noodles, Fish Ball Noodles, Sate Pork Noodles, Gokong Noodles and Shabu-Shabu. So, whatever kind of an eater you are, whether you love meat or you’re a seafood person, you’ll find a noodle soup that matches your diet.
There are plenty of stir-fried noodles to choose from as well, such as Mr. Ube Specialty, Miki Bihon, Sate Beef Noodle Stir-fry, Sate Pork Noodle Stir-fry, Seafood Noodle Stir-fry and Oriental Spaghetti.
On the side, you can have Siomai, Seafood Dumpling, Temari Pao (with Patatim filling), Fried Radish Cake, Boiled Wanton, Ube Pao (with Roast Pork, Meat Ball or Spicy Roast Pork filling), and Two Bites Siopao. Raff and I once tried the Fish Siomai.
Reasonally priced, the meals at Mr. Ube do satisfy cravings for not just Chinese food but also other Asian noodle dishes, and the most expensive item on the menu is Shabu-Shabu Noodle Soup at Php135.
(Mr. Ube Rice and Noodle House is located on the Ground Floor of Lucky Gold Plaza, Ortigas Ave. Ext., Pasig City; with telephone number 791-7389.)