Metro Manila food trip
Metro Manila food trip, anyone?
To say that Filipinos love to eat would be an understatement. Apart from a full meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, merienda—or mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks—is a requisite part of their every day. It is also customary to greet guests with “kumain ka na ba?” (have you eaten?), offering the food they have to friends and acquaintances who visit them at home.
With 7,107 islands across the archipelago, the Philippines offers a dizzying array of delightful treats that tantalize the taste buds and seduce the senses. Metro Manila alone has a range of establishments running the gamut from classy restaurants to hole-in-the-wall food haunts, each promising an adventure of flavors, textures and taste.
Filipino cuisine is as rich and colorful as its history, with influences from neighboring Asian countries, Europe and the US. Well-loved dishes can also get a modern twist by innovative chefs at contemporary restaurants. One such dish is the Balut Surprise from the 100 Revolving Restaurant on Eastwood Drive, Quezon City. The humble balut or boiled duck egg, is given a delicious twist, with the traditional street food and its soup nestled in a soufflé crust.
Set on the 33rd floor of the MDC 100 Building, the 100 Revolving Restaurant completes the dining experience with a 360-degree view of Metro Manila, even stretching as far as Laguna de Bay, Manila Bay, Sierra Madre, and Mt. Banahaw. Currently the only revolving restaurant in the country, the establishment takes one hour and 40 minutes to make a full revolution.
Meanwhile, in 2009, both Time Magazine and renowned celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain gave the Philippines’ lechon their seal of approval. With succulent meat and crunchy, golden brown skin, this traditional favorite is a celebrated treat in every Filipino festival, party and get-together. Among the establishments that have perfected the spit-roasted pig is Elar’s in Quezon City, which was founded in 1970. Infused with lemongrass, salt pepper, spring onions and secret spices and herbs, Elar’s lechon is perfectly complemented by their signature gravy.
For seafood lovers, Dampa at the Seaside Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City is a must-visit. They can visit the market to get the freshest catch of the day and head to the nearby restaurants to have their purchases cooked. From lobsters, scallops and shrimp, to oysters, mussels and clams, each seafood favorite is turned into savory soups and stews, baked or grilled to perfection, or served kinilaw-style or ceviche to highlight their natural flavors.
|Jade Garden's Mini Fortune Poon Choi|
Bad days can instantly turn for the better when one enjoys delightful dishes that satisfy not just the tummy, but also the soul. Among the popular foodie destinations in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City is the Early Bird Breakfast Club. It makes sure that every day starts off on a high note with their all-day breakfast offerings. Their Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich has cheddar, mozzarella and gruyere flanked between toasted yet still soft bread, and dressed with sweet and spicy onion relish.
Another food hub known for comfort food is Barangay Kapitolyo in Pasig City. At RUB Ribs & BBQ, food lovers can choose from an array of no-frills American comfort food at affordable price points. Big appetites can go for the Family Brunch, which comes with two racks of fall-off-the-bone-tender ribs perfectly paired with scrumptious sides such as Garlic Spinach and Mushroom, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato, and Spice Fried Rice.
Around the world in Manila plates
Include international cuisine in your Metro Manila food trip. The hottest street tacos hang-out place in Makati City, El Chupacabra is renowned for its laidback, friendly vibe and scrumptious street tacos, best downed with a bottle of beer. The taco fillings range from healthy grilled vegetables and fried fish, to grilled steak, roast pork, lean pork sisig, and spicy chipotle shrimp.
Those with a hankering for Japanese feel-good favorites should make Little Tokyo along Pasong Tamo, Makati City, a part their itinerary. One of the locale’s hotspots, Seryna is popular for their selection of fresh sashimi and sushi, with seafood flown in straight from Japan. Yuppies, families and even Japanese expatriates also frequent the restaurant for their sizzling saikoro steak, or tender diced beef steak cooked in garlic-infused olive oil, value-for-money bento meals, and yakitori.
Cravings for authentic Cantonese cuisine can be satisfied easily at Jade Garden, located at the New Glorietta 2 in Makati. The Prawn & Dried Scallop with Beancurd Soup serves as a fresh and flavorful start, while the Mini Fortune Poon Choi, with layers of steamed shrimp and sea cucumbers, soy chicken, barbecue pork and vegetables, is a feast worthy of celebration.
Food lovers eager to experience the Metro Manila food trip can easily do so with CebuPacific Air. The country’s leading low-cost carrier offers the widest network of flights to the Philippine capital from 28 international destinations and 33 domestic destinations, with fares as low as P588.