Cycle 5 – Item 8
13 (Mon) January 2014
Chicken Pork Adobo
at C2 Classic Cuisine
-Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines-
As of today, I am a resident of Manila. I signed a lease and moved in to an apartment, likely my home in Manila for the duration of the project. It’s a studio apartment in One Adriatico Place (Tower One), a condominium high rise adjacent to Robinsons Place shopping mall. 27,500 pesos per month. Extra for utilities, cable, internet.
The condos in Adriatico are owned by different owners, managed by brokers. Studios to 2-bedrooms. Short term leases available, from 1 week (rare) to 1 month (common). Rents range from 25,000 pesos (about USD 550) per month for a studio to 50,000 pesos for a 2-bedroom. Considered extravagant by local standards – by contrast, for example, one of the assistants in my division currently rents a 2-story, 5-bedroom house, in a different neighborhood, for 15,000 pesos per month – the tenants tend to comprise expats and rich locals.
Try Every Restaurant in Robinsons Place (1) (see also TERRP)
Robinsons Place is a shopping mall. Located in Manila’s Ermita district, a few blocks from WHO. 4 stories. A couple hundred stores, a hundred restaurants and food stalls/stands, a multiplex cinema, a supermarket.
Other than the proximity to work, the primary benefit of living above Robinsons Place will be having immediate access to so many restaurants. A quick run-through revealed 85 restaurants, which includes the stalls in the food court but not stand-alone kiosks (e.g., selling snacks in front of the cinema) nor establishments like cafés (e.g., Starbucks) or juice bars (e.g., Jamba Juice) that don’t offer actual meals. Aside from sheer quantity, I’m amazed by the variety of national cuisines represented: Filipino, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Malaysian, Indian, Arabic, Greek, Italian, French, Spanish, English, American, Mexican, just to name a few. (Compare that to a typical Korean mall, which would comprise 95% Korean restaurants, with a Chinese, a Japanese, an Italian, and an American place thrown in.) The choices are even more diverse on the outside. Manila is indeed a global city where food is concerned.
For GMTD’s first project in Manila: Try Every Restaurant in Robinsons Place (TERRP), all 85 (or so). As far as I know, nobody has ever done anything like this, so this could be my unique contribution to the food/blog scene of Manila -allaying a nagging concern that the blog would have nothing to offer during my time here.
However, I’ll only be in Manila through mid-April – under the current contract, at least – leaving me with a little over 80 dinners, not including 5 weekends scheduled for Seoul. Even if I could squeeze them in, I’d still want to get out and experiment whenever possible, like on weekends. And on occasion, I’ll be going out with colleagues, not to mention K staff, in which case I probably won’t have much say in the choice of venue. So, I’ll begin with the 30 (or so) eateries on the first floor as Phase 1. Maybe the 15 (or so) on the 2nd floor as Phase 2, and so forth.
C2 Classic Cuisine is a Filipino restaurant. As the name of the place would suggest, the menu offers most of the classic items in Philippine cuisine. A perfect starting point.
Alas, the food wasn’t that great. I ordered the chicken pork adobo, but I found it rather dull. Oh well.
After dinner, I went shopping in the mall for sundries, things like bedding, bathroom supplies, as well as basic condiments for cooking. So much fun – I will miss my family in due time, of course, but not yet.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN PHILIPPINES)