A Bangkok breakfast and a neighborhood weekend market

During weekend mornings, many folks in Metro Manila (at least those who wake up before lunch time) like to troop to the weekend markets around the city. The more popular are Salcedo and Legaspi markets in the CBD of Makati, Mercato Centrale in Bonifacio Global City, and Sidcor Market in Centris along EDSA corner Quezon Ave. in Quezon City (which is where I usually go to after early morning runs, since it’s a few minutes away from the house).

The one Saturday morning we spent in Bangkok, my cousin took me and my sister to the weekend market of her neighborhood to buy our breakfast. Bangkok is certainly well-versed when it comes to shopping and weekend markets. You only have to find yourself in the middle of the sprawling Chatuchak Market, three hours into your shopping and having covered only a row or two of shops to know that Bangkok is serious about shopping. And attracting shoppers. Suan Luang weekend market though, located in a quiet residential area, is not massive nor touristy (shoppers are mostly residents), but the finds are fantastic for anyone in the mood for local Thai food.

slouching somewhere

A part of the Suan Luang market

When we got there, apparently the area near the Suan Luang park, where the weekend market usually sets up, was undergoing some sort of construction or renovation, so the stalls were spread out on the sidewalks and the parking spaces. Good thing my cousin still found her favorite stalls: the one that sells grilled bananas (love this!), another that sells satay or grilled chicken, one that sells steamed brown and white sticky rice (which had quite a queue), and the milk tea stall of a husband and wife who spent the rest of the week working in a law firm.

My favorite Thai food discovery in the market: grilled bananas

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When in Japan

So what if my taste buds were craving for tapsilog on our last few days in Japan? During most of our vacation, I was loving every meal we were having, especially this relatively affordable and much healthier set meal of salmon, rice, miso soup, a bowl of pickled veggies and nori strips to start the day. Good morning!

Breakfast in a gyudon restaurant in Shibuya

A Baguio breakfast

The Kamote Bread of Cafe by the Ruins in Baguio City

One of the best things to have on a cold morning is warm, freshly-baked bread. And whenever P and I would go up to the mountain city of Baguio, I would drag him to Cafe by the Ruins every morning to have breakfast in spite of his mock “But we already ate here yesterday” objections. Cafe by the Ruins makes its own Kamote Bread (sweet potato bread), which you can order with some of the cafe’s delicious spreads, pates and fruit jams.

Ruins Herb Tea

I also like to order the Ruins Herb Tea to go along with the bread and the other breakfast items we end up ordering: the longganisang hubad (local sausage without the casing) crispy tapa, the daing na bangus (butterflied milkfish marinated in vinegar and lots of garlic), and the mushroom omelet, which you can have with the cafe’s signature mountain rice. All breakfast sets are served with a small bowl of fresh fruits–something which is in abundance in Baguio.

A daing na bangus and mountain rice breakfast

Cafe by the Ruins is located at 23 Chuntug St., Baguio City

Never to skip breakfast

I never like to skip breakfast. When we were kids, my mom always insisted that my siblings and I eat our breakfast even when we were rushing to school. Fried fish and rice. Tocino (sweetened, cured pork) and rice. Daing (dried, salted fish) and rice. Corned beef and rice. Homemade longganisa (local pork sausage) and rice. My mom was big believer of a heavy breakfast. Kailangan may kanin. (There has to be rice.) I wasn’t a big fan of it when I was in elementary school. All I wanted was a bowl of cereal or a taste of a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich like what the kids in Sesame Street were having. But by the time I reached college, those big Filipino breakfasts had won me over. (Either a consequence of living away from home for awhile or fuel to write those Philosophy papers by junior and senior years, I suspect.)

When I lived away from home and couldn’t make the time to cook rice in the morning, I would at least have time to cook some bacon (how can you not have time for bacon?) and toast some bread. Or I would stop by the small donut shop in front of the university and have a BLT and tea. When I started working, I was amazed at people who only had coffee in the morning and would eat their first meal by lunchtime. I knew my tummy wouldn’t let me hear the end of it–all the grumbling–if I did the same thing.

Whenever I travel, I also make sure I never skip the first meal of the day. On the recent trip to Cebu, I have to admit that I looked forward to seeing the beaches of Bantayan as much as having dangsilog (fried danggit + sinangag or fried rice + itlog or egg) for breakfast where danggit or dried, salted rabbitfish is a local favorite. Below are two danggit breakfast sets from D’Jungle and Blue Ice Bar & Restaurant, located just next to each other in Santa Fe in Bantayan Island:

D’Jungle danggit breakfast: I ordered it with their vegetable rice and it’s also served with two eggs, coffee or tea and juice. Around PHP165. I love the veggie rice and the fact that the danggit pieces are really small.

Blue Ice Bar & Restaurant didn’t have a danggit breakfast set, because all their Filipino breakfast sets had a heaping of danggit served with it! Served also with a smaller cup of rice, one egg, tiny salad on the side, and coffee or tea. Around PHP125. More danggit and cheaper too!

Want a break from dried, salted fish breakfast? How about cured goodness of bacon? Here’s another breakfast set from Blue Ice Bar & Restaurant.

Another Filipino breakfast favorite is the beef tapa (cured beef). In Don Merto’s Restaurant in Cebu City, their version of beef tapa is cured and dried and when fried, almost has the same texture as crispy bacon. Just as tasty too.

Don Merto’s tapsilog (tapa or cured beef, garlic rice and egg)

Since I’m finishing a lot of writing for work this month, I think I’ll just be posting favorite breakfast photos in the next few days. Maybe some of the local rice cakes like bibingka and puto bumbong, popular early morning fare around this time of the year?