It’s been a couple years since I’ve been back in Manila. This time, it was for my cousin’s wedding and a new found passion for discovering the best of the Manila food scene. My father’s new food business, Hot Rod’s Filipino Grill has been quite the ride over the summer as I’ve been helping out as an unofficial taste tester.
In addition to checking out new restaurants in Manila, I was also on a mission to find out what the hype was all about with the PureFoods Tender Juicy red hot dogs. After some online research and running into a PureFood chef at Trinoma Mall in Quezon City, it was confirmed that the PF TJ hot dogs are artificially coloured. All throughout my trip, street vendors were hawking red hot dogs in addition to the regular Pinoy street food.
My first foray at the restaurants along Maginhawa was BRGR Project Burger where I was able to customize my own burger and even give it a name. There were so many options it was dizzying. I ended up naming my burger the Rizal Burger and it was delicious.
Provenciano Restaurant was a formal dining restaurant featured a Filipiniana-Spanish offering an ambiance that reminded me of the colonial Spanish decor found in my grandparent’s rural residence – quite nostalgic.
A quick visit to the University of the Philippines campus found us at the Mang Larry’s Famous Isawan stall. The line-up for the famous and most authentic Pinoy street food made me appreciate the “Isaw Pa More” love-in we’ve seen at Hot Rod’s in Winnipeg.
I didn’t venture too far from home because the traffic to get anywhere in Manila these days is downright painful. Lilac Street in Marikina City offered just as many food options. Too many options actually, and never enough time. Sr. Pedro’s Lechon Manok might be a small stand but the chicken and liempo are mouth watering delicious. Sorry Baliwag and Andok’s, I have a new love. In fact, there are a lot more restaurants in Marikina that I’ll have to save for another time.
Kain na tayo!
Photos by Ron Cantiveros | Filipino Journal