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There are lots of delicious food items there. Get a reference from a local. How about Market Manila?


Hi Robyn, it was nice to run into you at the Salcedo Market this morning. I hope you have a wonderful trip and get lots of terrific photos (always stunning) and interviews done! The link in your article up top takes one to another site...not marketmanila... at any rate, let me know if I can be of help in any way during your stay in the Philippines, though it seems you are in excellent hands...


Ooh, I'm excited to read your discoveries!

FatMan Seoul

The marketman link has a typo. Should be http://www.marketmanila.com/ ?

In Manila, try lumpiang bangus, sinigang soup, rellenong manok, crispy pata & of course balut. Also head down to Congo Grille to try their squid-inked paella and grilled stuff.


MarketMan and FatMan - link fixed. thanks for the heads up. Lumpia bangus and sinigang - check. Balut - I'll pass. Others have done that for us.

MarketMan - great to meet you too. Only 2 days in Manila and we are already blown away by Filipino food. Sour is one of our favorite flavor profiles, so we feel right at home here. One of our tastiest 'finds' (not a find to any Filipino, of course, but to us) - balo-balo with mustasa leaves. Fermented rice and shrimp sauteed with garlic, ginger, tomato and eaten with mustard leaves, for those not in the know. Incredible! Indescribably delish - sour, sweet, fermented, cheesy, fishy, wow. Tomorrow we'll be treated to several regional varieties of kinilaw. Not sure it gets much better than this.


The finest and most detailed treatment of balo-balo (AKA buro AKA tag-ilo) is still the one written by Karen for her wonderful blog Pilgrim´s Pots and Pans:


"Hot" mustard leaf tastes lovely with the buro, doesn´t it?

in Mexico City for the night, then Iguala tomorrow.

Rasa Malaysia

Robyn, I just tagged you on "Five Things Most People Don't Know About Me." Hopefully we will get to know you better...perhaps after you come back from PH?

Have fun and I hope you guys have a blast there.


It's wonderful to know you and Dave are having a good time in the Philippines! Have you tried going to Dampa? It's a seafood market in Paranaque; you buy fresh seafood there and then have them cooked at one of the dozens of small restaurants adjacent to the market.

There's are many similar eating places that are newer and more modern. There's one near the Manila Hotel and another one on Macapagal Highway near Roxas Boulevard.

Mustasa, yum-yum! Looking forward to more of your food adventure stories!


Okay, I'm Filipino, and this is the first time I've heard of "balo-balo"! It sounds goooood!


Hi Robyn, try and look for this dish called Sisig Bangus. I tried it in one of those chain restaurants in Manila called Dencios. Now, I am not a fan of fish (or chain restuarants for that matter), but this dish blew me away. Very yummy. Also, a simple meal of pandesal (filipino bun) stuffed with corned beef is a great way to start the day.


It's always a problem for me which Filipino restaurant to take my guests to. The only presentable one in my opinion is Kamayan. Others are just so noisy and the utensils are not ok even if the food is. The best so far is in Cebu right in Waterfront Hotel in the city. But in Manila, I only think it's Kamayan. Did you have any favorite one? Does the ambiance matter to you or not?


try bihod (tuna roe) in mindanao or inihaw na panga ng tuna (grilled tuna jaw). in the visayas you mustn't pass up kinilaw ( our version of ceviche). in luzon try the taba ng talangka with piping-hot milagrosa rice.


C´mon guys. Let´s send Robyn and Dave to the best chow and the best markets. Keep those recs coming. Surely Manila is more than just Kamayan (sniff).

Which market in Mindanao has bihod. Is it available in Manila? Perhaps at the fish market (Seaside) in Baclaran?

Pandesal de pugon (made in pugon-fired or wood-fired ovens), which one is the best in Manila?

who just came back from Acatempan in Guerrero State to Teloloapan, both towns remarkable for its tamales nejos, a very rare and ancient form of tamales made by preparing the masa with ash.


Just added a few comments to the old thread on the buah assam of Medan market.

Ali Jane Smith

There is a lovely novel by Merlinda Bobis, 'Banana Heart Summer', all about food in the Phillipines.



If you can, you should try the lengua (ox tongue) at La Cocina de Tita Moning. If you have to try adobo, my favorite version is at Mangan (Glorietta 2 and Robinson's Galleria) and the double cook adobo short ribs at Cafe Ten Titas. For sinigang, definitely Corned Beef Sinigang at Sentro 1771. Dessert definitely the Sans Rival, check out the one near the escalator at the Glorietta 4 food court. Also if you can Mango torte at Dulcelin.


Forgot to mention Cafe Ten Titas is at the Gateway Mall at Cubao. While Sentro 1771 is over at Greenbelt Mall in Makati.


and don't you leave the Philippines without eating at La Cocina de Tita Moning!

Margaux Salcedo

Finally! An international blogger recognizes Filipino food! It has been my perennial frustration that Manila is always missed when great Southeast Asian food is mentioned.

1. You must try our hot chocolate (chubbyhubby's posted about it). Our family has a hot chocolate shop named Nana Meng Tsokolate. If you would email me your details and if it's not too late I would gladly send you a bottle to bring home and try!

RS, the Nana Meng Glorietta stall offers pandesal (native bread) and kesong puti (white cheese) to go with the tsokolate also but it's packed already. We get this from Bulacan. But there's nothing like having it fresh from the pugon. I guess to experience this you gotta simply get it fresh in the morning from one of them Pan de Manila pugon pandesal outlets.

2. You must try our adobo. For Amy Besa, whose book you mentioned, it's the one dish that we would like to identify with if we had to name a national dish.

3. Best Filipino restaurants for me - RST, don't underestimate Kamayan (must be Pasay Road branch) for an introduction. This restaurant still has our most basic dishes, exposes our culture of eating with our hands, has waiters in native attire, and since you're quite the celeb in your own right, you may even get your own handprint on the ceiling!

For a more up to date example, there is Abe in Serendra. Order everything on the menu. Just had dinner there a few nights ago and it shows our flavors in an upscale setting.

A lot of home made cooking may also be found at the Salcedo Market but this is just every Saturday morning.

But the best is still to take a guest to a Filipino home. Come to ours in Bulacan! Nana Meng is still alive and just made ice cream using carabao milk yesterday, yum!

For streetfood, try our green mangoes and dirty ice cream.

For snacks, you're not Filipino if you don't like pork rind or chicharon. The best for me is Obet's Chicharon from Sta. Maria, Bulacan, although each province has their own to boast about. Would gladly send you a few if you're still around.

For drinks, nothing like Tanduay!

I write for the local daily Inquirer and in my column I've written more than once how I wish our cuisine would be more recognized internationally. I hope your intro to Filipino food was a good one and did not just consist of balut!



Sorry, didn't want to sound cocky there with the little dig on an old standard (Kamayan). My apologies to Corrine! I just so wanted to see the field expanded and the discourse enriched. Thanks for doing just that, MSalcedo!

Back home in Chicago


That's the Cendrillon book by Amy and Romy. They have a good spot with great food in Soho , NYC.

I am enjoying your narrative & pics of the es kendol and padang food. The best es kachang I had was @ Johor Baru -




There's a lot good food in the Philippines like kare kare,adobo, and i love the grille stuff, they should try it.


Try Seafood Market and Restaurant along J. Bocobo Street in Ermita Manila. Its the best seafood restaurant in town!

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