Manila is a typical metropolitan city with lots of people and even more
traffic. To outsiders, it can appear to be chaotic – but it’s just a different kind of order we’re not used to.
We finally got to rest inside my Auntie and Uncle’s Condo in Eastwood – one of the micro-cities in Manila. Eastwood is almost a small city within a city. It’s pretty self-sufficient with shops and restaurants within the mall/condo area. Since there’s a tremendous amount of traffic in Manila, mini-cities like Eastwood are meant to reduce the time that residents spend stuck in traffic. Hey, if you can go out to eat and see a movie within walking distance, that’s one less car on the road. It’s actually pretty genius!
After dropping our luggage and settling in, we wasted no time
going to a seafood restaurant within Eastwood – Red Crab Asia.
The menu at Red Crab Asia is chockfull of amazing seafood items, but their specialty is their Crab dishes. There’s about 20 different crab preparations on the menu, but we decided to try the Spicy Thai Crab and the Singaporean Curry Crab. We also ordered some Stuffed Crab Omelets and Steamed Fish. All the items we ordered were to-die for, particularly the crabs. The crab meat was very fresh and sweet and juicy. Just thinking about it is making my mouth water! While the restaurant is very pricey, it was a very special treat and welcome to Manila! (Thanks for taking us, Kuya Ivan!)
Since we were still on that seafood kick (did I mention that the Sister and I were pescetarians?!?!) we had to try another one of Eastwood’s seafood restaurants – Seafood Island.
At Seafood Island, all their specialty seafood items are served on your table on banana leaves with a bed of piping hot rice. We ate grilled vegetables, grilled fish, shrimp, more crabs, mussels, clams, and grilled squid. We became such fans of Seafood Island that we had dinner there twice in the 3 nights we spent in Manila! The best part? It was just about half the price of the food we had a Red Crab Asia – score!
Enter J.Co Donuts.
J.Co Donuts is pretty much KrispyKreme on crack! They have some amazing flavors like Green Tea Crème, Chocolate with Coffee Crème, and Tiramisu Donuts. Ahh-ma-zing! People in Manila literally line up until midnight to get their hands on these donuts! (These things were so good that when it was time to pack our bags back to LA – we chose to stuff one of our luggages with boxes of J.Co Donuts for our family back home!)
Makati, the financial center of Manila. Makati is pretty much considered the Rodeo Drive of the Philippines (and the Selfie-capital of the world!) – with all the high-end boutiques like Gucci and Prada lining the streets. But the Sister and I were not there to shop – we were there to eat.
Our little foodie crew met up with our other cousin Glenn and his girlfriend Mena at K-Kitchen in Greenbelt for some Filipino-fusion cuisine. There we had a variety of unique and modern Filipino dishes like Seafood in Coconut Milk, Tuna Salpicao, Prawns with Salted Crab Fat, Braised Salmon Belly, and Pandan-infused Rice. The whole place smelled so good with all the local flavors wafting in the restaurant. This was definitely worth the trip. I can’t wait to recreate some of their dishes here, particularly the Salmon Belly.
before it was cooked and prepared into the most delicious spread.
While the crabs were obviously a hit, our two favorite dishes were the giant prawns (they were pretty much as big as my face!) and the seaweed salad. Needless to say, we were more than stuffed!
Wherever we travel, we are always in search of the most awesome food. Manila is on a league of its own with regards to their food culture. We feel so lucky to have experienced it. I can’t wait to go back!
Where’s your favorite foodie destination?