ASIAN cuisine is becoming more and more popular in the country. Japanese and Chinese are the most famous. Others like Thai are not far behind.
The ones that need a boost are Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean food.
But since many Filipinos have traveled around Southeast Asia and tried the “real thing,” their standards are quite high.
Another factor affecting expectations is the presence in the Philippines of many chefs from those countries. They have elevated our tastes.
Local chefs have also discovered ways to offer, for example, authentic-tasting dishes like Hainanese chicken that will give the Hainanese stalls in Singapore a good run for their money.
A new place that makes Singapore food hawker-style is Shiok Shiok on Roxas St. in the vicinity of Banawe, Quezon City.
I started with Sliced Fish soup. Its flavor was mild and unique, its taste clean and delicious.
The place also served Bah Kut Te, herb soup with tender spare ribs, another Singapore specialty eaten as breakfast.
I had Hokkien Mee, a white noodle dish with seafood broth, shrimps and topped with sambal sauce. Outstanding!
I also enjoyed chicken sate with the peanut sauce, cucumber and onions on the side (not easy to find a good and authentic-tasting one here).
And then there was sambal kangkong, which was both tasty and healthy. A bit spicy, it went well with steamed rice.
I also tried the authentic-tasting beef rendang, morsels of beef brisket, simmered for hours and submerged in thick red coconut sauce. Sarap!
A dish that jumped out screaming Singapore to me was the Cereal Shrimps, made with large shrimps (usually prawns). It was crunchy, a bit sweet and very scrumptious.
I tried the Penang Chendol for dessert, perfect for warm, humid days even during this rainy season.
The drinks were worth a try. I loved the Milo Dinosaur and homemade fruit shakes.
The interiors were designed like old Singapore.
Shiok Shiok is at 81-A N. Roxas St., Banawe, Quezon City; tel. 7326490, 7326491
Little John’s Tapa
Little John’s Tapa sells delicious tapa made from lean, tender imported sirloin beef. Homemade, it is of the wet variety, perfect either with steamed rice or sinangag, with scrambled or fried eggs, and drizzled with chopped onions, tomatoes and red eggs.
It is mildly salty, sweet and lightly spicy. Call or text 0917-5928765.
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