Filipino Palate

I am fairly certain that the trip to Manila has added a few kilos on me but the sore throat that it has caused will probably make me drop them again. I’m currently suffering from the worst bout of sore throat ever, where even swallowing brought me to tears just a day ago.

Filipino cuisine is generally rich – think heavy/creamy stews and crispy pork skin. Dessert is also very sweet with heavy douses of butter and coconut cream. By the end of day 2, I was pretty much craving for a simple chinese clear soup. I had no choice but to make do however and my body probably became very heaty as a result – hence the sore throat.

There was some fun with the food though when the locals tried so hard to make us foreigners try their infamous Balut (duck embryo egg). I’ve always prided myself as someone who is quite game to try different foods but I was definitely defeated by the Balut this time. Even my colleagues did better than me. *hang head in shame* I ate a teeny tiny bit of the yolk just to try but swore off having more when I saw a leg and claw among the shells….. shudder

 

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Manila Day 1

You know that a country is not safe when more than 1 local tells you to look after your things and your taxi driver locks the car doors before driving off. Another sign is when the hotel’s information booklet in the room includes a whole section on keeping safe and how not to fall prey to “unscrupulous” individual’s tricks. Got quite freaked out while out on the road too when i witnessed public buses speeding down the road recklessly and beeping their horns at cars that blocked their path.

I had planned to stay indoors most of the time on this trip to Manila and was all prepared to order room service for dinner tonight. Ended up going out with some locals and some other delegates from the conference that I would be attending. I must say that the Filipinos are a real friendly bunch, so it was hard to be anti-social in this instance. Also figured that it wouldn’t be too dangerous if it was such a large group. (Although I did hear some loud bangs before heading out and wondered very hard if they were gunshots).

Anyhow, safe in a new found friend’s car, we ended up at a Filipino restaurant not too far away. The food at La Juanita was ok, quite rich and very porky. Concluded that the pinoy tastebud is mainly on the sour end of the spectrum, with the use of a lot of vinegars and tamarind flavours.

What caught my attention though was the eclecticism of the restaurant decor – a mish mash of asian and spanish influence. I was most fascinated with the lighting and how every lamp had some draping over it. The colours were vivid and it was all really quite pretty.