Saturday, October 10, 2015

Meals and Markets in Manila

Ach, this week kind of ran away from me.  I can't believe it's Friday and I've only blogged twice in October.  Work was pretty crazy this week and my parents are here, so I haven't been able to update the blog as much as I would have liked!

Continuing with my adventures in Manila, though, I move on to some of my favorite topics - food and markets!

 We went to get our coffee every morning at Toby's Estate.  I liked the decor.

 We went to get tapas at Barcino for lunch once.  There is a lot of Spanish food in Manila.

 The spicy chorizo (a bit oily):
 The Catalan salad (delicious):
 The octopus on a bed of potatoes (huge!):
 We went to Vask for dinner (Spanish tapas) another night:
 The restaurant had all kinds of weird art and sculpture.  We sat under this:
 We were served an amuse bouche of green pea soup.  It was pretty good.
 Most of my food pictures are way too dark because the restaurant was so dim.  We ordered tuna bruschetta, pork knuckle stew, grilled baby squid, and a 63 degree egg with mushrooms.
 I thought the tuna was pretty average, but the three other dishes were very delicious.

 We also ordered dessert, but that was where the restaurant truly failed us.  Does that dish on the left look like chocolate cake?  And does the dish on the right look like pumpkin creme brûlée?  We joked that it was deconstructed goop, i.e., baby food.
We ate at a local restaurant at the SM Mall of Asia.  We got a very satisfying meal of squid sautéed with garlic flakes, fried rice with pork and a fried egg, and shrimp in a ginger curry sauce.  There was so much MSG in the food that afterward I was so unbelievably sleepy and thirsty.

 What do you know, Manila has a Dean & Deluca?!  Never underestimate the power of American consumerism and chain stores.  It was a little slice of home.

 I have to say, the Philippines has the most number of American chain stores in Asia I have ever seen.  Of course the typical McDonalds, Starbucks, KFC, but also True Value?? Ace Hardware? Pinkberry, Dairy Queen… the list goes on.

What do I love just as much as food?  Markets!  We went to one on Saturday morning, in the neighborhood.   It was bustling!

These corn dogs…words fail me. I could not resist taking a picture.
They had tiny garlic.  I liked the fresh roasted peanuts for sale.

They had octopus balls!
 And fresh little hotcakes!  But these took so long to make I went back three times.  On the last time, they "lost" mine.

There could not have been a more surly woman than the one making these cakes.  I would not have been surprised if she spat in all of them out of spite (except that she was cooking in plain view of the public).
 There were fun baskets and weavings.  Look at that huge hat in the bottom right corner of the photo - can you believe how big it is??
 Cactus and rambutan.
 This guy was selling some kind of cold drink.
 We shopped and bargained for fun wooden objects!  I love this stuff...
 They sold lechon (pork) everywhere:
 I bought a grilled corn from this guy, except I saw a cob fall off as he was grilling and he put it promptly back on the grill.  So I probably should have taken that under advisement before I bought one…heh.
 Stuffed fish!
 Meat skewers and barbecue everywhere:
 This… is balut, a Philippine delicacy/snack.  It is the embryo of a baby duck when it has grown large enough to be a recognizable fetus…or some such thing.  I am pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, but this is something, along with ants and crickets, that I do not think I will try.
 Vegetables!  The kale here made me wistful.  I miss kale.

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