Friday, August 30, 2013

Street Food Galore in the Philippines

Food trip need not be expensive. Here in the Philippines, you can spot food vendors in almost any places where you can spend less the price you spend in a restaurants and food chains. Well, except for expressways probably, street foods are almost everywhere in the Philippines.

You can fill your hungry stomach without breaking your budget. What it takes is just a little spunk to join the hungry crowd. You will be joining and brushing elbows with people from different walks of life. Just be a little cautious though. If you are concern with sanitation, be watchful on how street food vendors prepare and cook their food.

The fame of street food are taken into the next level. Instead of just catering to the common people, they are made available to the middle class in malls. Though the food could taste the same, the feel and ambiance is a lot different.

Chef Archie of Lime 88 offers "street food na pina-sosyal." If you are craving for street food but you wanted something different, this place in Mandaluyong looks like the place you would want to go.

Here are some of our favortie Philippine street food:

barbecued chicken intestine/isaw/IUD - typically served with spicy vinegar
barbecued chicken intestine/isaw/IUD

barbecued chicken ass/pwet ng manok - eaten with barbecue sauce
isaw at pwet ng manok

Fried chicken intestine/isaw/IUD - isaw dipped in batter and fried
fried isaw

chicken head or helmet - dipped into a batter and deep fried
fried chicken head or helmet

kwek kwek/chicken egg and hotdog
kwek kwek/chicken egg and hotdog

Balut - boiled fertilized egg
Add caption

Closer look at that balut. The feathers are pretty prominent. It's obnoxious to look, really.

Squid balls and tokneneng/quail eggs (dipped in orange batter and fried)
squid balls and tokneneng/quail eggs

siomai and kikiam
siomai and kikiam

variety of kakanin or rice cakes

Street food is part of the Philippine culture. Vendors may be displaced because of the changing times and city ordinances nevertheless, it is here to stay to continuously provide Filipino patrons with cheap yet delicious food.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Starbucks Berthaphil, Clark

Starbucks opened it's first store in the Philippines on December 4, 1997 at 6750 Ayala Building. The country was said to be the third market to open outside North America. Since then, there is no stopping Starbucks. Now, it's all over the Philippines with branches in provincial areas like Pampanga.

According to their site, Rustan Coffee Corporation, a member of the Rustan Group of Companies is the sole authorized licensee of Starbucks Coffee International in the Philippines. To date there are 195 Starbucks stores across the country.

Among the recent branches to open is Starbucks Berthaphil Center branch at Clark.

Starbucks Berthaphil Center branch, Clark

Starbucks Berthaphil Center branch, Clark

Starbucks Berthaphil Center branch, Clark

Last time I visited the place with my friends, I ordered a caramel macchiato with a pump of raspberry syrup. It's an added flavor, giving that extra tangy and sweet taste.

If you want something different in your cup you can always request for something fruity to mix with your fave coffee. You can enjoy your own concoction, if you feel a little adventurous, or seek recommendation from a barista to surprise you.

To complement the coffee, I had a slice of the delectable Outrageous Cheesecake.  Its tempting to look at. Wait til you taste it. You might not taste any other cheesecake again. It is rich and creamy cheesecake filled with bits of mangoes, blueberries and strawberries and topped with fruit compote combination of mangoes, blueberries and strawberries with white chocolate snowflakes.

Starbucks, outrageous cheesecake

Starbucks, outrageous cheesecake

If you get the chance to be in Clark, visit Starbucks Berthaphil. I'm not paid to do this promotion but something really nice is worth sharing.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Aling Lucing Sisig, Angeles City

Sisig, according to Kapampangan history, refers to a salad of green papaya or guava with salt, pepper, garlic and vinegar as dressing. Unlike the sisig we know today, sisig was like a vegetarian salad probably eaten as a side dish.

Sisig has evolved over the years when Kapampangan started putting meat in it. Based on history, local residents bought unused pig heads from the commissaries of Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Pampanga for cheap price. Pig heads were not used in preparing meals for the U.S. Air Force personnel. (Source: Wikipedia)

It's around 1970's that Lucia Cunanan aka Aling Lucing came to the scene and reinvented sisig. It was her who introduced the use of sizzling plate in serving the dish. Though the ingredients are basically the same with the traditional recipe, she changed the preparation of sisig. Pig parts (ears and cheeks) are first boiled, grilled, and chopped. It is seasoned with vinegar, calamansi juice, chopped onions and chicken liver and served in hot plates.

Aling Lucing Sisig

Aling Lucing Sisig

Aling Lucing Sisig

Aling Lucing Sisig

Aling Lucing's humble eatery is located where the railroad once was, in one of the notorious place in the city. The place is not air-conditioned and it looks like a typical carinderia. But outside of its establishment are gorgeous cars and vehicles; and the customers come from all over walks of life -- from regular denizens to actors and actresses and politicians. The place doesn't matter anymore as long as they serve the perfect sisig.

Aling Lucing Sisig

I once asked a staff why the sisig in the other Aling Lucing's branches doesn't taste the same. She said that their preparation is different. I do not know how true her statement was but definitely my taste buds can tell.

 Buro (fermented rice) with mustasa (mustard greens), okra, and eggplant
Side dish: Buro (fermented rice) with mustasa (mustard greens), okra, and eggplant

Aling Lucing Sisig
Valdez St Agapito Del Rosario Angeles City,Pampanga 
For reservations call (045)8882317 or 09182126461 
For franchising contact Zeny Cunanan 09395145112

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lelut Baculud @ San Fernando, Pampanga

The past 72 hours was pretty scary. The rain never stopped and it get stronger every minute. And the news are showing the worsening flood in Metro Manila. While I am staying warmly and comfortably at home, I am a little restless too. Hard rain like this makes me uneasy especially that I am seeing trickles of fine water on the wall of my "substandard" place. I never intend to badmouth but seeing some problems in my electrical wiring and now with water pouring inside the house only confirm how poorly the house is made.

Nevertheless, amidst that gloom, a guy friend came along and spent almost the entire night with me chatting and laughing. It's lightens me up a bit.  And to warm ourselves up, he brought me to Lelut Baculud. Lelut means lugaw or congee. Baculud is a pre-Spanish name of our place Bacolor in Pampanga.

lelut or lugaw

lelut or lugaw

tokwa't baboy

It was my first time to visit the place. It has that homey and very Filipino ambiance. As the rain pours, more and more people came in even it was in the wee hours of the morning. It was surprising because it never runs out of customers despite of the heavy rain. According to my friend, Lelut Baculud was just a small business several years ago but they have expanded to cater more Kapampangan patrons.

Lelut Baculud @ San Fernando, Pampanga

Though their specialty is lugaw they have wide variety of Filipino viands and snacks to choose from.

If you are just within the vicinity, you may visit any of the following Lelut Baculud branches
  • Purok 5, Brgy. San Juan, City of San Fernando, Pampanga
  • Kalayaan Village, Quebiawan, City of San Fernando, Pampanga

Monday, August 19, 2013

Very Asian and Posh: SM Clark Food Court

SM Clark opened it's five-storey building. Though it is under-construction as of this writing, their Asian-inspired food court is now open.

Fourteen international cuisines are ready to give you gastronomic experience that will not hurt your budget. Some of these restaurants include:

Purple Pad Thai
Ihaw Juan
Don Don Tei
Kusina Manyaman
Turkish Doner
Sizzling Plate
Francis D's Burger
Seoul Bibimbob
Coco Fruity
Tropics Salad Delights
Cocktails Unlimited

The food court has that classy look. It makes you feel like you are dining in a posh hotel.

SM Clark Food Court

I've tried the angus beef teppanyaki meal in Don Don Tei, which includes a bowl of miso soup. The rice is not the sticky Japanese white rice yet I can say it's a superb meal for only Php110. The beef is tasty and perfect to the bite.

angus beef teppanyaki meal

miso soup and beef teppanyaki meal

Me and my friends shared the pad thai from Purple Pad Thai. Though the noodles was a bit soft for me, I guess it was just okay. It's Php160 price is reasonable.

pad thai

A wide selection of mouth-watering dishes are waiting for us at SM Clark Food Court. I'm excited to go back and try other restaurants.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Katsu Curry + Red Tea + California Maki Dinner at Rai Rai Ken

A woman was designed by God to be with a man. But what if the man is not there yet?

I've been single for the longest time. Among its perks is getting to do things my way. I learned to go to places, dine, and watch movie alone. And most of all to be self-reliant at all times.

I went to the mall last time to see my wax lady only to find out that there are other things I want to do like shopping, eating, and watching movie. Does that sounds familiar? Afterwards, you realize you've spent more than your budget.

Before I watched Wolverine, I had my dinner first at Rai Rai Ken. My eyes caught their 50% off promo. I was excited to have my ramen. However, since the waiter suggested to try the katsu curry and had successfully piqued my curiosity, I decided to try it out instead. To pair my katsu curry, I ordered california maki and red tea. Yeah, I am such a voracious eater!

It was a gratifying meal. Rai Rai Ken's katsu curry was delicious but I never expected it to be too heavy in the belly that I ended up bringing it home. The curry sauce was delectable that makes my tongue uncontrollably lick my mouth. Two thumbs of for this heavy meal.