A Taste of the Philippines and Fried Chicken

      Something that I have realized these past few weeks, more and more each day actually, is how much Summer brings the absolute worst in me. I have become lazy, procrastinating 10x more than I used to, I certainly did NOT go to the gym (although I should) and right now my best achievement is being up to date with Pretty Little Liars (four more episodes to finally finish this never-ending series!). I don’t think I can add this to my CV, but hey! It’s an achievement.

Bottom line is, my productivity goes as far as sleeping and watching crappy reality TV and trying to analyse whatever is happening behind the scenes. I mean REALLY, have you ever guys thought about the state of mind of the people going into shows like The Bachelor? I can’t imagine the tremendous amount of effort the producers have to take in order for them to create this sort of thing. I mean the concept first of all, the idea that 20 people are “looking for love” and they all want to “find it” with this one person that has to choose one over all of them. This idea is just wrong in sooo many ways. How do you expect yourself to “fall in love” in such a little time, with a good number of people competing with you for that person?! And how things are just shown on the show, it does seem that the producers are pushing it in a certain direction, like for example when people just start bashing each other in personal interviews, they are specifically asked by the interviewers to speak about that person, otherwise why would speak bad about another person unless they did something bad to them, do you guys know what I mean?

Yeah reality TV shows are weird and unrealistic, but people still watch ’em, including me… Maybe I’ll write a blog post about this, it would be pretty interesting… 

Okaaay so, this post wasn’t really a rant about summer nor was it about reality TV, but I have not been active for the past few days, and to be really honest, at this moment, I am writing this at 8 o’clock in the morning becauuuuuuse….. it’s my first day at an internship. My boss is not here, I still don’t have the wifi password, and I am reminiscing a time when life was more fun than sitting in a stupid cubicle.

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Since it’s Ramadan, and now people think more about food than they do normally (I’m craving a big old bowl of pop corn and a frappucino if you are curious to know), I thought it would be a great way to keep myself busy and pretend like I’m doing something serious on my laptop (you want to look corporate in a corporation, you know?) and write about my experience at the opening of Max’s restaurant, the first Pinoy restaurant I have ever been to! 

I was really delighted to know that I was invited, at to be honest I have never heard of it until then. What really I love about this region in the world is how you can really find food from every part of the world.  Right now, if I wanted to, I could eat Tunisian from my mom, or go out of the house and get something Italian, German, Russian, Morrocan, Emirati, Thai, Chinese, Philippino, Indian, you NAME it and it’s out there (to some extent – I don’t know if they offer anything coming from Iceland in your average food court, although I think it would be pretty cool). 

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The amazing mango mojitos! I ended up having three!

 Throughout the years, I’ve tried many things, and I even developed a big love for South East Asian food in general. Soy sauce rocks my world, that’s all I’m going to say. Oddly enough however, like I said earlier, while I did try a few things, Philippino (or Pinoy as it is called) is not actually one of them, though one of my best friends is actually Philippina from the city of Baguio! Shoutout to Normeanne and shame on you for not letting me try your food.

This was a chance for me to dive deeper into their culture through their food, because I mean you gotta admit, the Philippino community in the Gulf is tremendous, and it is probably one of the largest nationality group.  I admit that I am not educated so much when it comes to knowing about their culture – it is foreign territory to me, haha,  God I’m so funny – but I have taken a course that introduced me to their colonial history, and I have my girl Nor updating me with the current politics from time to time.

Judging by the history and the regional influence, I did expect Pinoy food to be close to the other types of South East Asian food that I have tried, and in some ways I was kind of right. 

Kind of, because there were a lot of things that I have absolutely never tried before.

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My idea of a perfect Wednesday night.

So the day I went, was actually the eve of an exam (food is fuel), and I was just ready to eat (thinking is exhausting). The restaurant was on B King Road, about 30 minutes away from campus (my stomach was rumbling the entire ride, as you can imagine), but getting in was all worth the wait. I was greeted very warmly, and the entire setting was just really nice and homy. The waiters were all very welcoming, and I was quickly directed to a table that was luckily mostly Philippina women, and they were kind enough to guide me through that food journey. 

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Photogenic marinated ribs!

 

We started with AMAZING mango mojitos, followed by various dishes that were given for us to try, such as the famous fried chicken (that I had with the traditional Banana ketchup coming directly from the Philippines), fantastic chicken and prawn skewers called Inihaw na Baka and Inihaw na Hipon, Chicken and Beef Adobo, which is some some sort of curry sauce with chicken, beef, quail eggs and chicken liver, some extraordinary (I LOVED IT) Tofu, Kare-kare (a peanut based curry with chicken), white rice and Chopsuey (a dish that resembled salad with chicken and shrimp). The menu was enormous, and I had so much fun trying on different things, and everything tasted as good as it looks (except for Kare-Kare, I guess I didn’t have the taste for it 😦 ). 

 

 

 

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This is Inhawna Baka, which is marinated chicken in skewers and it is SO GOOD. 
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My absolute FAVORITE dish of the night, and I don’t usually like Tofu!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Banana Ketchup:  main discovery of the day!
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Chicken and beef Adobo 🙂

 

 

 

 

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So apparently I am not a big fan of Kare Kare… Usually I love curries, but I guess this was too peanutty for my taste.
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Assortment of deserts filled with good stuff. It was knocked out at the end of the night – a particular reader will know who it was 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Picture of the chef that cooked all of these delicious meals!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The star of the night!! Fried bananas with icecream! Amazing!

In addition to the great food and the great people that  just made the night 10 times nicer, there was great live music as well. 

 

The ambiance was very homey, people were smiling, laughing and just genuinely having fun and enjoying their food, and it was truly an amazing night. 

I really had a great time, and I do feel closer to my best friend after that experience. It made me understand more about her culture and where she comes from  (plus I got to learn that her favorite food was my least favorite dish – which I cannot understand till now but whatevs as long as it makes her happy!)

So there you have it! Thank you for reading! And who knows, maybe after this you’ll have an iftar at Max’s restaurant! Yes? No? Maybe? 

By the way, be sure to comment below and tell me how your summers are going so far! Are you having your time in your life, tanning like there is no tomorrow, making a change in the world in a UN internship, or are you more like me, becoming more of a potato every single day, and starting to truly live only after iftar! I want to know! I want to get to know you guys!

Yallah, see you guys!

Love,

Ameni

 

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