Friday, February 14, 2014

Thai Cold Noodle Salad

When it comes to my preference, some would say that I am a bit of a Western-centric. Sure, I would choose Italian or French cuisine over Asian cuisine any day (except for Japanese because I could eat that every single day!). Heck, I even avert Filipino cuisine when I am dining out. It’s just that it does not excite me as much as the next person.

But when I recently dined in my usual favorite spot, Grub Resto Café, I was offered a new item by the waiter. As a foodie, this was a huge challenge for me. I felt that it seriously threatened my status as a food writer to not be daring enough to give it a try.

Also Read: Comfort Food at Grub Resto Cafe

The dish itself piqued my interest – he said it was a Thai-inspired cold noodle salad. It turned out perfectly that I intended to have salad for dinner. So I figured, “why not?” Boy was I in for a surprise!

The salad is made with white Thai noodles, beans, tomato, onion, parsley, and ginger slices. It also comes with dilis, which helped to add the saltiness into the dish.

I have to warn you though – since most of the ingredients are added in fresh, expect really strong flavors and aroma. Thankfully, I am a big fan of ginger and onion so I handled this without any problem at all. In fact, I savored the fresh herbs and the scent from the parsley with every bite.

The vinegar can get a bit overwhelming, though, when you reach about halfway into the dish. But if you love fresh Asian flavors, then this might be the dish for you.

Also Read: New on the Menu: Grub Resto Cafe

Grub Resto Café is located at Duterte St, Davao City.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Manang's Chicken in Davao

The fast food landscape in our city, and country, is dominated by American imports like McDonald’s and KFC, with Jollibee holding its fort as the only top homegrown brand. Most of these fast food chains offer comfort food items that appeal to the younger crowd – usually kids to high school or even college students. Hence, these fast food chains had become somewhat of a family fare, too.

A brand new chain has invaded the market, quite bravely if I might point out, given that most of the other fast food chains had been around for decades. Manang’s Chicken might sound brand new to Davaoenos but they have been around for some time. They used to have a stall at Mercato Centrale in Taguig and their signature soy garlic chicken proved to be a hit. In June 2011, they had officially opened a stand-alone store in Ortigas.

The expansion happened rapidly. In a span of two years, Manang’s Chicken already had 12 branches in Metro Manila. But the opening of the latest branch in Gaisano Mall is its first branch outside of Luzon.

I had been eyeing their store for a long while since I saw the signage that read they are opening soon. On first week of January, about a few weeks since their official opening, I finally paid them a visit. Here is a sneak peek into that meal:

BB2 Meal – Chicken & Chips with Rice and Drinks (PhP 74)

I picked this meal and was a bit disappointed. The chips were quite surprising because there is that sweet aftertaste to it. But the chicken was not up to par. First off, the coating was a little too thick – I could not taste the chicken at all. It was also a bit bitter to the taste, which means that the chicken was either overcooked or the oil temperature was too high.

Chicken and Spaghetti (PhP 124)

This is my favorite of the two meals that we sampled during our dine at Manang’s Chicken. The spaghetti is not your usual sweet style Filipino spaghetti offered in most fast food chains. It is somewhat on the savory side, but not tangy like Italian spaghetti. The chicken was really good, though. I love the crisp on the outside and juicy meat on the inside. They also sprinkled some sesame seeds on top so that helped to liven up the aroma a bit.

The overall food quality was a bit lacking and left me wanting. I will probably try visiting again to see if I just went on a bad day, but I can’t say that I look forward to the return visit. Hopefully, I will get to experience what made Manang’s Chicken a hit in Metro Manila. One thing it has going is that they are really affordable. 

Manang’s Chicken is located at the fifth floor of Gaisano Mall of Davao in the same level as the cinema. It is located beside Razon’s. 

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