Mercato Centrale, Check!

It took me almost a year to go to Mercato Centrale. Oo na, kahihiyan na ako ng mga foodies! :,(

We went there after trying out Jamba Juice. Because I was still full from the smoothie and pretzel, I decided to get a light dinner–

Claude Tayag’s Pan de Bagnet and Casa Goñi’s Paella Negra.

Shempre joke lang yung light dinner. Ano ba. Ako ito. MATAKAW AKO! 😛

The Pan De Bagnet before it became a sandwich started off looking like…

and

I did not fall in love with the sandwich at first bite. It tasted bland. But when I had my second bite and heard my teeth crack the crispy pork skin and felt the perfect sourness of the vinaigrette in my mouth, I knew that the medium-sized sandwich was worth the 200php I took out of my Mighty Mouse wallet. 😀 Ang sarap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Paella Negra (85php/cup) was also delicious, but I wish I bought the Wagyu Paella instead. No choice. Sold out na eh. Between squid ink and chorizo, I’d choose the former every time. I hate chorizo. Pero in fairness, maraming bumibili ng Three-Chorizo Paella nila. 🙂

So that’s my 1st ever Mercato meal. Loved it! Now let’s talk about Joko’s and Vlad’s purchases. Kung matakaw ako, matakaw rin ang mga kaibigan ko!

Joanna Katrina bought isaw, takoyaki and fruit shake. Nag-Mercato pa siya para dito, di’ba? She argued that they got bigger, better isaw and there’s crabsticks in the takoyaki. I had nothing more to say after tasting the takoyaki. Masarap nga.

And look at this isaw. Para ngang galing sa dambuhalang baboy!

Vlad bought his dinner from a Korean stall. It’s hard to miss it because there’s a sign that says Seoul Sisters and there’s a Korean lady preparing the food. Hehe.

He said that the Korean barbecue and chapchae tasted good. Good for 99php.

Vlad’s choice of dessert was Salted Caramel Ice Cream. I think he enjoyed it because he was very quiet when he was eating. Or baka na-empacho na siya? :p

Joko also got Revel Bar, Cream Cheese Brownies and Food for the Gods— 3 for 100. I tasted all 3 and found the revel bar too sweet, the brownie was ok but I didn’t taste the cheese, the food for the gods didn’t taste like food for the gods at all but it’s delicious and my fave among the 3! 😀

In conclusion, I wish it didn’t take me that long to experience Mercato. I enjoyed my 1st ever Mercato feast and I can’t wait to go back to try all the goodies from the other stalls! But then again, the people behind Mercato is opening a night market here in Makati tomorrow! DISTRITO‘s got food, fashion, beauty and wellness products galore every Wednesday to Friday from 9pm to 3am!

I guess Distrito is the more convenient choice for a Makati girl like me. But if the anaconda in my tummy strikes again on a Saturday, I will most def go back to Mercato. 🙂

Congratulations, Mr. Anton Diaz for the smashing success of Mercato and best of luck to Distrito! Busugin niyo pa kaming lahat! Cheers!

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listening to: Gary Valenciano – Growing Up

My First Binondo Food Trip

I would like to thank my 5 tourguides (Ralph, Vlad, Joko, Maricris and Mike)  for making my first Binondo food trip last Saturday fun and memorable. It was a very exciting day for me because the last I was there was years ago with my family and the only thing I remember about it was going to Binondo Church for Visita Iglesia and eating pancit and siopao in a resto with a name I couldn’t even recall.

We met at Binondo Church at lunch time. The proper name for this beautiful building is Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz.

Mass was ongoing when we got there and several hours after, there was a wedding. There was a Chinese guy singing an unfamiliar OPM lovesong as the bride waled down the aisle. No picture of it to share. Hehe.

Joko decided we eat at Wai Ying. It’s in Benavidez Street, a short walk away from Ongpin corner Salazar.

We ordered soychicken mami (100php), beef mami (100php), dumpling mami (100php),

mixed meat congee (100php),

chicken feet (70php) I did not eat this because it reminds me of earthworms

zhachiang or spicy noodles (100php)

hakaw (80php), radish cake (80php),

Peking duck (550php for half kilo),

sugarcane juice (60php),

and almond jelly (70php), milk tea jelly (70php) and black gulaman (70php).

I loved everything and surely, I will be back for more of their delicious and afforable food! Hopefully, the next time I go to Wai Ying, I can already eat rice ‘coz their fried rice looked promising. Yeah yeah yeah, I couldn’t help but look at the dishes the people from the nearby table were having!

The service was quick and polite. The ambience is what you would expect from a Chinese eatery, steady and noisy at the same time, hehehe. Another Chinese resto stereotype, the floor was dirty, but hurray! the washroom was clean. The floor, I’d blame it on the rain that day. When Vlad and I went out to smoke, our shoes got wet and muddy so maybe we were also to blame for making Wai Ying’s floor grubby, hehe!

We waited for the rain to stop. When it did, we went to 999 Shopping Mall (beside 168) to burn the calories we gained from our inexpensive delicious feast.

And after bargain shopping, we went to Dong Bei. They said the best (cheapest) kuchay dumplings can be found here so I had no choice but say yes. All for the love of kuchay!

And they are right! I loved Dong Bei’s kuchay dumplings (100php)! I look pretty happy in this picture, right?

Their kuchay pancake (100php) was also great!

Also their bestseller, xiao long bao (70php). Yipeee for me, the soup inside the dumpling didn’t burn my tongue! :p

It’s only their beef and tomato soup (90php) that didn’t quite satisfy my tastebuds. The broth was too bland. I liked that the beef’s tender though.

We just finished our food and Dong Bei and didn’t hang there for long because of the brownout. The whole street didn’t have electricity that time. So, yep, it was a quick romantic candle light dinner with friends.

Before we set off to Gilmore for videoke, we paid a visit to another must in Chinatown– Eng Bee Tin. Sure, there are Eng Bee Tin’s all over the metro, but I guess it’s more exciting to visit the one in the land of its makers. Mas feeling authentic. Hahaha!

Because I wasn’t in the mood to eat hopia or tikoy or mooncake, I grabbed 3 packs of mocha mochi that I will blog about some other time. I also bought a pack of tofu chips that I already ate but too blah to be blogworthy. the last thing I noticed as i was paying for my purchase was this.

The Golden Buddah! If you’re wondering where the Lucky Cat is, it’s not here. And it’s not Chinese as many think it is. What Lucky Cat? You know, the Welcoming Cat, the one that waves? It’s actually Japanese. It’s called the Maneki Neko. I did not learn this from the guys in Eng Bee Tin. I learned this from Wikipedia. Just thought I’d share it here. Hehehe!

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Special thanks to Mike Bahrami aka The Persian Guide for the pictures! 😀

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listening to: Parokya ni Edgar – Order Taker (one of the songs from our videoke session after the Binondo food trip)

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