Suddenly found extra couple of hours on my hands today after classes were suspended around lunch time due to a bomb threat. I was sleeping at the library when I was woken up by the commotion. Rumor has it it was just a prank from a bitter parent whose child was kicked out of San Beda. No bombs were found so far, only hundreds of dissatisfied students who lost yet another precious day for catching up on lessons especially because next week is exam week. Bomb threat jokes are seriously not funny. Whoever you are, I will pray for you.
As usual I only have a passing memory of how the day went. I looked at the clock and got a mild shock when I saw that it’s already 11 PM. I remember taking a two-hour nap and promising myself I’d advance read (naks!) after. Then I ended up playing Clash of Clans which I regret I only started 10 days ago. If only I gave in to friends, cousins, and the app store’s recommendations months ago, maybe I’m already a high level player. Anyway I’m still figuring things out especially why my troop won’t attack the buildings I want them to attack but that’s for another post.
Since I’m done with all of my major requirements (I don’t know about you but I love pre-finals week) and I don’t want to spend the day entirely on CoC, I watched a few Running Man episodes and am now writing this post to somehow feel that this day has been productive. Afterwards I might watch a movie because tomorrow is Wednesday and aha, I don’t have classes on Wednesdays. I didn’t know college without hospital duties would be this, uhm, chill. So. Much. Free. Time.
I posted this one on Instagram and the caption went something like “sometimes you don’t need the best or most delicious, just the familiar” and it’s true. I’m currently craving for our beef mami given this rainy weather. And I want to eat spaghetti with as much cheese as I desire. Our version of these foods aren’t the best but I’ve had them since I learned how to eat solid foods. I don’t care if there are flies around or if they aren’t made with the utmost concern over sanitation. They comfort me.
During my transformation in 2013, my meals consisted mostly of Nesvita Cereals (my favorite is the one with Almond Clusters), skimmed milk and fresh fruits. I need to fine-tune my eating habits again because I’m slowly but surely crawling back to my fast-food-junk-food-energy-drink-eat-like-a-king-during-dinner diet.
The price of fish ball hasn’t change from 15 years ago. It’s still 50 cents a piece. Before I was introduced to the flat kind (with questionable origins) popularly sold by street vendors, I enjoyed the one from our neighborhood stall which was made from scratch and is actually shaped like a ball. The quality has deteriorated though, I remember it was bigger and had more veggies and fish bits when I was younger. Now it’s just mostly flour but the familiar sweet sauce is still the same.
Discovered a place where you can get delicious and authentic (according to reviews because I know nothing about those things) pizza, Gino’s Brickoven which has branches in Makati and Katipunan. It was my first time to eat Burrata and I will never be the same. The SMEGG (Sausage, Mushroom, Egg, Gouda, Cream) pizza is highly recommended especially if you love mushrooms. For two decades, I have never eaten a single piece of mushroom and here I am raving about it. You can eat the pizza as is, with hot sauce, or with their own spicy honey sauce. Before Gino’s, I was all for thin-crust pizzas. My beliefs were shattered. The salted egg pasta was also good. The noodles were al dente and the texture was a bit rough, just like eating red egg. However, if there’s only two of you (Hi Fae!), it’s a bit nakakaumay to finish all of your orders (one to two slices of their pizza is enough) and you tell yourself you won’t be going there again anytime soon. But then you see this picture and you begin to salivate. Ugh. Next time I’m bringing more people with me so we can try other items.
Another #MalateFinds is AdvoCafe located along Quintos St. at the ground floor of Ramon Magsaysay Commercial Complex. Advo is actually short for Advocacy and according to the website, Advocafe is a non-profit and social enterprise in support to the Indigenous Peoples efforts for sustainable living. 100% net of proceeds support initiatives on partnership and capability building for farmers, sustainable livelihood, education for children and youth and climate change adaptation. Pictures of their benefactors are posted on the walls of the cafe. I think this is great because (1) we are patronizing homegrown coffees (there’s Cordillera, Lumad and Mangyan among others) which I hear are so good they can match imported ones and (2) we’re helping our indigenous brothers and sisters. Also, it is far from the noisy and dense crowd of Starbucks and Coffee Bean. If I lived within walking distance from the place, many nights would be spent there.
Because I’m not actually a coffee drinker (I have yet to appreciate the bitterness of black coffee), Dai and I settled for the sweets and some tea. The price is relatively cheap compared to other cafes so we found ourselves ordering more than what we can finish. The Hibiscus drink was refreshing. I never thought Gumamela (flowers, actually) would be drinkable. All the other pastries we ordered, though not the kind you can’t stop talking about, were pretty decent especially for the price. Our favorite was the egg pie. Next time I should try their rice meals and pasta for a change. And while I’m still at it, I should probably learn how to drink real coffee (not 3-in-1s and definitely not frappes).
We’ve always wanted to try Korean Village along Nakpil street because it’s one of the first Korean restaurants in the area but the sign always says “CLOSE” we thought it was already out of business. One time, we chanced upon it during operating hours. You know what happened next.
The side dishes were a bit wanting compared with other Korean Restaurants. They’re not even refillable, hmph. The only thing good about Korean Village is that they serve Jajangmyeon, a noodle dish topped with a thick sauce made of chunjang (a salty black soybean paste) because Dai and I have been searching for it ever since we saw the dish featured in one of the early episodes of Running Man. Boy it was good.
I forgot what this piece of meat was called. You might think it’s a bit wanting in terms of serving size because this was already one order but wait till you grill this protein. It’s so good you’d think eating too much is unfair to other meats. We ordered another kind which was also delicious. Two of the best I had in my limited foray into Korean cuisine.
I had lunch with my dongsaengs (Korean term for someone younger than you) and they were both Muslims so we only ordered beef. The side dishes offered at Gangnam Style were ample and delicious. They even serve Korean ice cream for dessert! Only downside was the lettuce not being refillable otherwise it was a very pleasant dining experience.
Plus some take home Takoyaki from Musashi. The first time I tried this Japanese food, it was from Hana in Little Tokyo and I was only able to finish one ball out of pure will. The consistency was icky. I wasn’t keen on eating one again but after a lot of nagging from Thalia promising that this Takoyaki stall in MoA is the best, I decided to give it another try. Now I am hooked I even found a branch in Harrison Plaza where I visit from time to time after attending the Sunday service of Victory in Village Square for my Takoyaki fix.
She brought me to this Japanese place in BF Homes Paranaque and I was content to blow my money and fill my stomach with sushi and ramen. Forgot what these were called but one had eel and the other, salmon.
Juana’s Budbod and Coffee near LRT2 Legarda Station which serves Rizal’s (the province not the national hero) version of Silog meals. Budget-friendly and the portions are big. Rice was disappointing but we we keep coming back anyway. haha.
Whenever my father visits me, it’s always a must to have at least one meal in Binondo. This is from Wai Ying because we were too tired to look for something new to try.
On one of my long breaks, I tried Vincent’s Kambingan Place along Concepcion Aguila St. in San Miguel, Manila (near Malacanang and San Beda) with Thalia. As evidenced by dozens of pictures posted on the wall ranging from prominent personalities like Erap, sportsmen like Manny Pacquiao, high-ranking government officials to typical government employees and students, this one caters to all people from all walks of life. When the sun is up it’s mostly for people who want a bowl of Papaitan and other dishes made from Kambing or goat meat. At night, it’s a drinking place for hardworkers (not yuppies, more like the father types).
We shared in a bowl of papaitan and though I was happy with it (the taste of apdo was strong and those innards call out to me), Thalia said her mother could cook better. I have yet to try that. haha. Anyway, this is a place my father would definitely enjoy.
Which was a good thing otherwise we wouldn’t have discovered our go-to place for Jjamppong and Jajangmyeon. The server said one order is only good for one person based on their Korean customers. Don’t believe him because one bowl is enough for two hungry Filipino tummies. The broth of the Jjamppoong was thick and spicy plus the seafood toppings were generous. Perfect for the kind of weather we are having lately.
Tuyo Rice Bowl from The Clubhouse in Robinson’s Magnolia. It’s really delicious but I believe you can recreate it at home much cheaper. Unless you’re super rich and you’re willing to shell out 250++ for a bowl of tuyo with rice and scrambled eggs.
Not a fan of California maki but their California Love was, uhm, love. The kani (crab) salad on top made all the difference because the mangoes were sweet it overpowered the cucumber (the reason why I don’t like California maki). Pags had Sukiyaki if I remember correctly and she enjoyed her pan (?). I had one of their bestsellers (forgot what it’s called but it had butter and corn) and I finished the bowl with much gusto.
Fom a classmate’s recommendation I tried the buttered chicken on 1st St which is pretty famous around Mendiola area. There are actually ongoing debates because two places are serving buttered chicken and people are arguing about which serves the better chicken. Personally, I think the one on the right side (when you’re facing 1st st) is the winner. The chicken part is bigger, the butter is better and the servers are friendlier. It’s not consistent though. Sometimes it’s very delicious, other times it’s just okay (or maybe it’s the law of diminishing return after eating for consecutive days? haha).
Fatboy Grill in Lipa City, Batangas. I like the presentation utilizing chopping boards. If you happen to find yourself in Southern Tagalog, give it a try. The serving of rice is equal to two or three orders from fast foods and everything is under a hundred pesos.
And SnackShack. Cheap, delicious, cheesy quarter pounders at the heart of UP Diliman. There’s this burger joint that’s gaining popularity named YvanNavy because it’s budget friendly and a quarter pounder only costs 50 pesos while SnackShack’s is 70. I’m willing to pay the extra 20 and choose SnackShack’s any time. Tinapay pa lang talong talo na ang YvanNAvy.