10 Best Things We Ate In March
Noteworthy dishes in this food-filled month.
(SPOT.ph) If you didn’t already know, here at SPOT.ph, we love food. You need it to live, but we find that there are some dishes that go well past the virtue of necessity. While others content themselves with a deep fryer and the usual salt and pepper, there are some who make—or at least try to make—an art out of it, with delicious displays and even yummier flavors. We believe those that go above and beyond their duty deserve necessary recognition. So here are our top picks among the dishes we ate throughout March.
Bad Bird’s Pepper Beef
You go to Bad Bird for the fried chicken, and we can’t blame you. After all, who can resist that deep-fried umami goodness? Still, it’ll be an injustice to ignore the Pepper Beef, new in their first stand-alone branch in SM Megamall. These Wagyu beef cuts don’t hold back in terms of flavor: peppery, yes, but also lip-smacking with a note of sweetness catching up at the end.
Bad Bird is at 3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.
Soru Izakaya’s Tori Karaage
In the presence of eye-catching aburi and maki, it’s easy to overlook the Tori Karaage. But make no mistake—this dish is a crowd-pleaser. After all, who can resist tender fried chicken with a golden exterior, covered in torched cheddar and mozzarella cheese plus sesame dressing?
Soru Izakaya is at 140 Maginhawa Street, Barangay Sikatuna, Quezon City.
Bistro United’s Adobo sa Mangga
Chef Mia Kapay’s spin on this classic Filipino dish won’t overthrow your mom’s version from its top spot in your heart (who could?!) but it’ll be up there. Bistro United's version ditches soy sauce for the more flavorful bagoong and uses mango puree instead of vinegar for its sweeter, fruitier notes. The chicken is also grilled, sautéed, and then placed atop a sizzling plate. Your palate will enjoy this novel experience.
Bistro United is at D-Strip Building, 20 United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
Ba Noi’s + Ca Phe’s Banh Mi Xia Xiu
Bai Noi’s in UP Town Center underwent a major overhaul this month to accommodate their other Vietnamese concept, Ca Phe. The café has an excellent menu of Vietnamese coffee but also banh mi to complement the drinks. After all, as owner Dodjie Violago puts it: “Banh mi is the core of the café.” Not sure what to order? The Banh Mi Xia Xiu is a sure winner, with sweet-salty char siu, velvety liver pate, soy-chili sauce, soy bean paste, cucumber, white onions, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and Sriracha mayonnaise, all stuffed in a deliciously chewy baguette that’s baked fresh daily.
Ba Noi’s + Ca Phe’s is at G/F UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.
Don Bao’s Good Morning Bao
Don Bao celebrates the versatility of the bao—the steamed folded buns you can fill with almost anything edible. The Good Morning Bao doesn't contain what you’d expect from the usual Asian bao, but we can’t find it in ourselves to complain. Stuffed with gyuniku, scrambled eggs, cornflakes, tobiko, and garlic mayonnaise, this bao features a symphony of flavors that shouldn’t work together but do, leaving you wanting more.
Don Bao is at 1 Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
The Lost Bread’s Sriracha Fried Chicken
Come for The Lost Bread’s signature Overshakes, stay for the Sriracha Fried Chicken. The not-so-secret ingredient that makes this dish pop is the butter, which coats each chicken piece with lots of decadent flavor. Despite its red hue, the spiciness of the chicken is subdued and only kicks in as an afterthought. But this bowl is still packed with lots of tastiness, especially when you mix the chicken together with the garlic-cilantro rice, crispy nori, and zesty coleslaw.
The Lost Bread is at 4/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.
Rico Rico’s Carne
From the group behind Churreria La Lola, Tomatito, and Las Flores comes Rico Rico, shaking up the food-court scene with mouthwatering paella. Despite the challenges of meeting the price range expected at a food court, head chef Edgar Sanuy refuses to compromise on the quality of his ingredients, resulting in top-notch dishes. Case in point: the Carne with juicy chicken chunks and sweet-glazed pork with slivers of fat that makes each bite richer. You can customize the aioli you want to pair with your paella—we recommend the Parsley, whose freshness goes well with the smoky flavor of the rice and protein.
Rico Rico is at Food on Four, 4/F SM Aura Premier, C5 Road corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City.
Dalat Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine’s Vietnamese Beef Steak
If the only dishes you can think of at the mention of ‘Vietnamese Cuisine’ are banh mi and pho, then it’s time to school yourself on other Vietnamese dishes. There’s no better place to get that education than at Dalat Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine, by the same group behind banh mi stall BONBanhmi. Perfect for those looking for a heavy morning meal is the Vietnamese Beef Steak, traditionally eaten as breakfast by the locals. An order will get you smoky beef tenderloin, a hefty piece of crunchy baguette baked in-house, cream cheese, Vietnamese sausage, fried egg, and a dark flavorful sauce you won’t be able to resist wiping clean with some leftover bread.
Dalat Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine is at 7467 Bagtikan Street, San Antonio Village, Makati City.
Vampire Penguin’s Strawberry Cheesecake
Just in time for summer, Vampire Penguin opened their first Philippine branch at Ayala Malls The 30th with their version of Taiwanese shaved snow or bao bing. Brothers Leo and Paolo San Luis take their favorite sweets and turn them into snow desserts. One fruity example is the Strawberry Cheesecake, their take on the classic cake. This dessert has a tarty strawberry base, crushed graham crackers, cheesecake bits, fresh sliced strawberries, condensed milk, and strawberry syrup, all on top of a crisp-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside egg waffle base. Despite the generous toppings, it’s surprisingly light but also indulgent. Your sweet tooth will not be disappointed.
Vampire Penguin is at 4/F Ayala Malls The 30th, 30 Meralco Avenue, Pasig City.
Po’s Taiwanese Pork Bun
Business-and-real life partners Jake Caruncho and Bong Sta. Maria take inspiration from Momofuku and BAOHAUS to local holes-in-the-wall across Asia to create Asian-American food that’s playful, delicious, and, as Bong puts it, “punk rock.” Their Taiwanese Pork Bun is inspired by Eddie Huang’s version at BAOHAUS, but Po adds sugared peanuts on top of the thickly cut melt-in-your-mouth braised pork belly for a nice sweet crunch. The contrast of textures and flavors makes this bun a delight to eat.
For orders, contact Po at 0917-575-8971. Orders must be placed a day in advance, with a minimum order of P500. For more information, log on to Po's Facebook page.