I used to hesitate when friends invite me to go to Malabon City and have a gastronomical feast. I always find a reason, one way or another, to decline the invitation because my notion of the city was not a pleasant one. Yes…WAS. PAST TENSE. Now, I regret those times when I declined. Had I accepted the invitations, I would have enjoyed the food trips more since it is more gratifying to eat if shared with great company.
It is better to be late than never. I am now rectifying my actions by going around the city, enjoying the sights, the people and most especially, the food. I was surprised to discover that old heritage houses still exist. These are similar to the Spanish colonial houses found in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. I researched and found out that the city is known for these houses, some of which are still well-preserved, and have rich histories behind them. There’s also the 400 year old San Bartolome Church located a few meters from the city hall. But of course, the main focus of my trip was food and the famous Pancit Malabon.
Malabon City is the place where you can find the authentic Pancit Malabon. I have tried several restaurants outside the city claiming they are the best and original but none of them beat the ones found in Malabon City itself. I tried two of them: Nanay’s Pancit Malabon and Dolores Pancit Malabon.
Both, I can say, held up to my expectations. I was not disappointed at all. If you have a pancit malabon craving, travelling to this city is worth it. Not only do they taste good but the quantity is going to fill up your stomach. The price? Very reasonable. No complaints. No wonder the restaurant attendants were very busy especially in the mid-afternoon when people take their merienda. Of course, there were other food in the menu but the pancit malabon is the best seller.
When visiting these two restaurants, don’t expect fancy interiors. These are simple food places with no airconditioning, so be sure to visit when the hot temperature is not at its peak.
Right in front of Nanay’s Pancit Malabon is one of Arny-Dading’s Peachy Peachy branches. I have heard about this from a friend and was told they have great peachy-peachy (also spelled as pichi-pichi or pitsi-pitsi). Now, what is a peachy-peachy? It is a Filipino cassava cake delicacy topped with delicious cheese or shredded coconut. Being a cheese lover, I chose the cheese topping and was pleasantly surprised at the generous amount of it. Needless to say, it was the best peachy-peachy I’ve tasted!
Since I was already in the area, I visited Judy-Ann’s Crispy Pata at Jamicos Restaurant which has been around since the 70’s. The crispy pata, an all-time Filipino favorite, is a deep-fried pork knuckle served with vinegar and soy sauce dip (with or without chili peppers). The pork is crispy and juicy on the outside, but tender on the inside. With its appetizing appearance and irresistible aroma, a diner will have no choice but to taste it. Normally, it tastes a bit salty but at Jamicos, it’s both sweet and salty. (The pickles might have something to do with it.) Apologies for not posting a picture of this appetizing treat. I’ll leave that to your imagination.
My last stop was Betsy’s Cake Center which served the Malabon residents for more than 50 years. It’s the oldest bakeshop in the city but up to this day, it’s still a go-to place especially for the locals. The facade looks simple and ordinary. Non-locals may not give it a second glance and that’s a big mistake. Do not be deceived! What it lacks on the outside will definitely knock you off when you get to taste their food specifically their famous broas. Their version is soft, oval-shaped ladyfingers with light buttercream filling topped with powdered sugar that melts in your mouth with every bite. One piece is not enough, a box is what you’ll need. I swear I went back after two days just for the broas and I’m nowhere near the area.
There are other delightful and delicious food in the menu like caldereta, menudo, chicken pot pie (which my sibling loves), yema (a must-try!), a variety of tarts, halo-halo, melon juice, avocado smoothie….Oh! There’s just too many to mention. Just drop by the place and succumb to your heart’s delight.
If you want to see the sights or have a taste of these exquisite dishes, a tricycle tour is an option. This was launched by the city’s tourism office last year. The tricycle tours take customers to eight heritage sites and at least six of the most popular local restaurants. For more details, please refer to: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/682053/malabon-city-tricycle-tours-narrow-streets-wide-choices#ixzz472xqPNPO