Razon's Halo Halo (P60). If you are a razon virgin, then you're missing on one of the best halo halo in town!
How can a simple mix of sun-ripened banana (saging na saba), shredded macapuno, and leche plan with dayap rind taste so good?! It is as if they are blended into perfection that their sweetness does not overpower one another and the its taste is not boringly sweet. There is something with the mix of the ingredients, milk, and shaved ice that makes this the best halo-halo in town. Indeed, it is simple but excellent in taste!
I'm glad that they opened a small resto in Mall of Asia in the South side of the Main Mall. This is always a good choice for a merienda when you are in MOA. Check out this short post on Razon's in Mall of Asia.
I'm always on a lookout for good chinese restaurants in the Manila area. Normally, I prefer not to blog about them because there are too many of them. Although if you are tired of always eating at Gloria Maris or Emerald Garden for that special occasion, maybe you might want to try out the new Legend Hongkong Seafood Restaurant in Boom na Boom complex in CCP. It has a nice ambiance for a chinese restaurant and the food is good chinese cooking by a Hongkong trained chef. This is their first store in Metro Manila but they have branches in Malolos, Bulacan; San Fernando, Pampanga; Tarlac and the most popular one in Angeles City. We treated my parents-in-law and the food passed their taste buds. I'll tell you that they are a great critique about chinese food (they know what good chinese food is) and they can certify that the food was cooked by what my father-in-law calls as a Hongkong Boy :)
Overall if you are looking for a good cantonese Hongkong-style chinese food, your budget is P300/head and you are escaping the madness in Mall of Asia, then it is worth to try out The Legend Hongkong Seafood Restaurant in CCP. Check this out!
I've always wanted to explore the culinary secrets of Binondo. I always knew that Binondo has a lot to offer aside from the all time favorite Eng Bee Tin Hopia stop, or eating in the exotic Estero, or grabing a quick chinese fix from your chinese fast food chain like tasty dumpling or the usual President chinese meal. This tour is also not about the original Diao Eng Chay (popularly known as DEC) store or the famous Quan Yin Chay Vegetarian in Binondo. I got curious with the Big Binondo Bowl streetwalk tour by Ivan ManDy ever since Marketman's Binondo Food Tour post last Sept. 2005. There are a lot of articles already written about this tour and the background story about Ivan's streetwalks which I will not attempt to duplicate. What I like about this tour is that you can see and feel Ivan's advocacy on the Filipino - Chinese's rich history. At the risk of divulging the entire tour, I'll just give you a glimpse of the tour, the food stops, and try to compress the 4 hour streetwalk into one blog post. Hopefully it would also have the same effect that after reading through this post, you will say "So when is the next tour?"
Binondo is Manila's Chinatown. As you passby Jones bridge into the plaza leading to the Chinatown welcome archway, you get transported into a different world. Ever since I was a kid, my mom used to bring me to Escolta during her PNB days and I've never understood and get to appreciate what Chinatown really is. The history behind it, the culture, and the oddities have always been a mystery to me. I've always been fascinated by Binondo but at the same time scared because of the horror stories that can happen with you in this place.
Thank you to Ivan ManDy, the self proclaimed Street Walker in Old Manila, who passionately organized the Big Binondo Bowl walking tours to show people what Binondo really is. You would completely feel safe when you are with Ivan in Binondo. Who wouldn't be, since Ivan seems to know half of the people in Chinatown. It is like going into a college campus where he would say hi to most of the people walking in the streets. I was always afraid to bring my huge camera with me in Binondo but during the tour, I really took the opportunity to shoot and shoot. The Big Binondo Bowl started as an architectural/ cultural tour of Old Manila but it got popularized into a culinary tour of Binondo.
Each of the Binondo scenes below have interesting stories to tell. I would not attempt to tell it since only Ivan can do justice to the stories. Check this out...
Ilonggo's are very proud of Ted’s Old Timer La Paz Batchoy and they opened their 6th branch in SM Mall of Asia! I'm glad that Ted's Batchoy is near Makati already so that it is easy to satisfy that craving for authentic Batchoy. What I love about it is they have a 100% beef Batchoy rather than just the pork version. Batchoy goes very well with puto manapla and it is also available here. Their menu is very simple and the ambiance is simple.
Now since this is in the Mall of Asia, it might be tricky to find this. I'll tell you exactly where it is.
Sinigang na Lechon (P180) Malutong na lechon, sinampalukang sabaw with chichacorn.
I've visited Mall of Asia in search of new restaurants but apparently most of them will still be open in June. Although there was one restaurant that caught my eye because of its unique filipino interiors and K.K.K. was interesting enough to check out. But as expected since most of them are just in their soft opening phase, they were not able to cope up with the volume of people so expect slow service, some of the items in the menu are not available, and in our case, all the food that we ordered were too salty. What I love about it is that it is a Kapampangan Restaurant with a twist of Thai (very good concept). They also attempted to provide an innovation by putting Sinigang and Lechon together similar to the famous Sinigang Corn Beef of Sentro in Greenbelt.
The verdict: the food is just O.K. and I think the serving is too small for its price.
If you want to say Lotse Face, Khumbu Ice Fall, South Col Route and Hillary step and recognizing what the prayer flags is all about with confidence and without blinking an eye, then Everest -- the IMAX film is a must see for you. For 45 minutes you'll be dazzled by the beauty of the Himalayan Mountain Ranges and the greatest of them all, Mount Everest. This is a documentary of a 1996 Everest Film Expedition (10 years ago) of David Breashears (director) who summitted Mount Everest himself to bring this documentary to life. The show debut last March 1998 and now finally it reached the shores of the tropical island paradise of the Philippines, yoohoo! The stars of the show were: Ed Viesturs (America’s leading Himalayan mountaineer; currently seeking to climb each of the world’s 14 highest peaks without supplemental oxygen -10 down, 4 to go), Araceli Segarra (First spanish woman to climb Everest), Jamling Tenzing Norgay (the tenth member of his family to climb Everest; his father, Tenzing Norgay, made the historic first ascent with Edmund Hillary in 1953).
It was a documentary of the beauty and danger of Mt. Everest. Fortunately and unfortunately they were a witness to the May 1996 Mt. Everest Tragedy which claimed the lives of eight people including the famous Rob Hall of New Zealand. It was emotional and educational at the same time. You'll truly appreciate how lucky our three pinoy climbers (Leo Oracion, Pastor Emata, and Romi Garduce) in climbing Everest and returning home safely as heroes! My P150 was worth it, and only the IMAX 70mm format can bring this kind of dramatic cinematography and I would agree that this is the next best thing than being in Mt. Everest yourself.
Again, after 53 years ever since Sir Edmund Hillary made the first historic attempt, we all should be proud that we have three (3) pinoys who were successful in climbing Mt. Everest! With only 2,000 who successfully reach the peak and a 9% mortality rate (186 died ever since), I'm glad our Pinoy climbers were not part of the mortality rate statistics. Congratulations again, Leo Oracion, Pastor Emata and Romi Garduce for bringing pride to the Philippines!!
I was so excited about the opening of the IMAX theater in the Philippines that I summed up all the courage and patience to watch Everest in IMAX during the grand opening of the Mall of Asia last Sunday. Everest film was breathtaking (I'll cover Everest in a separate post) and you will truly appreciate the feat accomplished by Leo Oracion, Pastor Emata, and Romi Garduce in climbing the top of the world. The focus of this post is IMAX and I'll give you a sneak peak on what to expect during your first IMAX experience :)
Top 10 IMAX highlights:
-- You'll be awestruck by the sheer size of a 20m x 33m 8 stories high Wide Screen. I tried to capture the screen and give a perspective on how huge it is!
-- There are 560 seats in the theater and the show was sold out! Just see how big the theater is.
-- The rows are from A to P with A being the first row in front of the screen. Trust me, you don't want to be in A and we were seated in G but still it feels too close. My advise get seats near P and in the center around seat 20+.
-- There are two entrances in the first floor. The right entrance was supposed to be an entrance for seats 1-21 while the left was for seats 22-44. If you are on the wrong entrance, don't worry just tell the person that you don't mind entering the wrong entrance and walk all the way to your seat because it ain't that far to walk.
-- The exit was on the second floor at the back of the theater. I can imagine in an emergency you don't want to be stucked in the middle of the IMAX theater so make sure you position yourself near the exit. So if I were to watch again, I'll choose row P, single digit seats.
-- IMAX is located in the north side of Mall of Asia. So I suggest that you park in the north side open space. I'll posted a map of the mall of asia below to give you an orientation where IMAX is. You don't want to be caught parking on the south side, it is too far from IMAX.
-- The IMAX shows is only for 45 minutes compared to the regular 1.5-2 hours show.
-- There are two shows available that is currently showing the Nascar Racing which is a 3d show for P200 and Everest which is a 2d show for P150. Superman Returns will be showing in late June, so this is the movie to watch out in IMAX!
-- The IMAX Theater is sponsored by San Miguel and Coca Cola, so expect this theme throughout the theater. San Miguel Beer anyone during the movie? bad idea...
-- Food and drinks are allowed inside the theater. But please as a courtesy to the next people watching the IMAX shows, please clean your trash and put them in the trash can.