Continuing from where we left off, our next stop at Robinson’s Veranda is Hyphy’s by Chef Bruce Lim. It’s one of the notable restaurants in the Veranda Row especially for its laid-back and casual feel. Hyphy’s serves dishes chef Bruce grew up with which are Filipino foods in San Francisco. The Cobb Salad (P260) is a good start with its finely-grilled chicken strips along with the vegetable salad. But the most memorable dish on the table was the Bangus Steak. The large de-boned milkfish was pan-fried evenly and that special sauce is nothing short of addicting. It quickly became the favorite on our table.
Honestly speaking, I’m more of a hole-in-the wall and hidden nook type of person when it comes to choosing eateries and try to steer clear of the malls as the food outlets there tend to be too commercial. But of course, there’s always room for exceptions especially if the establishment has something unique to offer. Besides, nothing beats the comfort and accessibility of malls. Robinson’s Galleria, which is like a neighbor to me being only a 15 minute-ride away from home, opened up their new Veranda section and we get to try their numerous restaurants in the row.
Food discoveries during travel have always been the heart of Happyfoodies. And during this Lakbay Norte 2, a familiarization tour of select places in Northern Luzon, we get to try out some interesting food stops on the way to Baguio from Manila on our first day. We had breakfast at SOUL Cafe in La Union, snacks at Cafe Isabelle and dinner at Hotel Elizabeth’s Flora Cafe.
One of the indelible impressions that going around Cebu City left me is that Cebuanos simply love to eat. I’ve visited this so-called Queen City of the South every year for the last four or so years and seeing new eating places coming up just amazes me. The last time around was for another work assignment when we went around and saw signages on lampposts advertising either lechon (roast pig) and pochero, a kind of beef soup.
Chinese cuisine has always been one of my favorites. I remember Mapo Tofu being one of my favorite Chinese dishes in a local restaurant. When I went to Chengdu China and ate at Chen’s Mapo Tofu where the dish actually originated, I realized that the Mapo Tofu here is worlds apart from the original one. Since then, I haven’t tasted anything close to it or any of the Sichuan dishes I tried in Chengdu. That is, until I went back to Singapore’s Chinatown Food Street and found some restaurants that offer something close to what I remembered.
For an intrepid traveler looking to discover and connect with the locals, one need not look further than the streets. Eating by the sidewalk may raise some eyebrows and pop in hygienic concerns. Yes, there are risks but having gastronomical ailments in truth is as rare as hitting the 5 numbers of a 6-digit lottery lotto. So going beyond the risks, eating along with the locals is a great immersion in their culinary culture. And in Laos, it’s not such a bad thing as most eating establishments are along the sidewalks.
I was feeling adventurous when I was in Laos, so when I met with my local guide and he asked me where we want to eat I told him, “we’ll eat where you guys eat”.
So what do we avid traveler-photographers do during the monsoon season? Hmmm, at times, we just brave the weather and go ahead with our trip. But sometimes, we’d wisen up and not push our luck, opting to stay in the city and find something else of interest. That is exactly what we did recently when along with two fellow foodie friends, your happyfoodies braved the Saturday monsoon rains to eat their way through a Saturday. Nevermind the overcast skies and intermittent rains, the muddy streets and damp air, but really, is there something more pleasurable than sniffing out the delicious smell of Chinese food wafting from shops and hole-in-the-walls and succumbing to the temptation?
“Where do we we eat?” Tired and famished from all the hiking and traveling, it’s a question we ourselves keep asking whenever we’re in Basco. This capital of Batanes, is usually the jump-off point for visitors exploring the Philippines’ northernmost province. Happyfoodies collates some noteworthy eating places to help out first-time or returning visitors.