6.009 TEITY 33 : Awful


14 (Wed) January 2015



at Tao Yuan

-Malate, Manila-

with various colleagues

TEITY.  Try Every Item at Tao Yuan* (see previously 6.001 Braised Superior Whole Abalone). Attempting to eat my way through the restaurant, all 222 items (excluding shark’s fin and desserts).  From what I’ve seen so far, it would seem to be one of the best in the neighborhood, solid on all counts: taste, quality, variety, service, vibe, proximity, maybe price.  Once I’ve tried everything, I’ll know exactly what to get, depending on the circumstances, whether it’s for a quick bite on my own, a casual night out with friends/colleagues/family, or a formal occasion hosting bosses/VIPs.  That kind of certainty, in the unpredictable culinary landscape of Manila, will be invaluable.

*The domain has recently expired, but I leave the link in case it comes back up.

TEITY is the 2nd of 6 projects in the “Try Every” series.  (i) TERRP (…Restaurant in Robinsons Place) (see completed 5.247 Original Recipe Fried Chicken…); (iii) TERDHPP (…Restaurant in the Diamond / Hyatt / Pan-Pacific hotels) (see most recently 5.348 American Lobster Aburi Gunkan); (iv) TERSK (…Restaurant in St Kilda) (see completed 5.339 …Roasted Squid); (v) TEKREM (…Korean Restaurant in Ermita/Malate) (see most recently 5.346 Deep-Fried Okdom); (vi) TEIBR (…Item at Bistro Remedios) (see most recently 6.008 Sinigang na Baboy).

15 new items tonight, total 187 down, 35 remaining, 33 visits so far, averaging 5.67 items per visit (as of tonight), on pace to finish at TEITY 40.

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BLUE: highly recommended / GREEN: respectable / YELLOW: mediocre / ORANGE: better avoided / RED: never again / GREY: off-limits (ethical concerns)

From the outset, I’ve anticipated that the most challenging aspect of TEITY for me would be the items comprising the inner (e.g., lung, kidney, intestine) and outer (e.g., skin, tongue, feet) parts of animals–generally, I only eat the middle third (e.g., meat in between).

A few months back, I treated a group of Filipino colleagues to lunch–they like this kind of thing–and got through most of the stuff on the main and dimsum menus (see generally 5.298 Braised Pork Belly with Taopok).

That left the goodies on the hotpot menu, the scariest of them all, so there we were again, just the guys this time.

Ox Tongue (2.0)–spliced paper thin, intriguingly chewy; not much flavor; maybe worth exploring further, if prepared in a different manner.
House Special Pork Skin (0.5)–pre-deep-fried, probably to tenderize, which rendered it unpleasantly spongy and greasy.
Beef Tripe (top) (0.75)–chewy; mild flavor, which was a good thing + Pork Intestine (bottom) (0.5)–rubbery; strong flavor, which was a bad thing.
Beef Lung (0.0)–squishy; intense flavor, had to spit it out after an exploratory nibble; magnificently awful, exactly what I imagined lung would feel, taste, look like.
Sliced Pork Kidney (0.0)–pasty; overwhelming flavor that exploded after a few chews (“…This is actually kinda–oh, wait, no, there it is.”), delayed evac; the “sliced” refers to the decorative hashing knife-work on the surface (see main photo), which made it more grotesque.
Pork Vein (0.75)–also pre-deep-fried; flavorless, the most that I could hope for at this point.
Sliced Local Fat Beef (1.5)–finally, the middle part of the animal; don’t know what the “fat” refers to.
Beancurd Roll (0.75)–pre-deep-fried, seeped in oil; essentially the same item as the Smoked Beancurd Sheet Roulades with Shredded Vegetables, found on the main menu, the only item thus far that I’ve ordered then rejected and sent back; but here, everyone else didn’t seem to mind, so we kept it.
Winter Melon Slice (1.5)–Radish Sticks were better.
Fried Taro (top) (1.5)–nothing objectively wrong with it, but I personally don’t like the texture + Chix Leg Mushroom (bottom) (1.5)– coulda been fresher.

Although I found most of the items to be abhorent individually, I enjoyed the overall meal nonetheless.  Partly because I got to try certain things for the first–and final–time; I even discovered that ox tongue might not be so bad after all.  Partly because I got to check off several icky items, although a few remain; I guess we’ll be back soon enough.  And mostly because I got to share the experience with friends–misery loves company.  Good times.



10 (Fri) April 2015

Finished (see generally 6.095 Done).

12 thoughts on “6.009 TEITY 33 : Awful

  1. ugh. yuck. i know i’m not particularly adventurous when it comes to food but there is not enough booze or money in the world to make me try this meal. yuck yuck.

  2. mmm…I actually love offal, believe it or not. But then again, I am Chinese, haha. I’m not too fond of fish guts (too fishy) but I love everything else. I don’t eat it very often, so that’s partially why I appreciate it so much…

    I applaud you for trying new things! Even if you didn’t exactly enjoy them, it’s another experience, at least. Besides, meat is meat. No point in wasting parts of the animal.

    1. as seen in post 6.017, i do like offal, but only when prepared in certain ways. the hotpot method, which allows for the pure flavor to come out, is too intense for me, especially since the ingredients in manila aren’t always so perfectly fresh.

      but as i wrote, i did enjoy the experience, even if i didn’t like the food itself, though i did discover that ox tongue might be okay.

      and i’ve always believed that bad food experiences are just as valuable as the good ones.

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