‘Hamgyupsal,’ ‘quezo de bola tsukemen,’ ‘puto bumbong’ ice cream—Christmas dishes you shouldn’t miss | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Goju-gang’s Pork Hamgyupsal
Goju-gang’s Pork Hamgyupsal
Goju-gang’s Pork Hamgyupsal
Goju-gang’s Pork Hamgyupsal


Food is a huge part of the holidays and the country’s popular establishments are offering dishes and special treats to enjoy only during the Christmas season. Here are some that you shouldn’t miss.

The Grid

The Grid has gotten even bigger and it’s celebrating Christmas with new offerings at each stall.

Drop by Bucky’s (Stall 2) for Meatloaf with Roasted Mushrooms, Mashed Potato and Gravy, a dish so delicious and comforting, it was like our grandma made it.

Tsukemen (Stall 4) serves a piping-hot bowl of Quezo de Bola Tsukemen. We hope this will become part of the regular menu—it’s that good.

Goju-gang’s (Stall 6) Pork “Hamgyupsal” is another must-try. It’s tender and flavorful and comes with kimchi and steamed rice.

Beefier (Stall 7) serves a Ham Burger—yes, two words—the popular beefy burger with thick slices of smoked Christmas ham.


Simple Fried Egg by Babu
Simple Fried Egg by Babu

Those missing Ping Pong Diplomacy’s Simple Fried Egg would be pleased to know it’s making a comeback at Babu (Stall 8). We hope this delightful dish of crispy egg, scallions, pork floss and oriental sauce becomes permanent, too.

La Chinesca (Stall 10), our go-to place for tuna tostada, is serving Enchilada Verde.

Grab some Christmas Spice Milk Tea from Flowerboy (Stall 3). You can also drink Peppermint Hot Chocolate (so rich, so good), Egg Nog and Gingerbread Latte from Edsa BDG (Stall 21).

For dessert, try the gelato at Risa Chocolates (Stall 19) or Workshop’s (Stall 20) Tropical Holiday Entremet.


Le Chon’s Puto Bumbong

Want something more traditional? Le Chon (Stall 5), which offers Christmas Porchetta Ham, also serves Puto Bumbong and Bibingka.

The Grid’s new stalls are worth a visit, too. Try Granivore’s (Stall 17) signature bowls or make your own, choosing from different grains including quinoa, pearl couscous, wheatberry, wild rice and adlai and then picking your protein, veggies, side and topping.

Our new favorite stall is Samyan Thai Street Food (Stall 16), which serves Khao Pad Tom Yum (a tom yum fried rice that you absolutely have to order) along with our new addiction, Phad Krapao Moo (stir-fried pork with Thai basil).

Your Local (14) is also at The Grid now, serving donburi, buns and wings.

The Grid: R2 Level, Power Plant Mall, Makati

Sebastian’s Ice Cream

Ian Carandang, the sorbetero behind Sebastian’s Ice Cream, is known for playing with Filipino flavors and using them to create unique ice cream offerings. His champorado ice cream, sapin-sapin ice cream, mangga’t bagoong sundae and leche flan pies are just some of his many popular local concoctions.

This Christmas, he has four sweet treats.

Puto Bumbong is puto bumbong kakanin ice cream topped with grated niyog and muscovado sugar—a cold take on the classic post-Simbang Gabi favorite.

Queso de Bola ice cream is cheese ice cream with grated Marca Piña queso de bola.

Your tita’s buko salad gets the Sebastian’s treatment with Buko Salad Espesyal: coconut ice cream with buko strips, kaong, nata de coco, fruit cocktail and cheese.

You can also try Bibingka à la Mode: your ice cream of choice on a bed of warm bibingka made with salted egg and cheese and topped with muscovado whipped cream and grated niyog.

Sebastian’s Ice Cream is at The Podium, Mandaluyong; Vertis North, Quezon City, and Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City

M Bakery

New York’s iconic Magnolia Bakery has been in Manila since 2018 as M Bakery, serving its famous banana pudding and other sweet creations.

For Christmas, it has jazzed up the crowd favorite cupcakes, offering Winter Cupcakes, Christmas Cupcakes and Holiday Piped Cupcakes. It sells an Ornament Box, too—one dozen assorted vanilla and chocolate mini cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and edible holiday decorations.

Want to try your hand at decorating cupcakes? There’s a two-hour cupcake icing class Dec. 21 where you can learn how to pipe flowers, do flattop icing and write inscriptions.

M Bakery also has Christmas-theme cakes like the Christmas Confetti Cake (vanilla cake with Christmas confetti sprinkles inside, finished with vanilla buttercream), Snowman Cake, Red Velvet Cake and Yule Log Cake.

It also offers holiday treats like the Sno-balls (buttery pecan cookies rolled in powdered sugar), Gingersnap cookies, Iced Molasses (classic molasses cookies with orange or lemon glaze), Jammy Thumbprints (their classic pecan thumbprint cookies with raspberry jam), and Chocolate Crinkle.

M Bakery is at Lower Ground, Unit 23 One Bonifacio High Street Mall, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

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