Whenever I go to a food park or a food hall, I always suffer from tunnel vision. I find myself lost in the sea of choices, and it often takes me forever to decide on what to order. Never has that ever rang true more, than when I strolled around newly opened Malingap Central Food Hall. Carefully curated by none other than Celebrity Chef Edward Bugia, best known for his work in restaurants such as Pino, Backyard, and my personal favorite, Pi: Breakfast and Pies, the line up of stalls at Malingap Central Food Hall ensures there's something special for every palate.
First off, let me just say that I love how Malingap Central Food Hall is air-conditioned, with Parking slots available (first come first served, of course). With Malingap being the food haven that it has become in recent years, parking has become scarce but, Malingap Food Central took that into consideration, and allocated slots for their customers. With its colorful tones, the place has a fun and vibrant feel, easily making it one of the coolest and hippest places to hang out in the metro.
Apart from the numerous food choices, customers can also choose from their wide array of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic as well. They supposedly makes mean Frozen Margaritas, which I'm sure my wife is ecstatic to discover for herself.
Here's a quick rundown of the Food Stalls you'll find at Malingap Central Food Hall:
NICE TO MEAT YOU
Described as a " Chinese Pinoy Eatery", Nice to meat you has a nice selection of predominantly meat based dishes, that will please even the fiercest carnivore (me).
Get ready to make room in your "Best Sisig" list because Nice To Meat You's "Twice Cooked Beef Ribs Sisig" (P240) is easily going to crash that list and perhaps launch itself definitely near the top spot, if not #1. The wonderful savoriness of the tender beef ribs was complimented by the luscious creaminess of the fried egg, then given a fiery kick by the slices of Bird's Eye Chili.
This was but a small sampling of what "Nice to Meat You" has up their sleeves, and I'm looking forward to seeing what else they have in store!
NICE TO MEAT YOU MENU
HONEY BUTTER FRIED CHICKEN
I'm a fan of sweet meets savory, and all things buttery, so I did a quadruple backflip when I heard Malingap Food Hall had a stall called "Honey Butter Fried Chicken", which apparently is the brainchild of the group that brought you "Rub Ribs".
A boneless, golden Fried Chicken Fillet i stopped with your choice of Honey Butter, Spicy Butter, or Honey Garlic Butter, then laid over a bed of steaming white rice. Spread that butter over the crispy fillet and watch the magic happen. The dish is best enjoyed with one of their sides, such as their coleslaw.
HONEY BUTTER FRIED CHICKEN MENU
Given that Malingap Central Food Hall has the makings of a great watering hole, It makes sense that there would be Beer Friendly items, such as Hapitori's Skewered Meats, also known as Japanese Yakitori.
What I liked about the Yakitori I tried, was that it looked very unadorned and rustic, and not overly processed. I tried Tsukune aka Chicken Balls (P45), Butabara aka Pork Belly (P45), and the US Beef Rib Fingers (P55), and all were seasoned beautifully, and masterfully grilled.
El Sombrero is a charming little Mexican Cantina that offers a suprisingly wide selection of classic Mexican dishes that belies its small size.
I've never had a Street Taco before, and El Sombrero's version was a good introduction to it. Your choice of minced Chicken, Beef or Crispy Pork, laid out on a soft corn tortilla, then topped with minced vegetables and spices.
EL SOMBRERO MENU
With the backing of Spanish food icon Dulcinea behind it, Quixote serves up delicious Paellas and Churros that will make your mouth water.
We tried the Mixed Seafood Paella, and I've got to say, it passed my relatively high standards. It had the right texture that I look for in my Paella, a generous amount of seafood, and they were nice enough to add a bit of the crunchy soccarat.
Given its pedigree, it was virtually impossible not to try Quixote's Churros, and I was not disappointed. It was delightfully crisp and was deliciously comforting with the hot chocolate dip.
ALFREDS ROAST BEEF STATION
I find that Roast Beef is my usual "go-to" dish when dining at food parks, courts and markets. And if I visited Malingap Central Food Hall on my own, there's a very good chance that Alfred's Roast Beef Combo would have been my choice as well.
Served the good old fashioned way, meaning drowned in rich gravy, the Roast Beef itself was delicate and tender, not to mention the spot on seasoning. The meal included a creamy Potato Croquette and flavorful Beef Lasagna, and for only P199, was quite a steal!
ALFREDS ROAST BEEF STATION MENU
ALFREDS ROAST BEEF STATION MENU
Mediterranean flavors are brought to life in Malingap Central Food Hall through the stall, "Shish-K", home to some of the most affordable and delicious kebabs in the metro.
Thse Shish-K Beef Kebab (P180) with Tzatziki salad was a great introduction to everything Shish-K is, especially when paired with the Basmati Rice (Just add P55). The Persian flavors and spices are unmistakable, and undeniably delicious.
Just so you know that Shish's Shish Kebabs mean business, this is how big it is with my head as a reference. (mind you, I have been told that I have quite a large cranium.)
Hearing the name "Sticky Pig" immediately made me think of a Rib Shack. Although Grilled Baby Ribs are one of their specialties, Sticky Pig also offers an extensive range of Seafood dishes to choose from, which is pretty impressive for a food hall stall. You can even have fun with the menu by ordering the Surf and Turf Combos which even includes pasta!
Though it isn't as tender as other ribs I've tried in the past, I must concede that the robust flavor of Sticky Pig's Grilled Baby Back Ribs (P275), helps the meat come alive, making one bite seemingly impossible. The ribs pair well with the housemade cabbage slaw and French fries (Just add P10).
I wouldn't be surprised if you begin hearing the name "Taza Platito" more often in the coming months. This desserts specialist serves up some innovative and delicious desserts.
I was introduced to the unique Lemon Olive Oil Cake, which had a nice balance of sweet and tart, but it was the Date & Walnut Cake that truly blew my mind with its sticky, gooey nuttiness.
Also not to be missed is the S'mores Cupcake Cupcake, which is sure to be a kid's favorite.
TAZA PLATITO MENU
INSIDER SCOOP: From what I heard, an Ice Cream stall is coming up soon care of Manila Creamery, as well as a stall that specializes in Korean cuisine!
Best to visit while the prices are at their "Soft Opening" Prices!
Malingap Central Food Hall
#40 Malingap Street
Teacher's Village East, Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines
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