To say that I ate well while in the Philippines for the KitchenAid Gourmet Summit earlier this year would be a gross understatement. Every time I turned around there was another fabulous dining experience waiting for me – and I’m talking gourmet dining three times a day – so I didn’t really have the stomach space to try their local street food, but I was glad to have the chance to check it out.
There’s no shortage of cafes, bars and fast food joints in Manila, but the real flavour of the local food can be found at the little street corner food stalls and the food markets. We (very briefly, because of time constraints) checked out two of the latter. The first was a covered street food market place which is very popular in the evenings with the locals – the fact that it has several bars, a DJ and is air-conditioned obviously makes this a no-brainer for locals looking for fun and a cheap feed. The other was a recently-started night food market on a roof top in the centre of Makati, right next to the very gorgeous Makati Shangri La where we were staying.
You’ll also find street food at bus terminals, around churches (the Filipinos are deeply religious, with more than 80% of the population being practicing Catholics), parks and carparks. I’m reliably informed that the locals have quite a sweet tooth so among their favourite snacks are bananas deep-fried and coated in caramelised sugar and sweet potato prepared in the same way, both of which looked divine. They are also very keen on barbecued foods and if they can thread it onto a skewer they will cook it. I’ll admit it all looked very tempting – it is freshly cooked and remarkably affordable, but some of it can be just a little challenging.
As I mentioned, both of my street food excursions where directly after large meals so I didn’t indulge, although the seafood was tempting, as were some of their delicious cakes. Also, I can’t deny that I’m something of a chicken when it comes to some street food, especially if I’m close to having to fly out. The thought of a long-haul flight with a dodgy belly horrifies me beyond words.
I have a friend who is a demon for street food and appears to have a cast iron gut, but what about you dear reader? Would you be game enough to take on barbecued chicken blood or chicken intestines?
While in Manila for the KitchenAid Gourmet Summit, Lambs’ Ears and Honey was a guest of KitchenAid Australia.