Archive | Food

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Bona’s Chaolong: Vietnamese Pho in Palawan

Posted on 19 September 2013 by Dreidel Regala

Did you know Palawan was once home to many Vietnamese people? After the Vietnam war, the people of Vietnam took on the open seas until which their boats led them to the Philippine shores. They were called boat people and many of them found refuge in Palawan for some time.

And so that┬ábecame the start of the Vietnamese food culture in the country – Chaolong.

I’m a big fan of Pho Bo (a beef stew noodle dish), well it’s actually my favorite amongst all noodle soups. So when I got to Puerto Princesa I was very curious about how this locally made Pho would fare.

If the recipe came from Vietnamese people themselves then it should be good.

I arrived in Puerto Princesa around 9 am. Since I still got an hour to spare before my transit to the next destination, I decided to go look for the best Chaolongan in town. So I asked everybody – tour guide in the airport desk, manong guard in the airport lobby, another manong near the tricycle stand, kuya tricycle driver. And they all said Bona’s Chaolong. Wow Bona is really popular so I told kuya driver to bring me there pronto!

The way to Bona’s is not easy to remember because kuya driver made a lot of detours due to road construction but what I’m sure of is that it’s a long walk from the airport. There are however other chaolongans around so just ask for the nearest one if you don’t wanna go farther.

Inside the kitchen of Bona's Chaolong

Inside the kitchen of Bona’s Chaolong

When I got to Bona’s, a modest but busy eatery welcomed me. As early as 9 am people were coming in and out already. The menu only had noodle soup and french bread plus a variety of those but I guess you wouldn’t be ordering anything else besides Pho so.

Pho Bo in Bona's Chaolong

Pho Bo in Bona’s Chaolong

The taste? It’s nice. Sweeter than the commercial ones I’ve had in Manila but I liked it. Not much going on the dish itself though but it kinda reminds me how that Pho I had in Saigon was simply made too. Try it and be the judge yourself.

From what I heard chaolongs in Palawan are no longer operated by native Vietnamese (they already left) but the recipe should be from the boat people at the least.

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Must-try food in The Philippines II

Posted on 14 January 2013 by Dreidel Regala

Some time ago I’ve posted some Filipino must try food. But of course the list couldn’t accommodate all of them. In a country that was created to have thousands of islands with varying culture and diverse people, there will surely be a new delicacy for a stranger’s tongue. Here are some more for the foodie in you:

Bagnet

Deep fried pork belly popularized in Vigan

Deep fried pork belly popularized in Vigan

Kare-kare

A stew made from peanut sauce with vegetables, oxtail, tripe, and beef, served with bagoong

A stew made from peanut sauce with vegetables, oxtail, tripe, and beef, served with bagoong

Bicol Express

A traditional Bicolano stew made from long chili, coconut milk, pork, garlic, and shrimp paste

A traditional Bicolano stew made from long chili, coconut milk, pork, garlic, and shrimp paste

Afritada

A chicken stew made with tomato sauce, potato, carrots, and bell pepper

A chicken stew made with tomato sauce, potato, carrots, and bell pepper

Tapsilog

Usually eaten for breakfast, this meal stands for tapa (beef), sinangag (rice), and itlog (egg)

Usually eaten for breakfast, this meal stands for tapa (beef), sinangag (rice), and itlog (egg)

Crispy Pata

This deep fried pig knuckles is very popular during get-togethers

This deep fried pig knuckles is very popular during get-togethers

Daing

A dried and salted fish

A dried and salted fish favorite during breakfast

Kinunot

Another Bicolano dish, Kinunot is made up of shredded stingray cooked in coconut milk with malunggay

Another Bicolano dish, Kinunot is made up of shredded stingray cooked in coconut milk with malunggay

Sisig

A dish made up of chopped pig's head and liver, chili, calamansi, and egg

A dish made up of chopped pig’s head and liver, chili, calamansi, and egg

Batchoy

Originating in La Paz Iloilo, this noodle soup is made up of pork organs and cracklings, chicken stock, beef loin and round noodle

Originating in La Paz Iloilo, this noodle soup is made up of pork organs and cracklings, chicken stock, beef loin and round noodle

Bulalo

A beef shank stew usually found in Tagaytay and some parts of Cavite

A beef shank stew usually found in Tagaytay and some parts of Cavite

Arroz Caldo

Rice porridge made with chicken and garlic

Rice porridge made with chicken and garlic

Empanada

A pastry stuffed with chicken or pork

A pastry stuffed with chicken or pork, similar to the Spanish snack with the same name.

I’ve heard some people say the country’s cuisine is only for those who have acquired the taste, meaning you don’t like it at first but eventually do. But one thing I’m sure is there’s going to be a lot of taste for you. Try it out! After all there’s a whole different adventure in food.

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Durian is like a custard with strong smell

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Durian

Posted on 10 September 2012 by Dreidel Regala

Davao is known for its Durian

Davao is known for its Durian

Durian is like a custard with strong smell

Durian is like a custard with strong smell

A lot of the people I know hate this fruit, and while it does have an overpowering smell which can last for hours, I kinda think it tastes nice. That may sound weird but for me the custard like texture and sweet taste of the fruit is good enough. Durian is found on most South East Asian countries and in Davao, Philipines it’s made into candies, yemas, tarts etc.

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Roti for me, roti for you!

Posted on 20 July 2012 by Dreidel Regala

Ao Nang Pancake (Roti) from D R on Vimeo.

This is a pancake (aka roti) that I got to try in Ao Nang, Thailand. It looks different from the western pancake we know but it tastes good. It’s very thin with the chosen filling wrapped inside then fried to a good crisp then topped with condensed milk. It’s sold on the streets by mostly Muslim vendors. For a cheap 20baht your afternoons will surely be a delight, oh and don’t forget your fruit shake!

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Tea’s Up

Posted on 27 August 2011 by Dreidel Regala

If there’s one thing I really enjoy doing when I’m on vacation besides getting a local massage it’s this baby – Milk Tea! I love Nai Cha, the calm taste of tea plus the sweetness of milk ahhh, and asia’s got the best of these.

I had it in Hong Kong…

… then the Thai version

probably a good surprise is the offering of Thailand 7eleven

and then China’s Happy Lemon opens in Manila too!

So far I like the ones from Thailand but the quest continues as soon I’ll find out about Taiwan’s offering too… happy tea drinking everyone!

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Kapeng Barako

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Must-try food in The Philippines

Posted on 12 July 2011 by Dreidel Regala

Cebu Lechon

Cebu Lechon

It’s found all over the country but the best ones are said to be in Cebu. It’s basically roasted pig.

Mangoes

Ripe mango

Philippines mangoes are sweet and the best ones are from Guimaras island in Iloilo.

Halayang Ube

Halayang ube

Made from mashed purple yam, ube is a Filipino dessert.

Kaldereta

Kaldereta

Another Spanish inspired dish, Kaldereta is a beef stewed in tomato paste with potatoes, carrots, and pepper.

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