My friend Jizz and I decided to meet up a few days ago to try out Peperoni Pizzeria, a new pizza shop in the not-quite-open-yet Uptown Mall. Since our other friend that we were planning to meet up with wasn’t going to be in Peperoni, we decided to just check out Halal Guys instead. Now I’ve always heard stories from my friends about how awesome a place Halal Guys was in New York. How it was a stall that you should NOT miss if you find yourself in the Big Apple. Needless to say, much was expected.
The Japanese food of late here in Manila has been dominated by every restaurant doing signature sushi rolls and, more recently, deep-fried breaded cuts of pork and seafood that we all lovingly know as katsu. It was a pleasure to find out that a new Japanese restaurant that specializes in tempura had opened over at the Grove, which is a quick 20 minute drive from the house.
Now I have always had a soft spot for tempura. When I was a kid, my parents knew that the only way to make me eat whenever I would get sick would be to bring me to Kamirori over in Katipunan to get me an order of ebi tempura. If we were lucky, we’d drop by the video rental shop next door and rent ourselves a laser disc copy of either Top Gun or Mighty Ducks. So yes, sick times were good times when I was a kid.
Yesterday, I met up with some officemates over at EDSA Beverage Design Studio (a place that, if you follow any of my social media accounts, you would know I frequent) for some boardgame fun over coffee.
We had a couple of cups over the afternoon ranging from locally sourced beans from Mt. Apo to their signature blends, mainly their Winds of Winter blend.
We spent a good four hours in the cafe before the hunger pangs started kicking in. This, naturally, got us thinking: Where to for dinner? The first place that came to mind, which I’ve been meaning to visit recently, was Eat Fresh Hong Kong Street Food over at J. Abad Santos, just off of Wilson St.
We were introduced to Bawai’s over five years ago when it was still this little known restaurant in a nondescript house surrounded by empty lots and the occasional cow. The unassuming restaurant, whose name translates to maternal grandmother in Vietnamese, redefined what Pho was for me. The kitchen was run by the owner’s grandmother who is Vietnamese by blood but had settled here in the Philippines after marrying a Filipino. A few years back, they opened shop in White Plains, Katipunan and it was only late last year that I was actually able to try their Manila branch and only today that I was able to grab a few snaps to share in the blog.
I took half a day off from work today to get my license renewed. I took this as an opportunity to meet up with one of my friends who worked in the Pioneer area in Mandaluyong. She suggested Silantro and Ba Noi’s for lunch. Since I’ve already tried Ba Noi’s multiple times, I figured that this was the perfect time to try Silantro out!
For the last day of the month, my friends and I decided to go to Bale Dutung in Pampanga for a 10-course degustation. The meal is prepared by Chef Claude Tayag who you might recognize from one of Anthony Bourdain’s shows (No Reservations, if I’m not mistaken) where he visited the Philippines.
Burger restaurants have been around in Manila for the longest time. I remember when all these shops started popping up in the city almost a decade ago, each one trying to outweigh and to out top the competition. Recently, new burger shops popped up that offered higher quality cuts of beef in their patties and the now common topping combinations that can range anywhere from caramelized onions to bacon jam.
One new player in the burger scene, which has earned the top spot in my list of favourite burger places, is actually doing the exact opposite of what all these other burger shops have been doing. They offer no frills burgers that just focus on high quality ingredients prepared excellently.