It was my first time to host a Malaysian CSer. I had no idea what to do as I have posted in my profile that I am only willing to meet up for coffee or whatnot. But since it was Christmas Eve, I wanted to be a host for a day.
December 24, 2011, 2PM.
We have this Filipino tradition of bringing foreigners/tourists to Filipino restaurants and share with them how magnificent Filipino dishes are. But since my friend and I met at Shangri-La, we were left with C2, Via Mare, Recipes and the food court as options. Well, since I wanted to be the greatest host-for-a-day ever, I brushed off the food court and decided to have lunch at Via Mare instead (since they also serve palitaw which I have been craving for months!).
We ordered the following: Rellenong Bangus (PHP490), Sinigang na Hipon (PHP275), Crispy Binagoongan (PHP295), Bibingka (PHP115), Puto Maya (PHP138) and Palitaw (PHP45). [I have tried all of these dishes before but I wanted to share the love with my Malaysian friend.]
First served was the Rellenong Bangus. It was still the big yummy and flavorful bangus (milk fish) that I remember. Stuffed with vegetables and tomato sauce, it was a mixture of saltiness and tanginess. It was heaven! It also got my friend’s seal of approval. Horray!
The Sinigang na Hipon on the other hand did not have generous serving of shrimps. The shrimps were so small though I loved the soup itself as it was tangy. I also appreciate that they served the shrimp skinless for hassle-free eating.
Next served was the Crispy Binagoongan, yet another favorite of mine. It was really crispy yet not overcooked and dry. I loved pairing it with their bagoong (shrimp paste). I had to eat it with rice though as it tends to be really salty. I just hope that they’ll serve more green mangoes next time. (Or maybe I should have asked.)
Now for the desserts… good ol’ kakanin.First served was the bibingka with salted eggs. It was fluffy and buttery. It wasn’t the best in Manila but it was definitely good. A bit on the expensive side though.
The palitaw (poached rice patties with grated coconut and toasted sesame seeds—Via Mare) was served next. One order has 3 pieces of palitaw. It was pretty good. There was generous serving of sugar with sesame seeds which I love (making the sugar even more fragrant). It was the chewy gooey Filipino dessert I love.
Last served was the Puto Maya. My Malaysian friend was familiar with this one as other Asian countries also serve something similar to it.
Glutinous rice cooked with coconut cream and topped with ripe mango, what could go wrong? I think quick service is very important here as the rice tends to harden up when it is served late. Via Mare’s version on the other hand was delightful. The rice was not (yet) hard and the mangoes were sweet. Plus the coconut did not have an overpowering taste.
Overall, it was one great lunch plus my Malaysian friend and I left the place with happy tummies!
Via Mare is located at the Ground Floor of Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City.