4.263 Parros Clams in Spicy Black Bean Sauce (with Garlic Rice)

Cycle 4 – Item 263

25 (Wed) September 2013

Parros Clams in Spicy Black Bean Sauce (with Garlic Rice)


at Seafood Market Restaurant

-Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines-

with conference participants, WHO Korean staff

WHO Informal Consultation on Reducing the Harmful Impact on Children of Marketing Foods, Beverages, Tobacco, and Alcohol + Singapore Diet + WHO Health Law Project (Day 2)

    1. 4.262 1-Piece Chickenjoy Meal + Pancit Palabok
    2. 4.263 Parros Clams in Spicy Black Bean Sauce
    3. 4.264 3-Piece Chicken Barbecue
    4. 4.265 Chilli Crab
    5. 4.266 White Carrot Cake
    6. 4.267 Hainanese Chicken Rice
    7. 4.268 Inasal Chicken
    8. 4.269 Mango
    9. 4.270 The Original – Verena
    10. 4.271 SPAM Musubi + SPAM Burger Hamburger
    11. 4.272 Chicken Curry with Raisin Biryani

In Manila.  Two sponsored objectives of the trip, under the auspices of the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WHO WPRO): (1) to participate in a technical expert meeting on finding ways to protect children from the marketing of unhealthy products; (2) to progress the health law project that I’ve been involved with since last year.   The more important informal objective, on my own dime: (3) to visit Singapore and stuff my face


Unfamiliar with the neighborhood around WHO, I chose The Oasis Paco Park Hotel because it looked kinda close on the Expedia map.  But it’s kinda far, and not in the fun part of town.
Even worse, the streets are currently under renovation, so I have to walk through shit on the commute.


On the first day of the meeting, I snuck out to have lunch with SP.  I’ll be working with his team next week, but we had loads to catch up on since our prior encounter (see 3.350 Modeum Jeon).

MICAH (Magsaysay Institute of Hospitality & Culinary Arts) is a restaurant.
All the staff, including the managers, servers, and cooks, are in training to earn degrees and find jobs.  The menu changes every day.
Located on the second floor of the building across from WHO, the restaurant offers a unique view of the WHO campus.
The food was entirely forgettable.


Located a few blocks from WHO WPRO.

Seafood Market Restaurant is a Chinese restaurant.  Specializes in live seafood.  Customers choose the ingredients, the amounts, and the methods and styles of preparation.

Still empty at 1800.
Fresh vegetables are also available.
I should’ve taken a better shot of the seafood.
Parros clams (left) for the stir-fry, Halaan clams (right) for the soup.
Open kitchen.

After the meeting wrapped for the day, the Korean staff at WHO hosted a welcome dinner for the Korean participants.  Seafood Market Restaurant, in light of fun factor + food quality + proximity + prices (?), is the default venue for such occasions.

We had a private room.

When traveling, Korean people tend to stick together.  At international events (e.g., a WHO meeting), for example, Koreans will find the other Koreans in the room, then discuss, mingle, socialize only with them.  On one hand, Koreans regard this as a point of pride, signifying solidarity.  On the other hand, Koreans also take some shame in it, recognizing that they avoid interaction with non-Koreans due to self-perceived inadequacy in English and schmoozing skills.

WHO WPRO is situated in the old part of Manila, now overrun with casinos and girlie bars – hence, restaurants in the area cater to Korean men, as evident in the wide availability of soju, which is otherwise not a mainstream booze here.

The Korean staff have a written SOP (standard operating procedure) for this restaurant, a spreadsheet that provides technical guidance on what dishes to order in what amounts, based on the number of people at the table.  The menu was developed over many painful years of trial and error, each item approved by the Boss (WHO WPRO Regional Director is Korean), no deviations allowed.

The food was excellent all around, the best meal that I’ve had in the Philippines thus far.

My favorite dish was the clams in black bean sauce, mixed with garlic rice.   Perfect balance of salty and spicy.

(See also BOOZE)



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