I was one of the two lucky winners to be part of the Sooo Pinoy Food trip with the top food bloggers in Manila (my boss included!).
Since this was something that doesn’t happen every day, I was pretty excited. Food. Wi-Fi bus. Chance to meet new friends. Adventure. Yipee!!!
My friend and I were early at the first stop ADARNA FOOD AND CULTURE restaurant since we do not like being late. Call time was 11:15 and we arrived around 10 minutes earlier. No one was there yet aside from the organizers and the other winner and her friend. (Disclaimer: Details of each stop will be on different blog posts.)
After a few minutes of taking pictures of the oh-so-amazing antique and historic displays, the other organizers and bloggers arrived. We were formally greeted by the organizers and were treated to a nice lecture on Filipino Food by no other than Giney Villar, owner and chef behind Adarna. Here we were introduced to katmon, a good alternative to tamarind for it has a milder taste. Seafood Special, Bicol Express, Adobong Batangas, and Kesong Puti with Langka were served for lunch. We were also given a tour around the place. (It has a function room and a really cool jukebox!)
Next stop was NATHANIEL’S which was said to have really good buko pandan and puto (which is the hybrid of puto and siopao). It was unfortunate that someone took advantage of our food excitement and took the bag of one of our (uhm) tour-mates.
We have not digested the buko pandan yet when we stopped by KABIGTING’S for some halo-halo. What’s so interesting about this halo-halo is that it only has 3 ingredients. HUWAAAT? Halo-halo with just three ingredients? You call that halo-halo?—inner me talking. Why yes—stomach talking. I never thought that cream of corn, beet, and pastillas (milk included) are enough to make a good halo-halo. I was still pretty full then so I wasn’t able to finish my share. (Shucks!)
Now the adventure starts. QUIAPO was our next stop. I went there before but I didn’t remember a thing. We first went to this Halal store named NIHAYAH HALAL located at the ground floor of Hotel Noralyn. We tried Tilapiang Inaluban, Kilawin, Beef Rendang, Badak, and Atay Papar. I am not very fond of curry or anything spicy so I didn’t enjoy it that much. We walked towards our next destination MASTER HOPIA FACTORY, INC. Since it was sooooo hot inside, I did not bother checking which hopia to get. I got the regular original mongo flavored hopia. Last stop in Quiapo was EXCELENTE ham known for… well… excellent ham.
Words cannot explain how happy we all were when we got back to the bus. Hello air conditioner! J
Finally, we arrived to our last stop: CAFÉ ADRIATICO in Malate (in front of Manila Bay). The ambiance was a bit dark and made us sleepy (all that eating made it even worse). BUT we will never sleep before food! For our early dinner, we had Sinigang na Bangus sa bayabas as appetizer, sparerib adobo and (sort of) crispy pata as main course, and buko pandan for dessert.
The tour was really fun. There was just a bit of a boo boo near the end that disappointed me. But I’d rather keep it to myself.
Good job Sooo Pinoy.