When In Manila, take a weekend food escape at Mercato Centrale. I’ve seen this place before whenever I do fun runs in the same area at the Bonifacio Global City. However, I was not able to pay a visit. So when Vince asked who can do a review of the area, I literally responded with much gusto. I had an idea of the initial location of Mercato so when I came back I got lost because it was on a different location already. I believe it was near Bonifacio High Street before but now Mercato Centrale is located at 34th street and 8th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, just across MC Home Depot. I asked my younger brother to go with me since he loves food the same way I do.
When we arrived, Mercato Centrale was what I expected it to be. It was organized and divided in different areas for visitors and patrons to know where to go when they want to check out a specific stall/booth. Upon arrival, I immediately looked for Nowie Potenciano. He was our contact person and was in-charge giving us a tour of the area. He was very nice and accommodating and it made the tour of the place worthwhile. He owns the Mochiko which is well known for their chewy and melt-on-your-mouth ice cream filled mochi.
Mochi is a Japanese delicacy made of glutinous rice flour with fillings such as red bean paste and many more. My brother tasted the Caramel flavored ice cream filled mochi while I tried one of their best sellers which is Azuki or the one with the red bean flavored ice cream filling. My brother was the first one to taste it and he raved about it immediately. If only you could see the look on the face of my brother when he took a bite, you’d know what I’m saying. We had it as a dessert and it was definitely the best way to end our sumptuous meal. Thanks Nowie and Mochiko!
Aside from Mercato Centrale, Mochiko can also be seen at Unit 3 Cliffhouse Tagaytay City and in selected FIC branches. You may know more about them by checking out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mochikomochi or by contacting +639998840624 and just look for Nowie. Try it guys, it’s worth it.
Who would miss Bale Dutung’s Pan De Bagnet and Lechon Tortilla? This was made popular by Chef Claude Tayag. During peak hours, people would often flock this area given the juicy flavors and crispy bite of the Bagnet and Lechon Tortilla. My friends have tried this and they can only utter good words to describe it. However, on my end, I think I had too much food that time that I had to prolong my own agony of tasting this culinary specialty in the near future. Bale Dutung may also be seen in Villa Gloria Subdivision, Angeles City, Pampanga. You may check their website at www.baledutung.com for inquiring on their catering services and for more information on their products.
I am personally a fan of baked goodies, pastries, and the likes. Mercato was filled with concessionaires with baked goods as well. One of them is Simply Pie!. I studied baking and pastry arts before and I have always been amazed with how pies and quiches are made. Simply Pie’s goodies range from sweet and savory pies, rich muffins, and delicately made quiche. I tried their mini mushroom quiche and I craved for more. My sweet tooth badly wanted to try their Apple Baby, Chicken Dijon Baby, and their Felchlin Dark Chocolate Cream Cake but I wasn’t able to do so. I am definitely going back to get me some!
Simple Pie! is owned by Gail Ang. I personally met her and she was very amiable and accommodating. Simply Pie! They are located in New Manila, Quezon City. For orders, queries, and additional information, you may check them online at www.simplypie.multiply.com and at http://www.facebook.com/simplypie and you can also contact Gail Ang at +639228822194.
For the foodies out there with sweet tooth (Like me!) who wants a healthy alternative for their sugar cravings, you may wish to check out Marla’s Original Muncheez. They offer sweet cornflake cereal bars which are both chewy yet crunchy at the same time. The taste was interesting and it was a good way to eat your sugar cravings away. It comes in small sizes which may be best for people who are on the go and would need some sweet fix. They offer their goodies in boxes and in 6 individually wrapped packs. For more information on Muncheez, contact +639055045555 or email them at email@example.com. You can also check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/marlasoriginal.
When we approached the outside area of Mercato, our first stop was this heaven sent concessionaire by the name of Jam Foods & Co. They are well known for their Angus Beef Tapa. When we arrived at the area, they were preparing some orders. The smell of the Angus Beef Tapa being cooked was very addictive. It’s like its asking you to order some and taste what they offer. My brother immediately asked me to get some so I ordered some. We have tasted Angus Beef Tapa before so I thought I was familiar with the taste already but then I took a bite of my brother’s food I was left in awe. No wonder why people usually flock the area, especially during peak hours.
You can even purchase their Angus Beef Tapa at a reasonable price. This is a good thing to do especially if you want your family and friends to taste the rich flavor in this one-of-a-kind Tapa. For more details and information on this product, and if you want to purchase their meat items in bulk, you may contact Koyen Cipriano at +639178146124 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also like their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Angus-Beef-Tapa-Lady-by-JAM-Foods.
Another stall which had interesting and mouth watering delights is Big Bob’s which is just right beside Jam Foods & Co. I’m a big fan of burgers. Name a burger place here in Manila and for sure, there is a big probability that I’ve tried it already. So when I saw burgers being broiled in Bog Bob’s I did not hesitate and immediately bought some. They offer charcoal-grilled burgers which are 100% pure beef. It’s quite common right? Wait till you take a bite. You will sure be surprised to bite into a juicy mozzarella cheese center. This is the first time I’ve encountered a burger like this! This is probably one of the many reasons why I will go back to Mercato (Aside from Mochiko!).
Big Bob’s also sell cheese cakes (Blueberry, Quezo de Bola, Kesong Puti, Parmesan, Strawberry, and Cherry) which can be paired up with their burgers as well. For advanced or special orders, you may contact EJ Cuenco at +639159019567 or 7740103. You can even email them at email@example.com.
I said I love burgers right? When I saw Offbeat Cafe’s Offbeat donut burger, I was caught off guard. Imagine sinking your teeth into the juicy mix of beef, cheese, vegetables, and sugar glazed donut. Yes, you got that right, sugar glazed donut. It seemed like it was calling for me to take a bite but I was not bold enough to try it. Maybe next time though, when I am courageous enough to try the interesting mix of succulent meat and sweet donut. Offbeat Cafe can also be seen at The Collective in Malugay St., Makati City. If you have some questions regarding their other products, you may contact Mickey Wieneke at +63916 611 8036. You can even check them online for more details through http://www.facebook.com/pages/Offbeat-Cafe/.
After munching on our burgers and tapa, we approached Auntie May’s. I was already full but I cannot resist their Ribs and Potatoes which very delicious and flavourful. This meal was coupled with some veggies and mashed potatoes and their barbecue sauce on the side. Yum! The boast the fact that the meals they offer are the product of recipes passed on from one generation to another. I met the very nice owner who was all smiles and she gave us some complimentary meal. Thank you Auntie May’s!
Their Ribs and Potatoes belong to my top food finds in Mercato. I would not get tired of eating it over and over again. Their BBQ sauce compliments the succulent meat in every bite. They also sell O.M.G Escargot (Ginataang Kuhol), U.S Beef Tapa, Special Bagoong Alamang, Embotido, and many more. You can like them on Facebook by checking out http://www.facebook.com/pages/Auntie-Mays and if you have queries about their products or for some orders, you can contact them at 5856924, +639178001088, and +6379178850508.
If I can summarize my overall Mercato Centrale experience in one word, that would be “Burp!”. Seriously though, I consider myself a certified foodie after checking out the place and after tasting the different gastronomic finds offered at Mercato. It was an experience worth repeating. Just make sure you have enough money at hand so that you can purchase all the stuff you want to try because I am very much sure you will be interested to try almost all stuff in the area. I’ve tried lots of food but I still need to return soon to get bite of the other products I wasn’t able to try. They even have special events sometimes. Who knows? On your next visit, there may be an event which suits your liking.
When In Manila, check out Mercato Centrale and tell me about your experience about it will you? Once you’ve visited the area, you are sure to leave with a big smile on your face.
Mercato Centrale Weekend Market
Located at 34th street and 8th avenue just across MC Home Depot.
Operates every Saturdays and Sundays 7:00am – 2:00pm
You may check them out at www.mercatocentrale.ph
Mercato Centrale: Bonifacio Global City’s Weekend Foodie Getaway