The first Malate Food Festival.

It’s been a while since I uploaded photos.

Since I finally have a camera that takes decent photos, here are some photos from last night’s Malate Food Festival.

Many thanks to Jerick of Secret Society for the wonderful Ilonggo dinner; the KBL (kadyos, baboy, langka) and batchoy were particularly good. Too bad I didn’t remember to take photos of it until after our dinner.

More food! More food!

Pastry food trip at the Mandaluyong city hall complex.

Even when we’re practically broke last Sunday, Bern and I still found time to explore the food market in the Mandaluyong city hall complex. The city hall always sets up a flea market around Maysilo weeks before Christmas, bringing noisy crowds, gaudy lighting and heavy traffic in the area.

Because we hardly had money left, we were only able to buy a few pastries. Despite the price, they were actually quite good.

Barquiron de casoy and cheap local chocolate candies.

My co-worker Len earlier gave me some barquiron de casoy. Barquiron are wafers rolled into a tube and filled with polvoron-like powder. Len told me her dad came back from Roxas City and bought some for pasalubong.

Barquiron

The barquiron wafer is thin and delicate, unlike barquillos, and less sweet. The powder filling is less compact and less sweet than a typical polvoron, but that suits me fine. One could eat several sticks without getting overpowered by the sugar, which I’m usually prone to. Since the wafer is prone to cracking, I had to be careful in biting into eat to stop the powder from spilling.

Speaking of candies, I’m craving for really cheap local chocolate candies.

One’s childhood isn’t really complete without trying chocolate bars like Big Bang and Cloud 9. Cloud 9 is still available in most convenient stores and is a good alternative to Snickers; I won’t be surprised if there are people who actually prefer the former.

And then there are the Goya chocolate eggs and coins which are staple of loot bags in children parties. The chocolate coins melt easily and having one’s fingers covered with melted chocolate is a wonderful childhood memory.

And then we have Lala chocolate bars.

Lala chocolate candies

These chocolate candies are pressed flat with waffle-like pattern and wrapped in transparent plastic. Inside are two layers of flattened chocolate with ridges to easily divide the chocolate into nine smaller parts (or eighteen, if you’re further separating the two layers). Lala doesn’t melt, so it could be nibbled longer. I used to buy two packs of Lala and spend and afternoon munching on them.

These days I could afford more expensive chocolate brands. Despite that, Lala is still among my favorites.

The magic siopao dream.

Kawaii siopao, by Oooway

This was a dream I had yesterday afternoon. While walking along a street, I sent a tweet through my phone: I want siopao.

It was around dusk. The street had four lanes without an island, lined with what appeared to be pet shops. Ahead of me was an intersection to what looked like a rotonda. If it weren’t for the lack of island, the place reminded me of Boni Avenue intersecting with Maysilo Street (I could see a structure similar to Mandaluyong’s “Dambana ng mga Ala-ala” in front of me), but with the pet shops of Cartimar thrown in.

There weren’t that many people out walking, there were very few vehicles about. As soon as I sent the tweet, I looked ahead and there by the intersection passed a large car. When it passed, it left a large siopao in the middle of the street.

I ran towards the siopao, looked around if anyone else would pick it up, took it, then walked back to the sidewalk. The siopao was pretty big, with a shiny beige bun, unlike the typical white. It reminded me of the siopao sold in Mr. Poon’s along Quezon Avenue.

I didn’t get to know what the siopao tasted like. I woke up by then and thought, “wow, magic siopao!”

[Image: “Siopao (steam buns)” by Oooway on Flickr.]

Korean ice cream on a rainy day.

It was raining when Bern, PJ and I went out of Tree House last Saturday after a meetup with the Philippine LBGT Hate Crime Watch. Since it was only PJ who brought an umbrella, we decided to head to a nearby Korean convenience store for shelter.

Bern eating Korean ice cream

It was a cold, rainy afternoon. We decided to get a tub of strawberry ice cream.

It seems strange how a cold country like Korea could produce really wonderful ice cream. PJ theorized that maybe because of their cold weather, they have more reason to be particular about the ice cream’s taste. The one we got came in pink and white bands which were really smooth and creamy, sprinkled with strawberry bits.

Not that we’re unpatriotic (we make some excellent local ice cream and gelato, too), but Koreans really know their ice cream.