(This piece was featured in the Metro section of ClicktheCity.com last September 26, 2011)
People usually go to the Manila Ocean Park complex to get a glimpse of the Oceanarium and not necessarily do a food trip. Although there are a number of restaurants inside the area, there is one place that stood out for me—Makan Makan Asian Food Village.
The unique thing about this place is its hawker-style set-up, which is just like the ones found in other Asian countries. There’s a section for eggs, for roast meat, and many more. But instead of guests going from stall to stall, waiters usher them to a table and give them a menu to order from. It took me a while to choose from the wide selection of dishes, as the restaurant offers specialties from the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China, and Western cuisine as well.
I found out that “makan makan” is a Malaysian term that translates to “kain” or “to eat,” and that’s what I did—I ate like there’s no tomorrow. I was tempted to do an Asian feast, but I decided to try a couple of starters first to sample the restaurant’s flavors.
The Roti Prata (P120) was a no-brainer for me. It is said to be one of Singapore’s favorite appetizers, and actually, mine as well. The Indian flat bread was warm and soft, and its accompanying curry dip was so tasty that I asked for another serving of it.
My dinner companion decided to order another appetizer—the Oyster Omelet (P160). This egg dish was topped with fresh oysters and stir-fried spring onions, and I thought it had an unusual gummy texture that took some getting used to. The omelet came with some chili dip, which gave it more zing.
I started to feel full already but I made room for the main course since I wanted to taste the restaurant’s bestsellers, one of which is the Char Kway Teow (P160), which is a stir-fried rice noodle dish in sweet soya sauce…
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