Sago’t gulaman, Manila

December 8, 2014

What: When tropical heat and humidity join forces, you need a reliable drink with which to beat it back. Enter sago’t gulaman (“sah-go’t goo-lah-man”), the ever-present Filipino cooler made with a special sugar syrup, sago balls, and cubes of gulaman (more on… Greenbelt Dr, Makati City, Manila

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Taho, Manila

December 8, 2014

What: Taho (“tah-ho”) is your breakfast protein in a cup. Its base is a very bland, soft version of warm silky tofu that’s sweetened with arnibal (“ar-nee-bahl”), a caramelized sugar syrup (the best uses sugarcane-based muscovado), and topped with… Legazpi St. at VA Rufino St., Makati City, Manila

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Leche flan, Manila

December 8, 2014

What: A very sweet steam-cooked milk and egg custard with a runny caramel sauce, leche flan (“leh-cheh flan”) is a dense, rich, and very popular dessert found (in one shape or another) on most restaurant menus. Its main ingredients are canned milk (both evaporated… Glorietta, Ayala Avenue, Makati City, Manila

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Bistek tagalog, Manila

December 8, 2014

What: Bistek tagalog (“bis-tek tah-gah-log”), a.k.a. beefsteak tagalog, consists of thin slices of beef cooked in soy sauce, kalamansi, garlic, and onions. Steak worshippers might consider slicing good cuts of steak sacrilegious, but anyone who’s been here—or to any other… Harbour Square, Pasay, Metro Manila

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Kapeng barako, Manila

December 3, 2014

What: Kapeng barako (“kah-peng bah-rah-koh”) is coffee brewed using the liberica (barako) varietal of beans; it is sometimes called Batangas coffee, after Manila’s neighbor province, which had a good crop growing until the early 19th century when a coffee blight wiped out most… J. Quintos Street corner MH del Pilar Street, Malate, Manila

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Sinigang, Manila

December 2, 2014

What: Sinigang (“see-nee-gang”) is the sour soup you shouldn’t miss in Manila, hailed by noted food critic Doreen G. Fernandez as “most representative of Filipino taste.” Standard sinigang usually includes cubed pork belly and a plethora of vegetables—okra, … SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City, Metro Manila, the Philippines

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Suman, Manila

November 21, 2014

What: Suman (“soo-man”), or suman malagkit (“mah-lag-kit,” meaning sticky), is the Manila rice-cake cousin of Cebu’s budbud pilit (see entry) and the most basic of kakanin (roughly translating to “things to eat or nibble”) that use rice or root crops as a… 1790 M. Adriatico Street Remedios Circle, Malate, Manila

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Pandesal, Manila

November 14, 2014

What: Pandesal, also spelled pan de sal (“pan-de-sahl”), translates as it does in Spanish: bread with salt, a humble breakfast staple that can be eaten on its own, dunked into coffee or hot chocolate, or filled with things like butter, kesong puti (a soft cheese from carabao/ water… McKinley Park Residences, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, […]

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Inihaw na manok, Manila

November 14, 2014

What: Grilled chicken, or inihaw na manok (“ee-nee-haw na mah-nok”), falls into the category of simple, daily fare, so it’s therefore widely available, even from small-time entrepreneurs on street corners. But do not underestimate this dish, as it always comes packed with… San Andres Street corner Roxas Boulevard, Malate, Manila

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Pritong isda, Manila

November 14, 2014

What: Fried fish, pritong isda (“pree-tong ees-da”), is a staple that harks back to Manila’s early fishing roots. The name comes from frito (or prito in Tagalog, which has no letter F), the Spanish word for “fried.” While we don’t know what people called their… Corte de las Palmas, Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City, Metro […]

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