This post is two weeks late but here goes...
For Butchie's last day here in Manila, we took him to Market Market and Serendra since he hasn't been there yet.
Our first stop was Market Market. It's a gigantic mall that incorporates both the mall lifestyle of air conditioned shops, boutiques, bazaar, service centers etcetera and the market lifestyle where fresh produce, flowers,meats and vegetation are sold. It's a very interesting concept. One of Butchie's first comments was that it resembles a typical mall or market in the US.
We did not get to explore much of the mall, we made a beehive for the al fresco food court and got a sampling of Ineng's barbecue, the most famous food stall in all of Market Market. Normal lunchtime wait for their famous barbecue is 15-20 minutes. Since we were early (brunch time) we got ours in less than 5 minutes. The barbecue was tender and had just the right amount of sweetness.
Butchie also bought fish balls in a nearby kiosk. Fish balls are typical street food here in Manila. The best ones are found sold where else? On the streets! I remember once asking a fish ball vendor what his sauce was made of. His surprising answer was Ovaltine! Yes, the chocolate drink. I tried duplicating it at home but no luck. I think the vendor deliberately misled me so that I can't bottle and sell his recipe. He he he :-) There are those that claim that their sauce have 7up in them. Regardless of the ingredients used, the secret of the fish ball has always been the sauce. The the ones with the best sauce are always found in wheeled carts on the streets of Manila. Years ago when I was in elementary and high school, people would dip their sticks of fish balls directly to the sauce container making them unsanitary since a lot of them would double dip, eewww. Nowadays, all vendors serve your fish balls in paper containers and the sauce is drizzled over your freshly fried fish balls.
We also bought some cornick for pasalubong for Butchie's friends and family. Cornick are corn kernels deep fried in oil with a ton of garlic. A local popcorn version but without the pop. New cornick flavors have come out, the most popular are barbecue and cheese. I personally prefer the original garlic flavor, made with real garlic.
For lunch, we met up with Tita Socky and hubby at Serendra. Here I am with Butchie (below) posing in front of one of the many fountains in Serendra.
We chose to dine at Guava Restaurant. It's an intimate restaurant which specializes in guava-based dishes, Filipino dishes and Pritchon.
For starters we had the Pandan Wrapped Ubod (coconut heart) in Watercress Salad, pictured above. The salad is of course made with shredded tender coconut hearts with shitake mushrooms and shrimps wrapped in crepe with cilantro over a bed of crisp watercress. Hubby loves watercress so this was a sure hit for him as well as for use, it's unique, light abnd tasty.
The Guava experience will never be complete without ordering the Pritchon, above. The pritchon is basically sliced suckling roasted pig (with skin on) wrapped in a light tortilla with cucumbers, cilantro and leeks. A wide array of sauce is available for you to choose from. The winning combination is sour cream with chives and sweet chili sauce.
For our vegetable dish, we ordered Ginisang Gulay in Bihod Sauce (Sauteed vegetables in fish roe sauce). This is a modern take to your typical Pinakbet, light yet tasty. The bihod adds a delicious twist. The pinakbet is sauteed in bagoong isda instead of bagoong alamang.
For our meat dish, we had Crispy Tadyang ng Baka (Crispy Beef Ribs) with assorted dipping sauces. This is also a winner. The ribs are crispy yet falling off the bone. A sure hit with everyone.
For our poultry dish, we had Guava's version of the chicken adobo. It's combination of white and brown meat layered on top of each other. The sauce was made with soysauce, vinegar, anise and a host of other spices. This was not a big hit in our group. The over powering taste of anise turned us off.
After such a filling lunch, we make our way to Tea and Theraphy. A tea shop located within the Serendra community. In here we cleansed our palettes with Jasmine Pearl Blossom Tea and Life to the Fullest Tea.
The Jasmine Tea is a blooming tea, it starts out as a dried ball and as soon as the hot water touches it, it slowly blooms into a full flower. Very interesting, may showmasnhip baga :-). I was reluctant to drink this at first because most jasmine teas I've had tasted like sampaguita. This particular tea was mild and very pleasing. I like it. I would probably go back there and order it again.
The next tea that we tried was Life to the Fullest. I'm not exactly sure what it's made of but it's very fruity and a bit strong but pleasant and tasty nonetheless. This is your regular loose leaf tea, no blooming flower here.
To order tea, you have a wide array of choices, each tea has a unique and catchy name and grouped according to the mood that you want to be achieve. Refreshing, calming, invigorating, soothing etc. The teas are served on glass teapots over a votive candle to keep them warm. A very nice presentation which we vowed to copy when we are entertaining guests at home. The teas can also be made cold, upon request.
We also tried the Green Tea Tiramisu. It's very light and a perfect dessert for after such a heavy meal. The green tea in it is barely discernible so it's not too unusual and too unfamiliar.
We took pictures for posterity.
After our lunch and tea, we made our way back to Glorietta to watch a No Reservations. A movie starring Catherine-Zeta Jones, Aaron Eckhart and Abigail Breslin. The movie was about food, love and parenting. There are funny and dramatic moments. We watched it because it was set in New York City and Butchie loves to watch movies set in New Your City. The movie was good and entertaining but the ending was a bit bitin. Did they get married or what?
Anyway, after the movie, we browsed around Glorietta, bought magazines and Butchie got the allergies and decided to go home early.
I was left in Glorietta to meet hubby for dinner. After our dinner, I missed Butchie already and decided to drive to LP and spend a few hours more with him since he was due to return to the US the following morning.
I miss him already. Come back soon Butchie!