There was once a noodle restaurant in Harrison Plaza that served varieties of the dish from each Asian country. It was a fine concept, except that many of the dishes were just so-so and didn’t really taste authentic.
A place in Mandaluyong near Shaw Boulevard also offered all kinds of pancit from different provinces in the country. Though some of the items were good, the taste was something I wouldn’t really crave for or would want to go back to.
Sometime ago, there were stores that sold the finest food from the provinces as in the real thing. Picadeli had the best-tasting longganisa: Batutay from Nueva Ecija; and variants from Vigan, Lucban, Cebu, Laoag and many others.
A stall in Glorietta did the same with chichiria; it was a snack paradise for me, too.
All these places have since closed except for Belcap which has been around for more than two decades. It never ceases to amaze me what products you will find there. Of all the ones available, I always get frozen chicken nuggets that are similar to the ones sold by a fast-food chain; longganisa varieties like Cabanatuan batutay, Vigan, Lucban, Alaminos; there’s even chicken longganisa for the health-conscious.
I also love the gigantic burgers—so tasty they can be served as ulam. With cheese, fried egg, lettuce, tomato and mayo with toasted whole wheat Gardenia bread, the burgers are a favorite at home.
The store also has frozen tiyan ng bangus, daing, tinapa, fatless tocino, tapa, corned beef, embutido, siomai, ham bacon, French fries, hash brown potatoes, jumbo cheese dogs, Hungarian sausages, German sausages. For snacks, there are Ilocos cornicks, lengua de gato, Wow Mani peanuts from Pampanga, polvoron, peanut butter, gourmet tuyo and sardines.
Aside from food, it also offers dish-washing liquid, fabric conditioner, paper towels—things you least expect to see in such a place. But all these make Belcap an ideal shopping stop for me.