Category Archives: When Hunger Strikes

Food in Iloilo City

Food in Iloilo City is literally just everywhere. Especially with the Dinagyang Weekend approaching, the streets started to get filled with foodstalls and Food festivals were being held simultaneously in different designated areas (SM City Parking Lot and the area near the Capitol).

I’ve heard a lot of talk about how food is in abundance in Iloilo and how inexpensive it is. With my 4-day itinerary, I made sure to document my food experience in the city, trying my very best to recover after every bout of ¬†“food coma” so I could live to tell about it. So here goes. Let the pictures whet your appetites ūüôā

STREETFOOD

For the more adventurous palates (and tummies), Iloilo’s streets during the Dinagyang week would feel like a streetfood bazaar.

Ramboy’s Liempo

Here they serve liempo like no other. My friends Bo and Russel shared with me a secret on how to tell a good liempo from the rest on the skewers: they have to have that “bubbly skin” appearance. I don’t know if there’s any science to it at all but it certainly worked for us at the time and got us a tasty piece of good old liempo yumminess.

Deco’s La Paz Batchoy

Ever wondered why they called it “La Paz Batchoy”?

Yep. You guessed it.

The origins of the great “La Paz Batchoy” are rooted in La Paz, Iloilo.

At Deco’s you can enjoy an extra serving of caldo (soup)¬†and chicharon¬†(pork rinds) toppings at no extra cost and pair it off with a couple of their “pre-war” pandesal. Adjacent to the restaurant is where you can also make your Souvenirs and Pasalubong stop. You can choose from biscochos, butterscotch, Guimaras Mango Jam and many other Ilonggo treats.

¬†JJ’s Cafe

Located close to Mary Mart, this joint offers an extensive array of caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks. We came by here more than a couple of times to take a breather from the madding tourist crowd.

Roberto’s

My friend Russel took me downtown amidst the thickening mob that was taking over the city for the festival. But he certainly had good reason to drag me to Roberto’s to try the King Siopao and Lomi which was supposed to be merienda ¬†but ended up feeling like a full meal.

Allan’s Original Talabahan

I never thought baked talaba could be better especially in a place where there never seems to be a shortage of this shellfish. Allan’s sets itself apart with it’s melt-in-your-mouth baked talaba specialty.

Rooftop Brewery @ Smallville

An interesting pub with an interesting crowd–and an even¬†more interesting collection of beers from around the world being served to a scene of laid-back patrons enjoying the late 80’s and early 90’s music spun by their in-house DJ.

Blue Jay Coffee

Before the global brand of gourmet coffee, Starbucks, swept the city off it’s feet, there was Blue Jay.

Dulcinea

Simply sinful. Cream Puffs and Churros just blew my calorie-counting into oblivion. Enough said.

Patpat’s Kansihan

I was curious with what Kansi  really was. It came to us as an uninteresting-looking piece of big beef bone with soup (commonly referred to as Pochero in most parts of the country) in a bowl served with a fork, a knife, and a little stick to poke into the bones to get the yummiest, artery-clogging piece of bone marrow. Please, do eat this at your own risk.

Following this 4-day food spree, I just felt like I had to run miles to take the pounds off.

Oh well.

‘Til the next Dinagyang!

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Gone Fishin’

I got my first fishing rod at the age of 14 as a present from my Dad. Since then, I’ve considered fishing as one of the best ways to spend a weekend over. I’ve been here more than once and each visit has always been a pleasant experience no matter if I was with my family or in the company of friends and after yesterday’s visit, I am convinced that this place deserves its own (long-overdue) post.

 

Co Jordan in Consolacion (almost close to Lilo-an which is approximately an hour’s drive away from Cebu City) is a sizable¬†bangus (milkfish) pond and talaba (oyster)¬†farm which has gone beyond conventional operations by converting the place into a leisure/seafood restaurant. You could rent makeshift fishing rods made of bamboo, complete with the line, floater and the hook for only Php10.00 then get bait made of feeds for another Php10.00.


So while your fresh seafood eats are being readied, you can either try your hand at fishing, do karaoke or go boating. It would be best to visit this place ready with spare clothes in case you get caught up in the fishing action which could get messy when you try to free your catch from the hook. It’s pretty safe to say you’ll be guaranteed at least one catch. It is a fish pond afterall. Lol. Which is also why you’re gonna need to pay for your catch when you bill out (The rate for bangus¬†yesterday was Php160.00/kilo).

Co Jordan‘s sea food menu is quite extensive too and ¬†reasonably-priced in comparison to the usual Sutukil¬†rates so long as you have a group to share the budget with. I would peg an abundant meal at about Php300.00/pax.


Filling Station: 1950’s Breakfast

¬†“This mortal form grows weak. I require sustenance…”
– Thor
Working an average of about 12 hours a day for the last week seemed to have whet my appetite for breakfast. Now, in my current neighborhood, there is a very interesting diner called Filling Station and Thursday morning with the dreaded rumbly in my tumbly, I marched into P. Burgos St. and  graciously tasked the establishment in taming my monster appetite.
*courtesy of Mr. Russel Capatoy (www.russelcapatoy.com)
¬† ¬† It’s like Denny’s with a twist–and a very funky twist at that too! The 1950’s-inspired interiors of Filling Station is aptly decorated with a vast collection of vintage memorabilia ranging from old gas pumps, vintage cameras, collector’s vinyls, yellowed rotary phones to posters of classic movies and movie stars (Gene Kelly and Singing in the Rain, James Dean, Gone With the Wind and Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Casablanca, Humprhey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman) although I failed to spot an authentic old-school jukebox (they may have had it on the other side where the billiard tables were).
*courtesy of Mr. Russel Capatoy (www.russelcapatoy.com)
¬† ¬†With it’s all over feel, you’d expect to be impressed similarly with the menu and the actual food served. I tell you, you will not be disappointed. The menu items may be a little bit pricey (We spent approximately Php600.00/pax) ¬†but considering the serving size and the food quality, I’d say it’s just about worth it.
    Immediately, with Babygurl, Foofoo Panda and Sexified Hiro Nakamura, we settled into a a cozy booth and got down to choosing from the menu. I opted for the Power Breakfast but had my omelette customized with button mushrooms and tomatoes:
    I was quite overwhelmed with the Power Breakfast serving which had the following: 2 pieces of ham, 3 pieces of bacon strips, 2 mini Italian sausages, a 2-egg omelette, 2 large button mushrooms, a large slice of grilled tomato and cucumber, 2 pieces of wheat bread, one hashbrown, a little bowl of beans and finally some butter an jam. Just to understand however, this district mostly caters to foreigners, hence the abundance with each serving size.
    It was an absolute mission to finish my plate and ended up leaving about half of my food uneaten. I capped off my hearty breakfast with a glassful of OJ and stayed a little bit for more laughs and craziness with the rest of the breakfast bunch while we ogled at the fascinating pieces from more than half a century ago.
    So if you want to check it out, here are the directions and contact information:

Makati Ave.
Ground Level Sunette Tower, Sunette Tower
Durban St. cor. Makati Ave., Poblacion
Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

Phone Number: (632) 897-5179

Website: Ziggurat Restaurant

 


A Mideast Tastebud Experience

     It seems like I will be deviating from the to-do list I had come up with in my previous post. It has been a hectic first week in the metropolis of Makati.

My daytime view from the 26th floor

 Night view

¬†¬†¬† Yesterday though,¬†I managed to have a couple of hours to¬†chill¬†and just check out the¬†scene close¬†to the hotel. ¬†A ¬†friend took me on a brief tastebud-expedition¬†of the Mideast and the Mediterranean via Zigurrat Cuisine and was delighted with this gastronomic oasis. I googled “ziggurat” and found that they are, architecturally, the Mesopotamian equivalent of the Egyptian pyramids: large artificial square mountains of stone.

¬†¬†¬† Discreetly located within the labyrinths of the city, Ziggurat¬†was a feast for my senses. I’m a big fan of Arabic and Mediterranean food and was pleasantly surprised by what I was offered. It has been more than ten years since I last had a satisfying fill of authentic MidEast food which I personally¬†consider my soulfood. Before I even looked at their extensive menu, I started randomly naming my favorites off the top of my head and asked the waitress if they had it. And they did! Well,¬†except for laban¬†(a sort of Mideast yogurt though with a less thicker consistency). So for starters just like the way they do it in the Emirates, I ordered pita bread (I’m used to calling them “chapatti“) and a serving of hummus (ground chickpeas with olive oil) and Pappadums¬† while waiting for the rest of our orders below:

Flavorful Pappadums and dip.

 Lamb Biryani: It had very tender lamb meat and after the first spoonful, I just felt like I was coming home.

Just a whiff of the spices on this and it’ll have your tummy rumbling.

Dessert 1:¬†¬†Gulab¬†Jamuns¬†are one of my favorite Indian sweets. They are basically milkballs soaked in honey. I’ll never forget the first time I tasted these at a restaurant called Caravan in Dubai.

Desert 2: Baklavas. Everytime¬†my Dad comes home for vacations, I would always ask him to bring a stash of these Lebanese Sweets home. They’re made of many kinds of nuts: wallnuts, pistachios, peanuts, almonds, etc…¬†enveloped in crunchy and thin pastry films drizzled with syrup.

¬†¬†¬† I’m so happy to have been taken to Zigurrat and to top that, It’s just about a 2-minute stroll from where I’m currently staying. With it’s diverse selection of restaurants, especially in this district, I’m looking forward to more discoveries in this part of the city.