Cycle 5 – Item 67
13 (Thu) March 2014
at Harbor View Restaurant
-Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines-
with CAL, TL, ME, KK, et al.
Given my interest in food, the best part of working at an international organization is enjoying direct/immediate access to people from so many countries whom I can ask about their natives cuisines, down to nuances. In my division alone, the countries represented include the Philippines, Korea, China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, India, USA, Spain, Australia, Germany.
Kilawin is a Filipino dish. Involves raw fish and/or seafood, marinated in acid, typically vinegar and/or calamansi juice, which “cooks” the flesh, along with aromatics, typically shallots/garlic/chilies. Essentially the same thing as ceviche, possibly brought to the Philippines from Peru by Spain. Or maybe not, as Filipino cuisine traditionally does rely heavily on vinegar and/or calamansi juice as curing/flavoring agents, so the resemblance, however close, could be an amazing coincidence
The Filipinos at the table were insistent that kilawin is not a borrowed/adapted dish.
Our resident Spaniard confirmed that classic Spanish cuisine doesn’t have anything similar to kilawin/ceviche.
Whereas the colonization of the Philippines was administered not directly from Spain but through the Spanish authorities in Mexico, which also governed territories in South America, I could imagine that ceviche was brought from Peru to Mexico, then to the Philippines, where it became kilawin.
The food was excellent, as before. The kilawin was my personal favorite of the evening, light and zesty, sweet and tangy, not the least bit fishy – the fish was tanigue (blue marlin). But everything else, except the broiled shrimp, was also very good. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of the squid, which was the second best dish. Harbor View Restaurant is now on my list of local restaurants to take guests from out of town.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN PHILIPPINES)