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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Philippine Foodventure pt. 8 - Manila and A farewell

 Well, we've come to the end of the series. Looking back...I ate really well on this trip. hahahaha... Here's the last few meals before returning to the life I'm familiar with. We took a trip the The Fort, which is like an outdoor mall area. A friend of mine from college met up with us at a place he recommended. Murray & D. Vine. It's a small space. It one of those places where you can go to when you've just come from a bar or wanting to go to a bar. We sat at the balcony level. It's got a little chic modern feel to it.

Wagyu Sliders
 Tender, delicious and juicy. I love how they served it up too. Simple.  

It came with some french fries (accompanied by a personal sized bottle of Heintz ketchup)

I ate it all up! Glad my friend suggested the place. 


The night before I left, we took a walk around Rockwell mall. It's not as crowded as the other mall, but it still had a sizeable amount.

Vendors making taho

Tofu custard with tapioca pearls in a brown sugar syrup. This is usually sold by street vendors in the early morning. The men yelling out "TAHHHHOOOO" to the top of their lungs caalling out for customers. It already great to have it fresh in the morning. It's still warm and soft. Luckily, these guys had a fresh batch. Mix it all together and drink it up. Mmmm...childhood memories of my sitting by the table taking big spoonfuls and eating it all up. Oh, the memories.

More mall days. This one is inside Rockwell. 
The size of this one is a little more comparable to the malls here in the US.

pronounced Chitchiria meaning snacks

Like how McDonald's has Ronald, Jollibee has the bee. The bee and I good friends. (hypothetically)

I liked this jeepney. It was funky retro and appropriately enough has a "food trip" sign on top of it. I didn't notice until someone pointed it out to me. 

It's a new chicken joint near my cousin's house. It's a roasted chicken place. 

and it's fresh cut. We had it with a couple of sides like mashed potatoes and gravy, macarroni salad, and coleslaw. I surely had my fair share of chicken on this trip. 

Located in the Shangri-La mall. It's a Chinese style cuisine. This was where we had our final family lunch just a few hours before I had to leave for the airport. I was one of those moments when I wanted lunch to last a little longer. 

There was 16 of us altogether.

Fried Squid

pork asado? I think that's what it was. 

crispy noodles
with beef and bok choy

Crispy Pata

Sweet and sour spare ribs. *drool*

It very much like crispy pata, but served in some broth with bok choy.

kuchay pork dumplings ordered from the dimsum menu

pork siumai -- sorry it's blurry. I was in a rush to take a pic as I wanted to 
devour those dumplings right away.

Chicken feet -- i must say they were actually delicious.

After lunch, the mood was a bit of a somber one. As we all knew it was only a matter of time before I had to leave. We we head home back into the house. 

I spent a couple hours playing with my nieces and nephews. A couple rounds of guitar hero and the endless jokes and laughter from them. I was trying to stall to the last minute. Packing the things I would be taking back with me. They were filled to the brim, I tell ya. It's funny how traveling works. You always end us leaving a place with more things that you arrived with. 

As the final moments ticked down, I wanted to so much to stall my leaving. but the inevitable was to happen. We loaded our belongings into the van and began our ride to the airport. it would be a good hour before we reached Ninoy Aquino International Airport. 

We get there and my emotions get the best of me. I had promised myself I wouldn't cry and yet there I was with a stream coming down my face. I know it won't be the last I see them, it's just to hard to have to wait so long and live so far. We say out final goodbyes and my mom and I head inside. We check in our luggage and get our boarding passes and wait. In a way I was hoping the flight was delayed. Ok maybe not.

Surrounded by the many others going back to their lives in the United States. Several of them feeling the same as we were. It really came to the point there I wanted to stay indefinitely. It a little hard to believe, but that's how I always feel when I'm there. 

We get on the plane close to 10pm. I sing several rounds of "Mary had a little lamb" to keep me from crying like a baby with several tissues in hand, red eyed.  it was hard not to think of my family.

Lunch rolls around...

Sweet and Sour fish.
with veggies and white rice. A greek salad mix (top left), Lemon custard with cake, dinner roll and a pat of butter.

It was good, but I wasn't really in the mood to eat. The appetite wasn't there. I was just too busy trying not to cry. But I forced myself to eat at least half of the food. It had been several hours since I had eaten lunch and I knew it would be another several hours before the next meal would be served. 

After that, I try to watch a movie, but I managed to catch a few winks. I was just too emotionally tired to really concentrate on anything else. I tried to read my mood, but my eyes were saying to me "no you ain't." I was in and out of sleep. Something about travelling in planes just doesn't mesh well with me sometimes.

Chicken tocino with scrambled egg, mushroom and a wedge of tomato, Also some garlic fried rice. Served with a side for fresh fruits, a slice of banana bread cake and a dinner roll.

Several hours later, we land back in the US of A

View of California from above. This was the view from my window. 

We arrive and head through customs. A close cousin from my dad's side was gracious enough to pick us up. Once we had gotten home, it was a weird odd feeling walking into my house after two weeks. We unpacked and divided up all the goodies that would be given away and ones that we were giving away to friends and family. Then we got hungry once again. This time I really had an appetite. So my mom and I decided that our first meal would be something I haven't had a LONG while.

The first meal back -- Grilled Cheese with animal style fries from IN-N-OUT

That's a wrap on this foodventure. Thanks to you all who came along for the ride.  Even though these are the cliff notes version, I hope I was able to show you some of the delicious eats the Philippines has to offer. It's really not as scary as some may think. It's a fusion of the many cultures that had made the Philippines their home. Friendly, hospitable people, who can really cook up some yummy goodies.

On to the next foodventure!!!! What that will be and when...well...that's still to be determined. :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Philippines Foodventure pt. 7 - Mall Eats Manila

After a week of being in Nagcarlan, you'd think the delicious eats would have slowed down after. Nope. It was heartbreaking for me to leave my family behind. As we packed up our bags aand headed back towards Manila.  I love them very much. One of the downsides of living so far away from them, it's always that waiting to return. It would be a two hours trek north. possibly longer as once we hit the main city pockets of traffic begin to pop up. On the way back, we made a lunch stop at one of the road site stops.

My mom, aunt and one of my cousin's wanted Jollibee...again. This time I chose a different place to eat. I love Jollibee, but I needed to change it up a little.  So I stopped in Chow King along with my other cousin.

I orger their new orange chicken lauriat. Which has orange falvored chicken. Shrimp crackers, Crispy noodles, a sesame ball (buchi) and a mound of rice. I's have to say a was a little disappointed at how little orange chicken I got. I got more rice and noodles that that actual advertised item. Hmph. Oh well. I was hungry.


It like a whole other world compared to being in the province. Being back in the city, you're hurrled into the hustle and bustle of the life down here. You've got to keep moving. Mountains have become tall buildings and sky scrapers. Bridges ans freeways covered with the midday traffic. Car horns honking. People still walking at their own pace. You get used to it after while.

In the city of Mandaluyong is where I remember spending some years as a small child. Several place I used to know still exist at their original locations.  Again the image of the old meeting the new is in full force.

The SM Megamall -- Yes, it is called the Megamall. It is also on the list of largest malls in the world. If I remember correctly, it's ranked #7. That makes two for the Philippines. The size of maybe three football fields, five levels high. It's really one of those places you'd have to see for your eyes. But let's just say I spent many MANY hours here during my second week. Actually, that pretty much what I did. I went mall hopping at the many they have there.

One thing you'll have many choices in is all the food choices in the malls. Here's some of the many eats I had at the malls while I was there. We decide on Amici at the Megamall on our first night back in Manila. It's a little fast food Italian place. A lot of places do deliver.

My favorite soda aside from Dr Pepper.  It's somewhat resembles rootbeer in taste. Sooooo good. Almost makes me want to make a rootbeer float sometimes.

 Pizza Margharita. I wanted the veggie pizza, but I guess they ran out for the night. Grrrr... It's cool though. The margharita pizza was still good. Fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil on a thin pizza crust. After a nice meal...we watched a Filipino movie.

 Orchard Road (SM Megamall)-- Chinese in dish selection

 Seafood Crispy Noodle
The broth tasted very much like egg drop soup. The noodles were nice and crispy.

World Chicken (Trinoma) -- Can you guess what they serve? As if the name didn't give it away.

 Grilled chicken, fried plantains, Garlic fried rice.

You choose your sides first, then the cook places a nice hefty slice of chicken on your plate and then you choose from the 4 sauce selection. I chose teriyaki. It was nice to have some fried plantains.

A little food stall that sells mini bibinka (baked rice cake) -- 
Bibingka is one Filipino treat you must have. 

Personal sized portions baked in banana leaf. I'm tell you cooking with banana leaf is awesome. It gives the dish a nice flavor. If you haven't used it before, I recommended backing or cooking with banana leaf. 

 Soft baked goodness with cheese, clarified butter and sugar on top. Yum!!!

Of course, we have to have it with some Razon's Famous Halo-Halo. We went to the one at the food court at the Megamall. See... I told you I spent way too much time at the mall! For those of you who don't know my last name is Razon. I've always wondered if I'm related to them in some form or other. Haha... wouldn't that be funny. Either way...the halo-halo is awesome.

A couple slices of leche flan on top of some fluffy shaved ice and evaporated milk. The mix-ins for this is buko (coconut) and sweet potato. Soooooo good!!! Perfect for those summer days. Took me a while to actually mix the whole thing together, but it was worth it.

 The empty glasses

One of the nights, my mom and I had dinner with a couple of relatives from my dad's side of the family that I still keep in contact with. We decided on Krocodile cafe at the Shangri-La Mall.

 they bring out some kropek (shrimp crackers) to start. I munch on these for a while.

 kare-kare gulay
Stew in peanut sauce with veggies

 roasted chicken served with some kropek

Chicharon bulaklak
aka chicharon bituka. Deep fried pork intestines. Served with some kropek and vinegar.

Pandan Jelly
Pandan Jelly with coconut milk and sago (tapioca pearls) and rice crispies

 Turon a la mode
Plantains with jack fruits wrapped in eggroll wrapped deep fried and coated in oil.  My aunt ordered this one while the rest of us ordered the pandan jelly. By the time this arrived at our table we had all finished out dessert for the night.

Cafe Via Mare (at Rockwell)

I went here with my cousin during one of our last nights here. Again spent at the mall. 

My mom orders the sun-dried beef tapa with omelette. Served with come atchara, garlic fried rice and vinegar. It actually tastes like beef jerky...almost.

I order the crab omlette with a fried spring roll. I was nice to havesome kind of crab dish for once. I do love my seafood. Served with from fried rice and sweet and sour sauce for the spring roll.
We order a side of mixed oysters combo. I had one of the spinach and cheese. i think that's what it was and one of the slightly spicy oyster.
Tokwa at Baboy

Tofu and pork. The pork pieces are cooked like the bistek and tossed with some slightly crisp tofu. Yummy!!! I ate up the tofu in this dish. uto Bumbong
Puto Bombong

You can't see I well from the photo above, but it's purple in color.It's a steamed rice treat. This along with biibingka would be something you'd have during Christmas time. My cousin decides to order it as a take home dessert. Topped with lots of cheese coconut and sometimes sugar. A nice mix of sweet and savory and a little crunch.  Yum yum!

Can you feel it? One more foodventure post left. :( I miss it so much. Heck...I miss going to the malls down there, even though I'm not much of a mall person to begin with. Come back tomorrow for the finale in the week long series. :)
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