There’s a Peruvian restaurant called Mantaro along Scout Tobias and Scout Limbaga Streets, Quezon City.
Though the place is small and unpretentious, it serves the most delectable arroz con mariscos. Its rendition of this rice dish is one of the best I have had.
The depth of the flavors of the sea—the deliciousness of it all—absorbed by each and every grain of rice, makes this dish truly exquisite. With fresh sprigs of cilantro the arroz comes alive. A dribbling of lime juice makes the flavors more complex.
Chef Luis Higa, the owner of the restaurant, was born in Peru to Japanese parents. He has been happily married for 23 years to Candy, a Filipino.
In 2013 the Higas came to the Philippines and were convinced that it was time to share the authentic flavors and the delectable culinary delights of Peru.
Other dishes I enjoyed were the ceviche and the roast chicken. Next time though, I will specifically ask for dark meat.
It is best to reserve. Call Candy at 0905-2299605.
Eng Bee Tin
A few weeks ago, my friend Imelda Tan sent me a photo of pork floss hopia.
I love pork floss and I love hopia. I could only imagine how delicious they must be when put together.
A few days afterward, another friend, Ana Yu, sent me a box of Eng Bee Tin’s pork floss hopia.
It was very flaky, very tasty, and very easy to eat. It was delicious especially after being heated for a minute in a toaster oven.
No wonder when I went to Eng Bee Tin, I found long lines of customers who were only allowed to buy just two boxes to prevent hoarding. Apparently, Eng Bee Tin could not make enough to meet the demand.
I finished the whole box of hopia in a day and a half and was still craving for more.
I found myself en route to Binondo the other day and I was not only able to buy more pork floss hopia, but I also discovered the strangest yet most unique Christmas treat, a tikoy fruitcake!
According to Eng Bee Tin’s Geric Chua, the tikoy fruitcake is available for only one month in a year. It is primarily made to give their customers more variety during Christmas.
I got home and fried a few pieces of it and, to my surprise, it was straight to the point—tikoy that tasted just like fruitcake! Quite interesting actually, for a change.
While shopping, my eyes wandered to an eatery right beside Eng Bee Tin.
Chuan Kee Chinese Fast Food (owned and managed by the Chuas of Eng Bee Tin) is still packed with diners, 70 years after it first opened its doors.
The menu had many interesting dishes.
A noodle lover, I opted to bring home a bilao of miki-bihon.
Chuan Kee’s pancit was cooked Hokkien-style, laced with a bit of spice. It had a depth to it that was made even more satisfying by the hefty trimmings that adorned the pancit such as pork strips, shrimps, cabbage meatballs, kikiam and siomai halves.
Geric was filled with pride when he said that the miki noodles, meatballs, siomai and kikiam were all made by the house—from scratch! “The sauce we use,” he boasted, “is our own personal formulation, too!”
Eng Bee Tin, 628 Ongpin St., Binondo; tel. 2888888
Chef Meg Tansiongco Hornsby-Bates has had an ardent fondness for marshmallows ever since she was a child.
Her frustration was that all the marshmallows that were readily available were just plain white, flavored with vanilla. Even the colored ones, she said, still tasted like the white ones.
As an adult, she set upon creating her own unique marshmallow flavors, the kind that both kids and grownups could enjoy.
Meg called her marshmallows Pufft, and puffed-up they are indeed: Huge, thick chunks of marshmallows that are not just soft but gooey on the inside as well.
Pufft Marshmallows come in strawberries and cream, mint chocolate, chocolate cookies and cream, lemon soufflé, gourmet vanilla and salted caramel.
Pufft can customize special flavors in special packaging just for you.