You just can’t argue with success. A couple of years back, my friends JP Paz and Mario Tayag told me about a small restaurant on Roxas Street in Banawe, Quezon City. They warned me, though, not to spread the word if I liked the food because people might come in droves.
I must say I have returned there many times—alone or with friends—and cannot stop talking about what a winner this place is. It serves authentic Hong Kong roasts with all the appropriate sauces.
Among the dishes, the standouts are salt and pepper squid, salted fish fried rice, barbecue pork (one of the best in Manila), soy chicken, roast duck, deep-fried appetizers (squid balls, fishballs, lobster balls).
My son Franco and I love the simple stir-fried noodles with bean sprouts topped with peanut sauce. Recently, a variety of new dim sum dishes and a delicious pork bun were added to the menu.
The place also has fresh fruit juices like strawberry, carrot and orange. I love the kiwi strawberry and the Milo Dinosaur.
The owner is a devoted foodie and frequents Hong Kong. Her sister is married to an executive chef of a fine dining restaurant in Hong Kong’s New Territories. Imagine this guy as your mentor.
On one of her food tours, which I was lucky to join, we went to a night market where we bought huge live lobsters, live scallops, prawns, fish, geoduck (clam), oysters and crabs. Two hours later, we feasted on all of them in that fine dining restaurant. That was real fresh food experience.
There are more dishes on the menu I haven’t tried, but on every visit, I need to have the beef tendon with braised noodles. This place will ruin anyone’s diet, but you will leave with a smile.
From a tiny stall in Banawe, it now has branches in San Juan (near Xavier School), Marikina, and, recently, BF Parañaque on President’s Avenue.
I considered opening a restaurant in the market in BF, but decided against it since the location was a weekend market—on weekdays, walang tao.
Eat Fresh proved me wrong. I went on a weekday lunch and it was packed. Now how can one really argue with success?
Eat Fresh is on President’s Avenue, BF Homes, Sucat, Parañaque.
The Hokkaido food tour with the columnist is on April 7-12; Italy-France food tour to follow. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org