The Grid's Latest Stall Is Your New Go-To for Spicy Noodles
It's about time you gave biang biang hand-pulled noodles a try.
Stall 11, The Grid Food Market, 2/F Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City
Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday to Thursday), 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) Ever heard of biang biang noodles? These hand-pulled noodles from the Shaanxi province in China are distinct from other versions for their relative broadness, moderate thickness, and length, which allow it to stand against other, stronger flavor profiles—spicy and piquant flavors, in particular. In Manila, one place to get really great biang biang noodles is Pilya's Kitchen, an online shop owned by Chef Kriza Palmero (who has worked for Very Fresh Noodles in New York's Chelsea Market, also known for their biang biang noodle dishes). They've recently opened a stall at The Grid Food Market, so it's even easier to get your fix for dine-in, takeout, or delivery.
Pilya's Kitchen has a drool-worthy lineup that lets you try hand-pulled and ripped biang biang noodles in different ways. The Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup (P390) with slow-braised beef shanks, five-hour beef broth, cilantro, celery, leeks, bok choy, and chili oil is pretty much made for cold and rainy days, while the Tingly Cumin Beef Dry will wake you up with its combination of beef shanks, cumin, Sichuan peppercorns, sesame soy, chili oil, black vinegar, celery, cabbage, and fresh herbs. Prefer lamb? Try the Tingly Cumin Lamb (P450); and if meat isn't your thing, you can go for the Tingly Cumin Shiitake Mushrooms and Tofu (P370).
If you're up for thinner noodles, you can try the Spicy Pork Dan Dan Noodles (P380)—Pilya's Kitchen's take on the Chinese classic, with a spicy sesame sauce and pork given freshness and crunch by cucumbers, leeks, and peanuts. To accompany your meal, you can also get the Spicy Smashed Cucumbers (P120) or Pork and Shrimp Dumplings (P180/five pieces).
Chef Palmero earned a degree in Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from St. Scholastica’s College Manila, and moved to the U.S. in 2013. She's worked for the likes of Killington in Vermont as lead line cook; Six Flags in New Jersey as Senior Food Service Supervisor and Special Events Coordinator; Google Kitchen in New York; and as mentioned, Very Fresh Noodles at Chelsea Market—initially as regular kitchen staff before eventually getting promoted as Sous Chef.
"With my passion and love for what I do, I would work double shift 5 days a week, 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. [I would] pull about 300 to 500 noodles per day, and then do it again the next day," Palmero shares in an exchange with SPOT.ph. "It was stressful at times but it didn’t matter to me; I just loved being in the kitchen. One experience I would never forget was when we went to Food Network Kitchen to do a snapchat video of us making noodles."
Palmero shares that her experience of living in New York opened her eyes to different possibilities. "It gave me a whole different perspective and scope to the whole gastronomy scene. New York City exposed me to a whole lot of different cuisines, too. I realized that I have this fire inside me to cook for people around me and I want to bring them the same experience that I got when I was there through my cooking here in my own motherland—[the] Philippines."
Pilya's Kitchen was born in quarantine, beginning as a pickup- and delivery-only business. At the height of the quarantine, they provided food (about 1,000 meals, Palmero shares) for hospitals and street kids in need. They initially sold American food, but Palmero shares that she "wanted to do something that no one else is doing" and thought of doing weekly specials of food that she misses eating. As a result, she started offering beef noodle soup and biang biang noodles. "I wasn’t really expecting for it to be a hit, knowing that not everyone is familiar with it. But to my surprise, I was sold out right away and got non-stop messages after that first week so I decided to do it again," she says—and the rest is history.
"Cooking has always been my passion," says Palmero. "I love what I do and I hope it translates to the food I make. I want to express myself through what I do—all the things I learned from the seven years I lived in [the] U.S. and the journey I went through with the people I met. My goal is just to share my food to the world."
Ready to get your fix? You can drop by The Grid Food Market, or visit their website for pickup or delivery orders. They deliver to all areas within Metro Manila and can accommodate same-day delivery orders.
Pilya's Kitchen is at Stall 11, The Grid Food Market, 2/F Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City. For delivery orders, check out The Grid Food Market's website. You can also visit Pilya's Kitchen's Facebook page.
this strange new world.