People usually go to the Manila Ocean Park complex to get a glimpse of the Oceanarium and not necessarily do a food trip. Although there are a number of restaurants inside the area, there is one place that stood out for me—Makan Makan Asian Food Village.
The unique thing about this place is its hawker-style set-up, which is just like the ones found in other Asian countries. There’s a section for eggs, for roast meat, and many more. But instead of guests going from stall to stall, waiters usher them to a table and give them a menu to order from. It took me a while to choose from the wide selection of dishes, as the restaurant offers specialties from the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China, and Western cuisine as well.
I found out that “makan makan” is a Malaysian term that translates to “kain” or “to eat,” and that’s what I did—I ate like there’s no tomorrow. I was tempted to do an Asian feast, but I decided to try a couple of starters first to sample the restaurant’s flavors.
The Roti Prata (P120) was a no-brainer for me. It is said to be one of Singapore’s favorite appetizers, and actually, mine as well. The Indian flat bread was warm and soft, and its accompanying curry dip was so tasty that I asked for another serving of it.
My dinner companion decided to order another appetizer—the Oyster Omelet (P160). This egg dish was topped with fresh oysters and stir-fried spring onions, and I thought it had an unusual gummy texture that took some getting used to. The omelet came with some chili dip, which gave it more zing.
Tasty Char Kway Teow
I started to feel full already but I made room for the main course since I wanted to taste the restaurant’s bestsellers, one of which is the Char Kway Teow (P160), which is a stir-fried rice noodle dish in sweet soya sauce. It wasn’t overly sweet especially when I alternated spoonfuls of Sambal Squid (P290) with it. The noodles had seafood and vegetable toppings, which went well with the spicy slices of squid. I felt like there were fireworks in my mouth with each bite of the squid and I loved it! From a scale of 1 to 10, I would say that the squid was an 8 in the hotness level. The Chicken Rice (P50) was also a nice complement to the squid. This particular bowl of carbs was made with a special rice variety that was cooked in aromatic chicken stock.
Fiery hot Sambal Squid
Good thing I ordered some Mango Juice (P100) to help neutralize all the flavors. There were other beverages that intrigued me, just like the Chocolate Dinosaur that looks like a delicious malt drink, and the Lemon Barley which seems like a serving of refreshing lemonade. I made a mental note to try it out next time, as well as the other food specialties.
A sweet thirst quencher
Breakfast by the bay
On a separate visit, I was able to experience eating breakfast by the bay—well, at least with a view of it. During daytime, the windows of Makan Makan display a fantastic view of the Manila Bay.
The breakfast buffet spread
It was a hot day that time and I saw the sun’s rays glimmer on the calm waters of the bay—couple it with the blue skies and it was a very pretty sight. It’s not my usual view during breakfast, that’s for sure.
Fried rice and more
For the bread lovers
Aside from the view, I enjoyed the breakfast food of the restaurant, especially the Pancakes (P200) with butter and maple syrup. To my delight, it was cooked with some sweet mango slivers. I liked this sweet surprise since it added another dimension of flavor to this typical breakfast fare.
A stack of mango pancakes
My breakfast buddy, on the other hand, had the appetite for a buffet breakfast. He swears by the mami soup and dimsum and even got a couple of servings of both. The buffet spread came with different dishes to please all palates. There’s a wide bread selection, fried rice, adobo, longganisa, ham, bacon, burger steak, spaghetti, steamed vegetables… You get the picture. There’s also a dessert section and an assortment of beverages. We definitely started our day right with some heavy breakfast.
Delicious dimsum in the morning
Chicken feet for breakfast, anyone?
It was a treat to experience my morning meal in Makan Makan, and I especially liked the part where the breakfast came with a view.
*Makan Makan Asian Food Village has an ongoing dimsum all-you-can promo for the whole month of September. Diners may choose from over 30 dimsum varieties everyday from 1-6pm. For October, the restaurant will celebrate October Beerfest and have a San Miguel Beer promo during happy hour.