Makansutra: 15-hour food frenzy in the Philippines
There's a spread that is worth salivating over in the country
Beyond the Filipino cuisine at Lucky Plaza or what they call the "turo-turo" or point-point food shops, there is a wider variety back in the Philippines.
A team of international journalists and bloggers recently visited the country to participate in the Makansutra 15-Hour Food Frenzy, which was conducted as part of the World Street Food Congress to be held in Manila in June.
The Food Frenzy began at 7am in Manila and here are the best items we ate.
BULALUHAN SA ESPANA
2166, 2166 Espana Cor. Josefina Street, Sampaloc, Manila. Opens 24/7
It's the ultimate beef breakfast for the group. Bone marrow and beef shin are simmered with leek, pepper, corn, carrots and a pinch of salt till the soup is beefy.
Off Santo Cristo Road, Belen Homesite, Angeles City, Pampanga. 10am-4pm daily
It's a no-frills kampong-esque eatery. They offer the usual sinigang (soup or stew), adobo (a meat dish with vinegar, garlic and peppercorn) and calderetta (goat meat stew), made with livestock that they rear. These meats are not common in the Filipino diet, thus making theirs so special. I love how the gaminess of the mutton is mitigated by the sourness in the sinigang soup. This dish brings pure pleasure when paired with rice.
2F Dycaico Ancestral House, Sto. Rosario Street, Angeles City. 11am-10pm daily
Chef Sau del Rosario helms this place, and he will lead Team Philippines at the World Street Food Congress. He turned an old Spanish mansion into a charming modern tavern delivering both old and new dishes.
I discussed the idea of making a sisig (fried and chopped pig's head hot plate), another Filipino national dish, into a sisig paella.
Bits of crunchy chicharron (fried pork rinds) and meat, spiked with calamansi lime, taken with saffron rice.This dish was a hit with the group.
ATCHING LILLIAN'S KITCHEN
Brgy. Parian, Mexico, Pampanga. By reservation only, minimum of 10 pax
Lillian is the acknowledged doyenne of Kapampangan cuisine. Pampanga, being the food capital of the Philippines, is known for its take on Spanish, Chinese and American fare. Her longganisa (meat sausages) has enough fat to please and her tamales, done with chicken and salted egg yolk, are wrapped thick in taro leaves before steaming.
Her private dining room is booked up at least four days every week.
2/F SM Megamall Building A, Mandaluyong City, Manila. 10am-10pm daily
At a press conference here, journalists were fed South-east Asian signature dishes, which are fast getting popular in Manila. We had, among others, nasi lemak laden with seven toppings, including sambal sotong, sayur lodeh and tawilis fish.
For more on the World Street Food Congress, visit www.wsfcongress.com
- KF Seetoh, the founder of Makansutra, dabbles in street food businesses like Food Markets and has his own TV shows on cable. He publishes food guides and online content. He is also the creator of the World Street Food Congress. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.