Manila is one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines. Offering a diverse array of attractions plus great food, social cultures and interesting things, the capital city of the South Asian archipelagic country is, without a doubt, a dream destination for many. Especially for those that enjoy sampling different cuisines and exotic dishes. The fact that you are reading this, I assume that you are one of them. Because of that, I'm going to be telling you about the top 6 local dishes that are worth trying when visiting Manila, plus where you can order them. For those unable to visit the destination due to one reason or another, it shouldn't be a big deal as you can easily prepare these meals at home. All you need are the right ingredients and recipe, the latter of which you can obtain online.
Up to this point, are we on the same page? If yes, fair enough; let's go to the dishes now. According to CNN Travel, here are the top 6 dishes you should try when visiting the capital of Philippines:
Halo-halo is an Indonesian word that translates to "Hello-hello" in English. Contrary to what you might think as an English speaker, this isn't a greeting word here. But rather, it's a name Manilans and Filipinos at large have given a local dessert made from an array of ingredients. These include; milk, mixed fruits, flavored crushed ice, boiled sweetened white beans, plus purple yam, crème caramel, as well as ice cream(for topping).
Halo-halo is finger-licking good with a unique taste that combines sweetness, savouriness, earthiness, and toastiness taste. This is one of the best summertime treats in the capital of the Philippines. It's a common dessert on the menu of many restaurants within the city. Some of the best eateries where you can order it are;
i. Aristocrat Restaurant---- 423 San Andres St, Malate, Manila, Philippines. The restaurant closes at 10 pm.
ii. Café Via Mare---- 2nd Floor, The Landmark, Ayala Center, Metro Manila, Philippines. They close at 8. 30pm.
iii. Chowking Restaurant--- 1580 Taft Avenue, Corner Pedro Gil St,1004 Metro Manila, Philippines. Closing time varies between 5 pm and 11 pm, depending on what day of the week it is.
iv. Manam Comfort Filipino Restaurant--- Greenbelt 2, Esperanza St, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines. They close at 9 pm.
v. Mang Inasal Restaurant--- 4F SM City Manila Concepcion, Cor Antonio Villegas St, Manila, Philippines. The restaurant closes at 9 pm.
2. Buko Pie
"Buko" is a Filippino word for the flesh of unripe coconuts, used as food. Therefore, "Buko Pie" translates to "coconut pie" in English. This traditional Filipino dish resembles a coconut cream pie, except that it's made from sweetened condensed milk and doesn't have meringue swirls on top of the baked coconut custard or cream in the coconut custard filling as is the case with the former. It's highly delectable and popular in Manila and other cities in the Philippines as a snack. You can buy it from a street vendor or restaurant. Here are some places that arguably make the best buko pies in the city;
i. G & B Special Buko Pie and Noodle Station---- 486 Quezon Blvd, Quiapo, Manila, Philippines. Closing time not indicated.
ii. Banapple Pies & Cheesecakes---- Ayala Triangle Gardens, 1226 Metro Manila, Philippines. The restaurant closes at 10 pm.
iii. Marland Cakes & Pastries---- 701 Soler St,1003 Metro Manila, Philippines. Closing time N/A.
iv. Jollibee---- Jollibee Raon, Quezon Blvd, Quiapo, 1001 Metro Manila, Philippines. They close at 11.45 pm.
v. Buko Express---- Parañaque, 1700 Metro Manila, Philippines. Closing time not shown.
By the way, you can make buko pie. The recipe is fairly simple and all you need are the following ingredients, some of which you already have in your kitchen;
i. All-purpose flour.
ii. Evaporated milk.
iv. Vegetable shortening.
v. Cornstarch diluted in young coconut water.
vi. Young coconut meat.
vii. Granulated white sugar.
ix. cold water.
For those with a Dinnerly subscription, you don't need to shop for evaporated milk or butter as you can obtain these ingredients from your meal kit box. Some boxes offered by this meal kit delivery service come with either of them as part of the package. For starters, this enlightening post sheds some light on the company. You can follow the link to find out more about how Dinnerly works, their menu and prices, and delivery system, what to and to not like about the company, and so much more.
Consumed raw with wine or other alcoholic drinks(as an appetizer or a light delicacy after having a main-course), kinilaw is a splendid seafood dish that originates in the Philippines. Besides seafood, this exquisite, all-season offering is made of a mixture of vegetables and spices such as ginger, vinegar, calamansi, onions, siling labuyo, and black pepper, giving it a splendid taste with an impeccable flavor. Eating it in the evening just before or after having dinner as you chill before retiring to your hotel suite can be an incredible way to wind up your day as a tourist in the capital of the Philippines. Since it's very popular here, many hotels offer it on their menu. Here are some of the best hotels for it:
i. Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila----Roxas Blvd, Pasay, 1300 Metro Manila, Philippines. The hotel is open throughout under normal circumstances.
ii. Diamond Hotel Philippines----Roxas Boulevard, Quintos Street, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila. As a 5-star hotel, they normally remain open 24/7.
iii. Gerry's Grill---- 1223 Esperanza Street, 3 Greenbelt Dr, Manila, Philippines. The restaurant operates until 11 pm.
iv. Robbie's Seafood Restaurant---- Lot 5A Macapagal Blvd. Metro Manila, Philippines. They remain open until midnight.
For food tourism enthusiasts, one of the best travel destinations you can visit in South Asia is the Philippines and Manila in particular. The capital city of the Philippines has a lot to offer in terms of mouthwatering traditional local foods. While that list is endless, halo-halo, buko pie, and kinilaw have been ranked as some of the topmost options by major publications including CNN Travel. For those planning to visit Manila, don't forget to try these finger-licking good dishes. You can also make them at home if you want. The recipes are all over the internet. The ingredients are readily available in your local grocery stores. As you saw earlier, you can source some of them from your meal delivery service for those who are subscribed to one.