An expedition all the way to Makati on a Sunday morning only becomes reality with the promise of gastronomic satisfaction, zero traffic and a New York kind of weather. With the monsoon season taking an unexpected nap, we took our chances and navigated all the way to the Legaspi Sunday Market for our well planned brunch fiesta.
Some premeditated buys were scrapped off the list such as the Indian fares (didn’t look as appetizing in real life), Chap Chae (not vegetarian) and Mexican nachos (M.I.A). With gluttony leading the way, our curry-enhanced senses led us to the following catnip treats:
1. CHK (Cantonese Home Kitchen) Dimsum – Yes, even dimsum can be MSG-free and organic. At P75 for 4 or 5 pieces, a serving of CHK Dimsum in reheatable plastic containers may seem a bit pricey. Novices will find the dumpling fares rather on the bland side, but with sauces abound, you can easily recreate the flavors of the original, chemical free. Pair them with noodles from adjacent stands and enjoy a wonderfully wanton meal, au naturel. My companions sure did.
2. Khun Caesar’s Thai Kitchen – Watching Mr. Pad Thai stir fry the noodles to perfection is such an awe-inspiring sight. With a multitude of garnishing and flavors—peanuts, tofu, fish sauce, amongst others—that surround the noodles, the finished good is even more awesome. The Shrimp Pad Thai (P195) gleams with such resplendent pride, it’d be a shame to leave even a single noodle behind. Large enough to feed 2 or even 3 individuals, fighting over the last noodle need not be an option. The giant shrimps though, well, that calls for war.
3. Pizza di Grazzia – An oven in the middle of a parking lot may be an odd sight, as is a tray filled with samosas.However with flavors such as Quattro Formaggio and Antonio’s Special (garlic, shrimp and mushroom) and at P180 for a small pie, you’d forget your manners and gorge on these pizzas on the spot. Unlike commercial pizzas, Pizza di Grazzia makes the pleasing effort to serve substantially cheesy pizzas topped with gourmet goodness. The crust is thin and light, giving the top bill what should be the stars of the show—the cheese and other toppings. Other pizzas ought to hide in their scrimping shame, as this one’s the philanthropist in the pizza universe.
4. Manvy Fresh Vegetable Noodles – While the mushrooming stir fried noodle stands scream triteness, there is nothing banal with Manvy’s produce. Homemade noodles from polunchay (Chinese Spinach) fill us with organic goodness, free from the awful salt and oil that contaminate the retail noodles. The Beef Stew (P120) and Seafood (P100) toppings are carefully prepared and generously scooped on the noodles. With a smorgasbord of sauces to choose from (I counted at least 6) and a serving filled to the brim, we’re left with the same noodle satisfaction, sans the post meal I’m-about-to-have-a-heart-attack feeling.
5. Manang’s Chicken – Caught by the Chicken BonChon phenomenon of double cooking chicken, Manang’s performs the same procedure and tops off the chicken wings with her secret sauce. Tender, zesty with the Pinoy twist, Manang’s goes for the local vibe. Not as exclusive as the other Legaspi tenants, Manang’s has other branches in the Metro, so no need to wake up early on a Sunday morning just for wings.
Thank you mijigonzales for this brilliant brunch scheme and treat! Till the next market day.