With the immensity of varied culinary and cultures to offer, Philippines is undeniably recognized as one of the best countries to celebrate and share a great fusion of unique and extraordinary food greatly influenced by a vibrant combination of cookery from countries such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain, Japan and the United States. Such vast influence has led foreign tourists and even modern-age Filipinos to fully embrace the country’s exceptional flavouring of its delicacies, leaving an impression of being at home with rest of the globe thru its cooking. Indeed it is no longer surprising why it is more fun to eat in the Philippines.
Here is a quick guide for you to browse over the moment you decide to go food-hopping in the country.
Batanes: Ivatan Platter
Pension Ivatan houses the famous Ivatan Restaurant which offers delicious Ivatan cooking that Batanes truly takes pride of. Situated just near Basco Airport, the restaurant is spacious enough to cater a great number of customers and displays a classic dining ambience in the provinces. The traditional Ivatan Platter dish is beautifully- presented in breadfruit leaves and is topped with assorted Ivatan specialties such as lobsters, Uvud balls, grilled tuna, coconut crabs, Fern Salad, Grilled flying fish or Dibang, Inihaw na Tadyang ng Baka and yellow ginger rice. The food platter is already quite a huge serving and can definitely be shared by 6-8 persons.
Moreover, the restaurant also has a souvenir shop where you can find a buy nice keepsakes for your self and your loved ones. Did I mention there is also free WIFI internet access in the area so you need not to worry if you want to immediately post your awesome dining experience in Batanes in your favourite social media sites
Your Palawan whole experience would never feel complete if you haven’t tried yet the exotic Tamilok dish. Tamilok which is also known as a slimy mangrove worm is considered as one of the tasty aphrodisiacs in Palawan which somehow tastes like an oyster. To have a taste of the freshest and best-tasting Tamilok in the area then Kinabuchs Grill and Bar is the ultimate place to visit.
Kinabuchs is situated along Rizal Avenue in Puerto Princesa City, together with the other popular restaurants in the city. Kinabuchs is highly regarded as the real deal when it comes to exotic dishes like Tamilok and Crocodile.
Zamboanga: Curacha with Alavar Sauce
Suit your meticulous appetite thru Zamboanga’s Curacha dish in the famous Alavar Seafood Restaurant. Curacha is a Chavacano native cuisine of a spanner crab. This type of crab is a cross-breed of a huge crab and a big lobster which is only to be found in the deep waters of Zamboanga. More often than not, Curacha is boiled or steamed to help preserve its rich taste. In Alavar Seafood Restaurant, they usually serve Curacha with their unique Alavar sauce that will truly boost up your cravings.
Tawi-Tawi: Aluhipang Dagat
Tawi-Tawi may not be a famous travel destination to many because of its security issues but contrary to such belief, Tawi- Tawi is actually a hidden haven. So if you happen to visit Tawi-Tawi, never leave the place without trying its well-known local dish KAM ON or deep fried Aluhipang Dagat or Mantis Shrimp. After exploring the Bonggao Peak, you can fill in your stomach with Dan Mar Resort’s Aluhipang Dagat specialty.
Davao City: Bulcachong
The moment you set foot in Davao City, Bulcachong should be on top of your list in your must try delicacies. Bulcachong may have a resemblance of the famous Bulalo dish since it is cooked out of beef shan and bone marrow stw, but what makes it exceptional is its distinctive look, enticing smell and luscious taste.
Iloilo: La Paz Batchoy
Situated in Western Visayas is the urbanized city of Ilo-Ilo which offers the unsurpassed taste of the authentic La Paz Batchoy. Ilo-Ilo’s version of La Paz Batchoy is deemed to be the most delicious in the country owing to its rich taste and ingredients containing fresh egg, miki noodles, buto-buto broth and slices of beef, pork, bulalo meat, intestines, liver and generous toppings of fried pork skin, fried garlic and scallions which makes it tastier and mouth-watering.
The favourite Inasal na Manok or chicken barbecue in the Philippines actually originated in Negros specifically in Bacolod City. Negros is regarded as the home to the original Inasal na Manok and is commended for its fresh and juicy chicken that is richly marinated with a special sauce and partnered with garlic rice to complete the genuine inasal dining experience. To add more flavour to the chicken, it is best to dip in soy sauce with matching calamansi and sili.
Tuguegarao: Batil Patung
Deemed as the place with the most number of noodle houses in the Philippines, Tuguegarao is the ideal spot to try the famous Batil Patung noodle dish. Among the many kinds of noodle delicacies, Batil Patung is mainly featured in Tuguegarao due to its distinctive taste and style. The kind of noodles used in this recipe are the flat ones and its toppings comprise of sauteed beef, bean sprouts., carots, crushed chicharon, fried egg and meat loaf slices.
Cebu: Lechon Cebu
In the Philippines where eating is considered as a countrywide craze, one or more Filipinos are thought to be at risk of high cholesterol levels but nonetheless, this doesn’t stop locals and international tourists alike to still fall in love with the irresistible taste of the most sought-after Lechon Cebu.
Mountain Province: Pinikpikan
Being surrounded by beautiful backdrops of mountain scopes, Mountain Province in the far off north of Luzon is known for its cool and sometimes ice-cold weather. Perhaps such weather has led to the creation of Mt. Province’s Pinikpikan dish which is made up from hot chicken soup that is used in religious, solemnn, native ceremonies.
More than just being hailed as a perfect match for beer, any person would certainly give in to Pampanga’s Sisig recipe once it is tasted. Tracing back history, the original sisig in 1732 didn’t contain any meat ingredient. Later on around the year 1974, the sisig recipe evolved and had the inclusion of pure pork fat cut and boiled, grilled then mixed with special seasoning and spices then dipped in vinegar, soy sauce and lemon to add more flavour.
In 2013, Angeles, Pampanga celebrated its first Sisig Festival thus led to being acknowledged as the Sisig Capital of the Philippines. From an ordinary sour salad, sisig has truly transformed into an original well-loved, original Filipino cuisine which continues to amaze several foodies.
Isabela: Pancit Cabagan
Definitely another must-taste noodle dish in Luzon is Isabela’s Pancit Cabagan, Batil Patung’s strongest rival. Pancit Cabagan is believed to be influenced by a Chinese settler in the Cabagan town of Isabela Province. The noodles used in this pancit dish are round and wet, cooked with a combination of carrots, boiled eggs, julienned cabbage and large amount of lechon de carajay cuts. Pancit Cabagan goes well with white onions, calamansi and egg drop soup.
If you happen to visit Ilocos, don’t forget to try its authentic Longganisa and find out for yourself why Ilocos has been dubbed as one of the famous food-adventure destinations in the Philippines.
Lanao (Maranao Delicacy): Chicken Piaparan
Maranao culinary offers beyond the ordinary mixture of spices and flavourings, thus making it different from the other renowned Philippine food. Fall in love more with Chicken Piaparan, a traditional Marawi dish which uses the pulp of a coconut as a main ingredient. Take note that most of the Marano locals are Muslims so expect their dishes to be governed by the Halal law which prohibits serving pork meat.
Pastil (pronounced as patil) is a local delicacy which originated in Maguindanao. It is composed of steamed rice stuffed with shredded chicken adobo then wrapped in fresh banan leaves. Pastil is sold for a very affordable price of 10-15 pesos only but is undeniably worth a try.
Considered as Bicol, Albay’s well-known delicacy is Pinangat. Pinangat is a local food which started in Camalig a province of Albay and is famous for its unique ingredients of Gabbi leaves, coconut, fish and pepper.
Pigarpigar is Dagupan’s streetfood adaptation of beef stir fry. Slices of fresh beef or carabeef and liver are marinated with salt and pepper, deep fried with shallots or white onions then served with either soy sauce with calamansi or fish sauce. Pigarpigar is more often than not sold in the evening along Dagupan City’s Galvan Street. It is eaten usually at night time for late evening diners and for people who would like to simply drink and have a good meal.
Baler, Aurora: Pako Salad
Baler Aurora isn’t just famous as a surfing destination it also popular for its Pako Salad or Ensaladang Pako for some. Pako Salad is a healthy combination of Philippine vegetables such as Pako tops/ fiddle-head ferns, sliced onions, tomatoes, salted egg, vinegar/apple cider, calamansi, carabao’s milk cheese, fish sauce and sugar.
Naga City is famed for its authentic Kinalas dish which is made up of rich-flavored noodle soup that is compared to that of mami. Kinalas’ noodles are boiled in a broth of a skinned pig’s head until the meat comes out. It is topped with brown sauce that seems similar to Pancit Palabok and is garnished with meat cuts which come from the pig’s head.