Food Tripping at the Taste of the Nation
Together with friends from the traditional and online media we were invited by Kat Dalisay to try out the newest themed variation of the Weekend Market held at SM Lanang Premiere open space parking area (from June 22 until June 25).
Dubbed as Taste of the Nation, the concept according to Kat reflects around anything Filipino as the event is held on June, the month where the country celebrates its independence.
“The booths are designed as Filipino inspired and at least one of the menu is Filipino.” Says Kat.
Each of the participating VIP media including this writer got the chance to try out various gastronomic delights. With about 65 booths, each media participant had an allocated number of exhibitors where they could try out their respective specialties.
I got the chance to try the yema cakes of Sweet and Savory, the pulled pork sandwiches of Pulled Brothers, hanging chicken of Espetada House of Hanging Chicken, fried ribs of Frybae, dumplings of Dragon Dumplings, rice toppings of Sisig Factory, the boneless lechon of Lulens (which co-shared the booth with Twister Shawarma) and the cotton candy of K-Cotton Fries.
My first stop was the famed Yema cake of Sweet and Savory, according to Jennie Mae who manned the stall, it was her sister who concocted the idea of having a chiffon cake covered with yema icing. The sweetness of the yema balanced out by the salty cheese sprinkles.
From operating in their parents carinderia they finally got a space along San Rafael Drive, now their famed Yema cakes are being flown even to the United States where vacationing balikbayans take it as pasalubong back to US.
From the classic yema cake, they added ube and chocolate variations.
Jennie says since joining The Weekend Market sales of their yema cakes have spiked up, from less than 100 tubs of cakes, orders now range from 300 to 400 cakes per day. Jennie credits the heavy promotional activities of the weekend market, which entices people to come to the bazaar.
“Pulled Pork because we pulled the meat out, we shred it and we have different kinds of sauces.” Anselmo of Pulled Bros. briefly describes the product which has drawn raves from many people.
Customers can choose from the classic original sauce, barbeque sauce and cheesy garlic sauce for their pulled pork sandwich.
Anselmo says they started just this year in the weekend market they now get a loyal following for their pulled pork products.” People come back for it because it only happens once a month and people like it also, they come back for our pulled pork.”
The Taste of the Nation is Lulens Boneless Lechon first exposure to the Weekend Market. Culinary entrepreneur Chiqui says the boneless lechon is being offered at Peppers Iberica Resto located in Mabini Street, and is one of their best-selling product.
Espetada is a skewered chicken which is a Portuguese dish consisting of skewered meats.
Kristina says the first Espetada House of Hanging Chicken restaurant opened in 2013 in Sobrecarey in Obrero. They had transferred in another location also in Obrero.
She says that joining the Weekend Market helps promote their store in Obrero. Foot Traffic and word-of-mouth helps them market their store in fact some of the new customers in their Obrero store were customers at the Weekend Market.
Customers can choose from Reyna Espetada (chicken thigh with rice side dish), Beef Espetada and King Espetada (chicken breast with rice side dish).
Frybae has its deep-fried spare ribs, which according to Arthur makes it different from the others which offers grilled smoked ribs. Aside from being different, Arthur wants the ribs to be served faster to hungry customers.
Sisig Factory offers its Ninja Q, which is a line of rice toppings consisting of beef gyudon, Vietnamese barbeque, liempo inasal, teriyaki barbecue and spicy bulgogi.
Dragon Dumplings offers its popular line of dumplings that include Pork and Shrimp siomai, Shark’s fin dumpling, Japanese siomai, Chicken Dumpling, Ham Siomai and Crab Siomai. The stall is also selling its signature chili sauce the Dragon Dumpling Chili Sauce.
Flocked by kids, teens and some young adults K-Cotton Fries offers Korean cotton candy with different flavors such as bulgogi, honey butter, cream butter garlic, butter onion and salted egg.
Had a full but happy tummy after trying all those selections. The Taste of the Nation is perfect for one food binge. Even with martial law, people are still flocking to the weekend market.
Kat Dalisay says the Food of the Nation is a symbol of normality, that despite martial rule everything is still ok.
“Actually wala siyang difference, all the more na gusto nilang (exhibitors) mag sell para at least ma-aware na despite merong martial law normal pa rin ang business dito.”