What: A favourite in the northern Philippines, pork belly is first boiled until tender, then deep-fried twice to achieve an extra crisp.
Where: Bagnet fans swear by Stoops (corner of Arellano St and Estrada St), a casual diner with multiple outlets around Manila.
2. Chicken inasal
What: This classic hails from the Negros Occidental region. Chicken is marinated with lime, pepper, vinegar and annatto spice (an orange-red condiment) before it’s grilled over hot coals.
Where: Sarsa Kitchen’s moist, flavourful chicken inasal is served with achuete oil, soya sauce, vinegar, calamansi and chilli.
What: This beloved comfort dish is made of thin glass noodles and thick shrimp sauce, and topped with hard-boiled egg, deep-fried pork rind, shrimp and squid.
Where: Little Quiapo has been dishing up Filipino food since 1949, and its palabok is unrivalled.
What: A platter of grilled pork parts such as liver and snout, and fried pork rind and belly seasoned with chilli, onions and calamansi.
Where: The rich, spicy and crispy version at Manam is paired with garlic rice.
What: Breakfast rice porridge cooked in chocolate.
Where: Unconventional yet sensational, Early Bird Breakfast Club’s version (below) mixes dark and white Belgian chocolate, and the bitter sweetness is complemented by the tang of crispy dilis (salted fish).
What: This quick snack, sometimes known as banana-cue, is the Filipino equivalent of goreng pisang – essentially a deep-fried banana spring roll dusted with brown sugar.
Where: Locavore adds a layer of jackfruit into the roll, and serves it with a salted egg dulce de gatas or caramel sauce (below).
What: A popular breakfast dish that’s a mash-up of tapa (cured beef), sinangag (garlic fried rice) and itlog (fried egg).
Where: A 24/7 all-day breakfast joint, Recovery Food offers a choice of white rice, brown rice, or rice laced with crab fat.
8. Halo halo
What: Literally “mix-mix”, this dessert is made of shaved ice and evaporated milk, and topped with everything from boiled sweet beans, coconut and sago to gulaman (jelly), tubers and fruits.
Where: Halo Halo fans adore the version (below) at The Peninsula Manila.
PHOTOS: SUPPLIED, MEDAL ELEPANO, GABBY CANTERO, NEIL QUINTOS
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.