Sunday, April 8, 2012

Another Side of Manila: Mofara's Halal Food Haus

Strangely, I have never been to Quiapo, despite having lived in Manila for my whole life, so some time ago, my friends decided to take me on a Quiapo adventure. We visited a few churches, took a look at some fascinating ancestral houses, shopped for handmade souvenirs under a bridge, and also dropped by the Muslim mosque as well as the neighboring shops. I was eventually led to this quaint little eatery, Mofara's Halal Food Haus, that served halal Maranao cuisine. Something new and different? Excellent!

(Fun facts: Maranao refers to the people of Lanao, a predominantly Muslim region in Mindanao.)

Mofara's, a small open-air restaurant that's the exact definition of "hole-in-the-wall", also served non-Muslim, regular cafeteria fare, but why would we want to try that? We quickly ordered several exotic-looking dishes to try by pointing them out in the display case in front of the store, and eagerly took our orange seats to wait for our orders.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Hallyu Experience at Yedang Korean BBQ Restaurant

So... it's been a while (ahem, understatement of the year) but for my first post in a little over 6 months, I'd like to review another Korean restaurant, Yedang Korean BBQ! I suppose the Korean BBQ craze has died down already, which doesn't mean that it's no longer popular, but rather that it's become so common that it's now a mainstream cuisine in the Philippines. Which is of course, a wonderful thing, because that means Korean BBQ is here to stay! :)

(To explain the title of this post, Hallyu or "Korean Wave" is a term used in Korea to describe the sudden popularity of Korean culture internationally, whether it be Korean food, music, dramas, etc.)

Yedang is located in one of the more densely Korean-populated areas of Metro Manila, Ortigas. It's a popular Korean restaurant, and it's seriously packed! We went there around lunchtime on a weekend, and it was full. Unlike other Korean restos that aren't as well-known, which are usually filled with Korean nationals, Yedang had a mix of both locals and foreigners, a fact that only attests to its popularity. The restaurant is also wide and spacious, making it great for large groups.

(I actually visited Yedang about a year or so ago (this post is super delayed) so I have no idea what it's like now, but I certainly hope they're still around.)

Don't worry, those silver tubes will not suck out your brains. They are actually extractor hoods (I know these are called something else but I just really can't remember right now) that will absorb the smoke that comes from the grills. The staff pull them down right before grilling the meat so that our hair and clothes don't smell like meat after the meat (although not 100%, of course).
(I apologize for the slightly creepy photos. Had to blur out faces for privacy purposes, you see. I mean, how would you feel if I suddenly posted your photos on this blog when you don't even know who I am?)