Kitchen MIshaps and Victories, Restaurant Rants and Raves and a whole lotta wanderlust!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gourmet Kitschen: This little piggy went to Mercato Centrale

I've featured Midnight Mercato before, but going to the daytime one is a whole different experience. First of all, there are more merchants. Second, I don't eat breakfast so I am starving by the time we head out at 1130.

I had to pry myself away from Margarita's Paella Negra- something I usually get both in Mercato and Salcedo Markets. I love it so much but I keep telling myself to give the other stalls a chance. I'm usually too full for anything else after a serving of it.

As any big bazaar, there are the clear winners and those that are so-so, to those I really wouldn't even bother with. Here are a few of the things we've tried.

Theo and Philo Artisan Chocolates- Their claim to fame is that they are the only "bean to bar" chocolate from the Philippines. The bars are relatively small and pricey at P90 pesos but you don't really need much to satisfy your craving when eating this chocolate. It's rich and dark, smooth and full-bodied. I love dark chocolate with green mango and salt. I don't like green mango, but it ended up being my favorite.
Manang's Chicken- This has been dubbed the local "bon chon" of Mercato. I had read a lot of people raving about this before I tried it so I wanted to see for myself if it lived up to the hype. It was good, but it was definitely not bon chon (Note that I have only tried bon chon in New York and heard the one here is "different")I found the soy garlic sauce a tad bit too salty and too watery. I would have liked the chicken not soaked in sauce, but rather just coated in it.
If you want something a little more Filipino, go to Lola Diding's ihaw stand. I didn't eat these but I always wondered where they go these huge chicken butts to sell on a stick. My daughter was bothered by the sign that said "Chicken Ass" because it's a bad word. haha!
FOr something even more Pinoy- Isaw. Again, I didn't eat this but my girl Dane did and she said it wasn't that great. Womp womp. My daughter always gets chicken or pork barbecue from them though, and enjoys it every time.
Squiddy Corner- I didn't enjoy this :( Tasted like something I could have made at home, and it was served to me at room temperature meaning the batter around the squid was cold and no longer that crunchy, and the squid itself wasn't warm either. Ananda got it the week before and ended up giving it to her yaya. She didn't enjoy it too much either.
Offbeat Cafe was the first in Manila to give us what's known as the Luther burger (named after Luther Vandorss- his fave burger consisted of a pattie, cheese, an egg between 2 krispy cream donuts) Now they also have a burger using ensaymada instead of a traditional bun. The novelty of it is awesome, but has anyone tried this? I'd appreciate feedback.
potato thing- Im sorry forgot the name of this stand. Dane got this, it was ok. It's chips on a stick lol.
I really enjoyed Merry Moo Sea Salt ice cream. Anything sweet and salty and anything that tastes like burnt sugar is a win for me. Didn't enjoy their candied bacon ice cream too much. When making bacon w/ desserts, keep the bacon CRUNCHY! Otherwise it's meat with sugar and cream- not so sexy.
Little Miss OC's Kitchen Angry Birds- Ananda and Dane loved these!!!
The bottomless pits, Dane and Erica

Mercato Centrale is open every Fri-Sat from 10pm-3am and Sat and Sunday from 7 am-2pm. It's located near Home Depot at the corner of 8th and 34th avenues, at Fort Bonifacio, Global City Taguig


  1. The cupcakes looked pretty but according to Frenchie, mine are much better. So I guess its more novelty again..

  2. I went in the morning, and Merry Moo didn't have the sea salt caramel yet. Boo. =( Chocolate orange was really good though!

  3. Didn't get to try that! I didn't enjoy the candied bacon too much ;s The pop rocks one was good. There was also this gelato place inside w toasted marshmallow and buttr pecan flavors that i liked

  4. Yes we got to try Offbeat's chorizo ensaymada. Quite unique. Buttery sweet flavor welcomes your taste buds first, but the chorizo immediately overpowers the whole package. It's all here

    Mercato Centrale Saturdays Part 1