Best lunch in the Philippines

Hospitality is in Filipino peoples’ nature. They are kind and generous, always smiling. It’s like they know something hidden from the rest of us.

We went Island hopping in Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa, Palawan province.

Crowded Pandan Island

First stop was Pandan Island. Only island in the bay where you can buy food. We arrived hungry, during a lunch time, and on all stalls the food was sold out.
And despite that here we had the best meal in the Philippines. By accident, and by loving people who invited us to share a meal with them.

Everybody else were eating

The only thing left to buy were fresh sea urchins and Buko juice. I love Buko juice, it’s healthy and full of nutrients. It’s not enough for the hunger we felt.

Fresh sea urchins stall

Buko juice stall

We were desperate.

So I asked some people to sell us some of their food. No way, they invited us to join them and share their meal.
I just hope that one day when we go back to our home I would carry in my hart some of kindness and happiness we encountered here in the Philippines.
Filipino Bahala Na! or Leave it to God, philosophy. Because every time I leave Philippines and go back to Europe I’m always surprised how unhappy and rude we are. How we don’t know how to smile to strangers, how we rush and have a feeling that we don’t have enough. It’s never enough.

The best meal in the Philippines

Food shared with a perfect strangers

Cooking station

Fiesta table

Later on the sun came up.

Bangka resting on sunny bay Pandan Island

La Terrasse, Puerto Princesa Palawan

We needed a nice place to sit down and enjoy talking with our new Danish friends.
After adventurous day of island hopping at Honda Bay, La Terrasse came like very, very pleasant surprise.
A great place to have a cup of Italian style coffee. Espresso and cappuccino taste like the one in Europe’s finest cafeterias. Usually all around the Philippines coffee is brewed or instant.
The service is fast and the interior is super clean and cosy. Great restrooms design.
It feels like not being in the Philippines at all, especially not at Puerto Princesa’s main road, just 5 min walk from the airport.

Unfortunately the food was nothing special. We had hummus plate, grilled vegetables salad and fish plate. Not so fresh seafood for a place that boost freshness of their food on the menu.

People gaze! Another great sentence in my life.

Manny loses to Bradley at Irish Pub

The fight was very intense.
Food at Murphy’s was inedible. We ate it anyway.
Few beers, and a cheering crowd at and in front of the pub.
I like Manila on a fight day. No traffic, no fuss, everything stops for 12 rounds.
Hope he’ll win next time.

I knew it, Manny was better: “When the decision was announced, a chorus of boos echoed in the arena. Judge Jerry Roth saw it 115-113 for Pacquiao but judges C. J. Ross and Duane Ford scored it 115-113 for Bradley. Ross and Ford gave Bradley five of the last six rounds. The punchstats contradicted the outcome as Pacquiao landed more blows, 253-159, with a higher percentage of accuracy, 34%-19%. Pacquiao also connected more jabs, 63-51 and more power shots, 190-108. The stats indicated that the fight wasn’t close – Pacquiao completely dominated Bradley. But two of the three judges saw it otherwise.

Shang Palace restaurant

Our favorite Chinese restaurant in Manila.
Delicious and fresh ingredients, superb food.

Located in Shangri-La hotel, Makati.
Dim Sum lunch all you can eat menu 25$ per person. That’s really a bargain.

During the lunch we have No Pasarán! policy, eating like this is our final meal on Earth. After the lunch I need to unbutton my pants and go to sleep for two hours.

Beside this incredible food, exquisite service, luxurious interior one of the reasons why we eat in this Chinese restaurant is No shark fin soup on the menu.

Considering the fact that 70% of all shark species are endangered finally some good decision around Asia.

The legend about Cafe Ysabel

The story about this place we will tell to our grandchildren!
This very pleasant surprise is located in San Juan City, in a an old Spanish colonial house.
Everything was great at Ysabel’s. Excellent food, friendly and efficient service, fair prices, great ambient.
We had Halibut crusted with slivered almonds and sole Roulade filled with crabmeat. Superb and Yummy. As an appetizer fresh and very tasty oysters and green salad. This simple, green Ysabel’s Salad changed our lives.

But that is a different story.

This story is about the menu.
About the sentence my husband found: A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman with one eye.

The legend about Cafe Ysabel is born!

A Balut!

A balut is a fertilized chicken egg with developed embrio inside, that is boiled and eaten with a sprinkle of salt. It’s very popular here in the Philippines and widely eaten as a street food. It is believed to be an aphrodisiac.
When you close your eyes and don’t know what are you eating it tastes almost like any other egg.

If I know what I’m about to eat, I can’t. My stomach goes up and no way I’m putting that thing in my mouth. Maybe my mother is right, maybe I’m just not hungry enough.

Khun Caesar’s Pad Thai

This is the guy who makes the best Pad Thai Noodles in the Philippines. He mixes them, slowly, every Sunday on the flea market in Legaspi Village – Makati. But he doesn’t make them good any more. What a disappointment that was. My eyes had water in them. Now the portions are smaller and instead of abundance of ingredients and all that aromatic components he serves noodles with oil and peanuts. And because of his Thai noodles we started to eat Thai food. This noodles were the first Thai dish that we tried. We bought Lonely Planet the day after, and decided to visit Thailand. Yes, his noodles were that good.
This Sunday I had to comfort my husband with a fact that at least he taught us how to cook one at home. Well, we learnt ourself by watching him and later on the Google. We had such a nice tradition of starting a Sunday with noodles breakfast. Come to the Legaspi, order a noodles at his stall, do the shopping, eat the noodles, and the day is already complete. I don’t like this progress, next time he will probably have some apprentice to work for him and a second stall.

Pad Thai before

Pad Thai this Sunday

Mizu, Japanese restaurant in Waterfront hotel, Cebu city

Yes, definitely, the worst restaurant meal ever. On the menu I read: steamed shitake mushrooms with grilled squid and vegetables.
On the table they were just dried shitake soaked in water, no taste at all.
Wouldn’t recommend. The rest of the dinner was equally inedible. We left everything on the table and ate pizza in Italian restaurant across the hall.