Rainy days and Mondays call for something warm and yummy. Doesn’t matter if you’re planning to enjoy the cold weather bundled up at home or in a cozy restaurant as long as you can still get a hold of a hot bowl of delicious and comforting soup that’ll quickly brighten up even the gloomiest of days.
Ma Mon Luk’s Beef Mami and The Original Mami
With a solid reputation spanning nine decades (Ma Mon Luk has been around since the 1920s), surely you cannot count Ma Mon Luk out especially if it’s mami that you’re craving for (and siopao). I shared the Beef Mami with my mom and it was filled with soft beef chunks (yes chunks, not strips, slivers or icky beef substitute) along with thick noodles and a light, satisfying broth. Compared to other mamis that I’ve tried, this one is filling, tasty – and reasonably priced at P100. Of course I’m comparing it to other small scale restaurants not the mami on the street, which I’m quite skeptical about as I have a sensitive stomach.
The Original Mami
A further testament of how good Ma Mon Luk still is when it comes to mami and siopao, just take a peek at what the other customers are having and what you’ll see is always a combination of mami and siopao. This is a clear indication that Ma Mon Luk continues to be a Pinoy favorite not just with the older set but with younger generations as well with the Ma Mon Luk crowd largely composed of families dining in. The ambiance can’t be beat either if you enjoy your fair share of nostalgia with its old-world feel along with the very attentive service.
*Other house specialties include The Original Mami (regular P85, large P95) and Siopao Special (P55)
The Chicken Rice Shop’s Curry Laksa (P148)
From a Filipino favorite to a Singaporean staple, the laksa can be considered as the mami of other Southeast Asian countries. While I’m not really a big fan of laksa, it’s just okay for me lah; I really enjoyed The Chicken Rice Shop’s version of laksa – not too heavy, especially since laksa is a coconut-based soup. The soup, being curry flavored, is of course very tasty (and slightly hot) and I’m a fan of curry (Southeast Asian curry, Indian curry) and this one doesn’t disappoint. The fishballs and other add-ons definitely complete the meal.
3 Cups Chicken in Hotpot
Panciteria Lido’s 3 Cups Chicken in Hotpot (P295)
One of the restaurant’s many delectable specialties, the 3 Cups Chicken in Hotpot is a soup-based chicken dish that is perfected by the owner of Panciteria Lido herself. The soup, which consists of good herbs is supposed to be a healthier menu option, the dish is a great – and filling viand if you’re in the mood for some heavier chow, just enjoy the yummy chunks of chicken with a hot serving of rice.
Wang Mart’s Ramyun (P150)
This is the simplest one out of the bunch but still worth a try especially if you’ve got a penchant for all things spicy; actually, make that extra spicy. With so many Korean mini marts mushrooming all over Metro Manila – especially in Makati and Manila, you’re bound to get lured in and check out what’s in store. One of the many Korean groceries that I’ve been to is Wang Mart in Makati, what’s different about this one though is that it has a small eating area at the back, which offers a few Korean hot dishes that I was very eager to try. I initially tried the tukboki and the ramyun which were both spicy – do be warned, but again, if you like spicy anything then you’ll enjoy this a lot. Ramyun is just your typical instant noodles served with an extra spicy soup, absolutely no frills – just pure (instant) noodle goodness. Ramyun is also a staple in most Korean eateries and the price is usually at P150 so if you can’t wait anymore to go home and recreate this dish, then it’s already a decent price to pay for a hefty serving of this classic Korean noodle dish.
*If you’re planning to enjoy rainy days at home, just stock up on Korean instant noodles, these usually cost P30+ and up per pack, depending on the brand and size; Korean cup noodles are a bit more expensive.
The Original La Paz Batchoy
Freska’s The Original La Paz Batchoy (P150)
Aside from the timeless mami, another favorite of Pinoys when it comes to hearty soup dishes is the La Paz Batchoy. With its Ilonggo roots, it’s not surprising that Freska would have this as one of its specialties. If you’re in the mood for mami but with a richer, more flavorful broth and a lot of add-ons to chew on (which is typical of La Paz Batchoy), then treat your taste buds to Freska’s version.