We’re already 10 years into the new millennium but stepping into the foyer of La Cocina de Tita Moning, I can’t help but feel like I’ve left the 21st century at the doorstep and slipped back to another era. The gleam of the afternoon sun and chandelier reflects off the polished hardwood floor. Old paintings and photos hang all over the walls. The air conditioning was on but I seem to smell (or imagine smelling) a faint musty odor in the air, reminiscent of the redolence of old houses. I pass by the souvenir/pasalubong shop immediately past the sliding doors and save for the air conditioners and big refrigerators, I can easily mistake the decade for the 1930s, not the 2000s.
Say Chinatown and one of the first things that comes to mind is the chow. It’s almost a sacrilege not to sample the food when one ventures to Binondo. Little wonder that Manila’s foremost streetwalker, Ivan Man Dy, came up with the Binondo Food Wok Map.
He was getting too many texts and calls from people asking about the whereabouts of eating places in Manila Chinatown that he felt compelled to come up with something to help people find their way to the divine food offerings that await in the busy streets.
Majority of Filipinos are still meat eaters. We love a good and flavorful steak. And those looking for a more exquisite kind of meat would be glad to know that Manila isn’t short of restaurants serving high grade steaks. We only have to choose the dining experience to match with that sumptuous food. Here we steaked-out three restaurants offering some of the best-tasting steaks in Manila.
Going back to the Manila Ocean Park last weekend became a trip not only for your happyfoodies to rediscover the oceanarium but to fish for something else – the food offerings at the Makansutra Asian Food Village located at the Ocean Park mall.
Makan means “eat/eating” in Bahasa while Sutra means thread or line holding things together (or metaphorically, a collection of such lines or things such as in the Hindu scriptures) in Sanskrit. This is especially meaningful as Makansutra is envisioned to be a place gathering together fare from all over Southeast Asia sold hawker-style. Granted that one may not always have the opportunity to travel but at Makansutra, one can let his/her taste buds do the traveling. Will K.F. Seetoh, the Singaporean foodie who inspired this enterprise, approve? Tag along with your happyfoodies and find out.
With the rainy season upon us, it would take a compelling reason to get out of bed (or a warm, dry office) to go look for breakfast fare. That’s exactly what your happyfoodies did, visiting the walled city of Intramuros on a rainy weekday morning maybe not much out of curiosity to ogle at the historic sites but more out of a compulsion to try something beside the usual fastfood variety breakfast.
Sunday is a nice time to go to Manila’s Chinatown. It’s less crowded, there’s not much traffic, and most restaurants have room to spare. Some would argue it doesn’t really feel like being there in Binondo if it’s not crowded. But there are times when it would be nice to be able to sit down and grab a bite without wading through the crowds and waiting for a long time even for short order items on the menu. Your happyfoodies chanced upon this panciteria, Shin Din Kha, while on a food trip with friends about two weeks ago. We were full at that time so we had to bypass this small restaurant. But a recent Sunday lunch found us wandering here again, this time with hungry tummies.
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?
For the foodie with a bigger than average appetite, there is a constant battle waged against small portions. Should I place two orders instead of just one? Should I place an additional order after the first one comes? Such is the perennial dilemma of the hearty eater. Count us happyfoodies in that category.
Happily, there’s no such dilemma at Bigby’s Café and Restaurant. With roots in Cagayan de Oro City, Bigby’s makes its way to Manila, opening its newest branch at the atrium of SM Megamall recently. True to its name, the food we were served came in big, nay, humongous portions. But how does the food taste? Follow us as we navigate our way to the Bigby’s food trip menu.