Alternative comfort foods | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

After so much rich, creamy, fusion food, we thought we’d seek some light, simple dishes that satisfy. In other words, comfort food.

In the past, the comfort food were mami and siopao, pancit and arroz caldo, even puto and bibingka. These are still around, but today, there’s the “invasion” by come foreign outlets. Manilans are excited about their food offerings, especially since the new outlets serve food that are easy on the pocket.

Toast Box

Burgos Circle, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City

This is a tiny place on Rizal Street which one would think serves only bread (presumably toasted). Surprisingly, it is actually a place offering some delicious Hokkien food, with the distinct flavors of Singapore.

Dining area—Small, neat in white. The tables are mini-sized, measuring not quite 2 feet by 2. And yes, chairs are as small. The corner décor is a single road sign that says Rizal Street and Orchard Road, referring to a main street in the Lion city. Behind the counter are the wall frames with a listing of their offerings.

Service—Not as fast as one would expect, but we suspect they prepare the dishes as they are ordered. Which is good enough. The diner gets them freshly cooked.

Staff—Cordial, efficient.

Suggested menu—How can one go wrong in ordering a Singapore signature dish, the Hainanese Chicken, which, comes here with either rice and soup or with soup and noodles. It is perfect. The soup comes steaming hot and very flavorful. The chicken comes with just the right seasoning; its meat is most tender.

They have other entrees—Nasi Goreng, Hokkien Prawn Rice and Chicken sausages with noodles.

After one has been satisfied (and comforted), one may ask for dessert. Here is where one is referred to the Toast Box, a selection of breads, which the management serves as dessert. They come open-faced with different toppings—Kaya (a typical spread), Floss, Choco, among others.

There is a choice of beverages to wash down the food. What is good is that, depending on the meal ordered, the bill can only range from P170 per diner and P469 for a whole chicken which can be shared. Truly comforting!

Service and government taxes are collected, Senior cards are honored.


– 3 Spoons

Chicken BonChon

New Wing, Ayala Town Center, Muntinlupa City, tel. 4781818.

This would remind those who have gone to Korea of the Chicken Hofs which offer their unique fried chicken. This fowl being so popular is normally the preferred choice of those wanting quick delicious meal. Lines always form, extending outside the door.

Service—Nearly chaotic as always with big surging groups. It takes a few minutes to get one’s order, but nothing to complain about because the dishes come freshly done.  We suggest one spend a few minutes studying the menu before falling in line, decide on how many pieces you want, thus avoiding a stand still by the counter.

Staff—Enthusiastic, accommodating.

Suggested orders—Concentrate on any of the chicken offerings. Each piece is covered (we use this word, instead of coated, because we suspect they make a unique lumpia-wrapper like covering that gives it the crispy consistency). To accompany the main dish, there is a choice, rice , noodles, salads. But refrain from Chapchae which we found lacking in flavor.

They honor senior cards.


– 2 Spoons

Shi Lin

Taiwanese Cuisine. Likewise in the new ATC Wing, tel. 8699869.

This is where one gets the old reliable Comfort Food of Dimsums and Noodles.

Dining area—A bit tight, specially when it gets full at lunchtime. One is likely to share a table, during peak hours. Nothing fancy about the décor.



Suggested orders—The list is long. But try the Noodles with Sesame and Peanut sauce, quite different from the usual. This is rather sticky and heavy, but satisfying. Of course, get the now very popular Xiao Long Boa, the dimsum with the steaming soup, which one slurps, but taking care not to have one’s tongue burned. They’ve got small plates of Japanese Cucumber and Pickled Cabbage and Fried Chicken Chops. The usual desserts are on the menu, Taro Dumplings, Red Bean Bun and Shi Lin Cheesecake.

Government and service charges are in the bill. Senior card is honored.


– 2 Spoons

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