Even after a long day at work, one of the things I find comforting is when I get to cook. It’s an escape from a blinking (and demanding) computer screen and into the warm welcome of a kitchen counter, chopping board and pots and pans. But living near the Kapitolyo area (it’s been a year!) provides another source of comfort–exploring its bustling dining scene.
The neighborhood of Kapitolyo in Pasig has been abuzz of all things food for some years now when restaurants, cafes and other eating joints started sprouting in every corner of the residential area (especially along East Capitol Drive). I’ve always wanted to list down some of my favorites, so here goes. If ever you’re in the neighborhood of Kapitolyo and you’re wondering where to eat, here’s my quick guide (just prepare for the not-so-quick search for parking):
First off, don’t watch The Kimchi Chronicles because you’ll be tempted to book a ticket to South Korea. The next best thing is to find a good Korean restaurant to satisfy that craving and even if you’re in Manila, you’re bound to find one.
Last night, the husband and I went to 10A Alabama in Quezon City for Foodstock, a fundraising event from the good people of Good Food Community. There were musical performances , a (mostly) vegetarian spread, lovely homemade ginger beer, and a great reason to spend P250 (around 20 USD) as all proceeds were going straight to helping out the small organic farmers cooperative in Capas, Tarlac, for their greenhouse and irrigation needs in the next few months.
I first learned about Good Food Community from my sister who gets her bayong (basket) of organic veggies from the small farmers that the group supports within their Community-shared Agriculture program. Basically, you pledge to buy local vegetables for the week (for several weeks) from the farmers, who in turn are assured of a stable demand for an entire season. (Learn more about it here.) The group also regularly visits the farms, and shareholders (like my sister) get to meet the farmers who grow these veggies and sometimes help with the harvesting.
10A Alabama, which houses Resurrection Furniture and Found Objects Gallery, became the venue for Good Food Community’s Foodstock (Getting distracted by the pendant lamp, hee)
Meet Char, one of the folks behind Good Food Community. One of the coolest persons I’ve ever met (She also makes good ginger beer!)
Last night, the farmers were there. They along with GFC volunteers cooked a wide spread of vegetarian dishes–from a vegetable and tofu curry to tortang talong, a kind of sticky rice cake (somebody was not taking notes) and caramelized onion spread with crostinis, and bowls and plates of other vegetable dishes that were as varied as the music.
When you’re traveling and you encounter a menu where you can’t understand single thing, do you a) make an attempt to communicate with the server with only four words you know of the local language , b) point at something in the menu and hope you don’t order something heinous, or c) try your luck in another restaurant with English translations in the menu? I’ve done all three: a) if I am feeling adventurous and , b) if I’m feeling extremely adventurous and c) when exhaustion dictates the need for something familiar and the the only adventure I want to have that day is figuring out the train route.
Golden roasted goodness in one of the windows of a restaurant in TST in Hong Kong
In the trip to Hong Kong, a place where good food is abundant, I found myself making all three decisions. In the mornings, when P and I are eager to start our day and before we meet with our friends, we wake up early and explore the nearby streets on our own from where we were staying.
No matter what kind of Japanese movie it is–whether it’s horror and there’s a foreboding water stain on the ceiling while a mother and child eat their meal (Dark Water, 2002, or I may be remembering it wrong), or it’s a bloody action film and there’s a killing rampage the following day after the young trained assassins have dinner together (Azumi, 2003)–as long as there’s a dining, cooking, or any food-related scene I suddenly get a craving for Japanese food.
A bento of sushi goodness in Maruchan
So I especially get hungry when the food is an integral part of the plot. Continue reading