I finally ate something … and it’s not god damn Balut!

For the past two days here in Manila, I’ve not been able to eat anything fried, since the grease that is used, is quite different from what we get in the US or Canada or Trinidad. I don’t prefer the smell or taste but the filipinos love their Jollibees – note that the mascot is a Jolly Bee in a business suit – sounds like a consulting manager I know. Hence I’ve found that

  1. Filipinos love Fried Chicken
  2. I can’t eat Filipino Fried Chicken or pasta from KFC or spaghetti in Jollibees
  3. I’m losing weight, since I’m awake at 3am, can’t eat anything fast food and going to gym at 4am
  4. Since I’m losing weight, can’t eat Jollibees – I can’t be Filipino, even though for some reason, the Filipinos start talking to me in Tagalog, then when I respond in Trini English … I get the usual confused look from them
  5. All filipinos must ask me to eat Balut … this is a standard question.

To combat this, I went over to the Shangri La Makati for lunch. It is at this point that any notion of comparison between the Intercontinental Hotel and the Shangri La Chain ceases to exist. The food was superb … end of story. I couldn’t complain about anything …it got the point, where I even started trying to design a good looking plate of food by my 5th plate (I was starving!!)

As for the buffet at the main restaurant … it is impressive. In fact, I didn’t get to try 1/3 of things on offer because of the excellent Sushi and Seafood bar, but a couple sample shots is instructive.

If this all sounds like a commercial, for the Shangri La Makati, then fine … I’m ok with that, since I think I officially hate the waste of space I think the Intercontinental is. I’ll preface that statement by saying that if you’re going to charge a 5 star price and pretend that you’re a 5 star hotel, then you should actually be that.

Now if only I could find this food everywhere else easily, I wouldn’t be starving as much.

Reference : I love this description of Balut from Cracked.com

Behold, for our journey of horror reaches its destination. Balut are duck eggs that have been incubated until the fetus is all feathery and beaky, and then boiled alive. The bones give the eggs a uniquely crunchy texture.

They are enjoyed in Cambodia, Philippines and the fifth and seventh levels of hell. They are typically sold by street vendors at night, out of buckets of warm sand. You can spot the vendors because of their glowing red eyes, and the faint, otherworldly sound of children screaming.

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com

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