Food trip: 6 awesome Southeast Asian restaurants to try in Metro Manila
MANILA, Philippines – Southeast Asian food is a diverse category that includes everything from our very own adobo and sinigang, to the completely different but still familiar dishes like pho, pad thai, and nasi lemak.
It goes without saying that the South East Asian region’s cuisine is among the most exciting in the world and, while going on a regional food trip may be the best excuse to book the next flight out, the good news is you can satisfy your craving for ASEAN food right here in Metro Manila.
From fine dining restaurants to unassuming holes-in-the-wall, here are 6 spots you can hit up the next time you get a craving for amazing flavors of Southeast Asia.
Crying Tiger Street Kitchen
This small hole-in-the-wall in Poblacion, Makati serves Southeast Asian street food, so expect to find items like satay, pad thai, and black pepper tofu on their menu. This place gets plus points for having vegetarian options and an assortment of sauces available on each table. Diverse as the region’s cuisine is, if there’s anything Southeast Asians have in common, it’s our penchant for sauces and condiments. Their pad see ew is especially delicious.
Crying Tiger Street Kitchen, 4986 Guanzon Street, Poblacion Makati
If the restaurant's name is any indication, this is not your traditional Southeast Asian restuarant. The brain child of Your Local's Nicco Santos and Hole in the Wall's Charlie Paw, Hey Handsome is a playful array of Asian flavors. If you want to try more than the usual pad thai or nasi lemak, head here. Their menu is filled with items you've probably never heard of (kueh lengkuas, nasi liwet, sambal serai) but are not soon to forget once you've tried it.
Hey Handsome, ground floor, Net Park building, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Bugis Singapore Street Food
Perhaps the most exciting thing about Singapore is its food scene, and you can experience it full-on at this restaurant, which is named after the country's historic red light-turned-shopping district. Singaporean classics like Hainanese chicken rice, laksa, and nasi goreng are all available here and at prices you'd never get in Singapore, too.
Bugis Singapore Street Food, 78 N. Roxas street, Sto. Domingo, Quezon City
Indonesian food is not as easy to find in Manila as other Southeast Asian cuisines, and this restaurant is one of the few places where you can get it. The menu itself will clue you in on the authenticity of its Indonesian flavors – every dish is listed down with its Indonesian name. Recommended here are the beef rendang and ayam penyet.
Warung Indo, ground floor, LPL Manor, San Agustin street, Salcedo Village, Makati
In Manila, Thai food is so accessible that you'd hardly think of it as fancy – but that's precisely the word to describe what the food is like at this restaurant, which is a super classy version of a classic Thai street kitchen. That's not to say that the fanciness takes away from the flavors – if anything, it enhances it. From the fresh pomelo salad to the smoky satay to the hearty yellow curry, and of course, the pad thai, the Thai cuisine at Mango Tree is a classic.
Mango Tree, Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
What used to be an unassuming banh mi stall at the end of a residential street in Makati has turned into a full-on banh mi empire with branches all over Manila. This joint has perfected the Vietnamese baguette sandwich, so much so that it has come to be the go-to place for anyone with a sudden craving for banh mi. The original stall has since diversified to other Vietnamese dishes, including pho and spring rolls, which are available in a sit-down restuarant that opened right next to the original stall.
BONBanhmi, 8390 Mayapis Street, San Antonio Village, Makati, with branches all over Metro Manila
Southeast Asian cuisine is just as exciting to explore as the region itself. With such varied histories, geographies, and natural resources, every country has its own set of tastes and textures to offer. So whether you're just out to satisfy a craving for Southeast Asian fare, or are in it to learn more about the culture of our neighbors, taking this mini-food trip within Metro Manila is a great way to go. – Rappler.com
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