CHECK IT OUT: Pancit Center at Kapitolyo, Pasig
Pancit unite! Noodles from all around the country converge under one roof.
Pioneer Street corner Shaw Boulevard, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Tel. No. 634-3090
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) Sarsa-laced in Olongapo; dried papaya in Cavite; flat in Tuguegarao; roundish in Batangas; orange in Malabon. Pancit comes in all shapes and sizes and, probably after dialect, is most exhibitive of a region’s culture.
"The Philippines has about 330 varieties of pancit," Pancit Center general manager Marc Angeles informs us at the cozy cottage smack on the corner of Pioneer and Shaw. At the moment, Pancit Center has around 20 of them-all authentic and tirelessly sourced from their corresponding regions. "We will expand and change up the menu," Angeles assures us, "but we don’t want it to be too overwhelming either."
Of the selection, the popular Pancit Malabon (P60 to P780) remains to be a favorite. Round pudgy glass noodles almost congealed in bright orange aligue sauce and topped with slices of egg and greens. The recipe, which is noticeably lighter in hue and density, hails from Angeles’ grandmother who started Corrie’s Kitchen in 1978. The Pancit Center is, in fact, Corrie’s under the management of her apos.
For those who want to take their tastebuds farther than Metro Manila, we recommend the Pancit Bato (P70 to P900) from Bato, Camarines Sur. All the usual suspects of carrots and cabbage over flat egg noodles are liberally doused with meaty and grainy dinuguan, giving it an unusually bold flavor. Meanwhile, Quezon’s Tamis Anghang Chami (P60 to P780), round egg noodles with quail eggs and chicken bits, features an eye-popping fiery sweet sauce. Slices of sili are embedded at random, so watch out if you’re not a big fan of heat.
In keeping with the heirloom tradition, Pancit Center also adapted Corrie’s Baon sa Dahon (P80 to P90)-in case you’re not up for noodles. Essentially a binalot, rice, egg, tomato, chicken pork adobo, and longganisa are wrapped up in banana leaves.
"Our target is those who want a taste of home," says Angeles of their clientele. Home may be the goal but we say Pancit Center is for those who want to go on a gastronomic adventure. If you’re looking for a major food trip with minimal effort and expense, just check out the little orange "house" over in Kapitolyo.
Photos by Sasha Lim Uy and courtesy of Marc Angeles