this piggy went to market

i forced myself to wake up early yesterday. a friend we hadn't seen for a while asked to meet up with me and the boyfriend for a long overdue food trip at the Salcedo Weekend Market in makati. the things i do for a good meal! <grumblegrumble>

wouldn't you believe it? traffic was heavy on EDSA despite it being an early saturday morning, stalling us for almost an hour. we were starving by the time we reached the market--and our friend had already left to take her mom home. :( fortunately we were able to find parking almost immediately, and i made a beeline for this:

Wagyu beef shawarma

the stall selling Wagyu beef burgers and shawarma is one of the first things that greets you upon entering the market compound. the smell of grilled beef is VERY DIFFICULT to resist, so i decided to try the shawarma (P190) while C got a burger (P200+). since the meat filling is usually cooked beforehand, i only needed to wait a little while for my order to be ready while it took about 10 minutes for the burger to be cooked.

a whole lotta meat
after taking my first bite, my fears about getting shawarma-type Wagyu were immediately realized. as i had initially suspected, the spices and sauces killed the distinctive flavor of the beef. it was still good but if you hadn't read the sign, you would have never known it was Wagyu. oh well.

while waiting for our orders, i took photos of the nearby stalls.

you can't miss the Himalayan salt stall with their pretty pink salt crystals. it's a unique salt flavor because it starts very sharp and pronounced but disappears after a few seconds, leaving no aftertaste (unlike the iodized salt we're used to, which tends to taste like metal afterwards, yech). it's not appropriate for baking though; kosher salt or, even better, fleur de sel, is most ideal. they also sell roasted nuts still in their shells: almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans. the owner offered us taste samples and i really enjoyed the pecans, which had a beautiful smoky, honey flavor. mmm!

i forget the name of this particular flower stall but it's the one i like best, on account of the interesting plant varieties. besides ornamental plants (there's a bunch of blue mimosas above the poinsettia, see?), they have herbs you can use for cooking. the bf prefers fresh herbs for cooking so growing our own would be extremely practical, and fresher than we can get them at the grocery. i've always wanted an herb garden or even just a small plant box but i don't think i inherited my lola's green thumb.

oh, and they have lavender! i imagine that's what summers in Tuscany would smell like.

i wander around while C wolfs down his burger (about 8 minutes). at 10am, the market is already quite crowded but my, ahem, cute-sized self maneuvers easily in the crowd.

fresh seafood (you can tell because it doesn't smell bad). the blue crabs look particularly interesting.
fresh cherries (not that i like cherries) and squash blossoms
uncommon fruits like blueberries and passion fruit make an occasional appearance. this is actually the first time i've seen actual passion fruit.
it IS called a market. several people came with shopping carts.
my heart gets breaks when i discover that our favorite stall, Road to Mandalay, is no longer around. while i walk around mourning the loss of my beloved burmese noodle soup, i spot something that makes my eyes widen.

that kid is having a life-changing moment as he realizes what he REALLY wants for christmas this year: a flamethrower.
an old man was using a torch to brown some ham on a grill. both C and i want one: him for making the perfect scorch marks and me for creating the caramelized sugar crust essential for crème brulée. i run back to fetch my boy who complains he's still hungry. i tell about the Dela Rosa's Deli challenge and he puts his game face on until--

until he sees the bun. we're told that the assembled burger (with the meat and all the other fillings) weighs a total of 1.5 kilos. umm...
the lady running the stall tells us about their bread and clarifies, "oh, that isn't the biggest bun yet. this is."
if you want to take on the burger challenge with a partner, you get this bun.
so far only one person has managed to successfully polish off the big-ass burger within 20 minutes. besides this burger, here are some other giants we spotted at the market:

Salcedo heavyweights: ensaimada, okoy and empanada
we looked around for more stuff to eat. everything just looks and smells good so the appetite is always stimulated. there's so much different kinds of food and cuisines to choose from, it can quite blow one's mind.
baklava (a Greek pastry) from Anatolia
homemade ice cream! (okay, sherbet)
gourmet canned goods from Delimondo and teas from Da U De
crepes and galettes (that i still haven't tried, ehe)
delicate pastries from La Cuisine Francaise (they ran out of my favorite napoleons, but look at those quiches!) and paella from the paella booth i didn't get the name of

if you can only have one thing from the market, you MUST have the lechon baka from Holy Cow. see, it was barely 11am and most of the cow was already gone.
i didn't get the name of this place but they let C try the tofu, which was yummy...
and i enjoyed their thai milk tea (P70). (excuse the i-just-got-out-of-bed look)
C finally decided on a this: sausage topped with sauerkraut in a ciabatta bun (P150). i didn't get to try it but he swears it's excellent. there's something hugely satisfying about hotdogs, especially for this ex-New Yorker.

just look at that smile, it's like he's fondly gazing at his newborn child
yup, that's a look of contentment, alright.
being dessert fiends, our meals are never complete without dessert. in Salcedo, there are plenty of calorie-worthy options. for the diet-conscious and diabetics, Sweets for My Sweet makes beautiful sugar-free brazo de mercedes (which we brought home for C's lolo) and canonigo. yeah, i forgot to take pictures. <fail> C is forever stalking the magtataho in the village and missing him so we got chilled taho (P20) from a chinese stall. the tofu they used is the finest i've had: really smooth and silky, and melts in your mouth.  it's extremely delicate without feeling like you're eating gelatine.

finally, we got this as pasalubong for C's kapampangan lola. do you know what it is?

pig innards. i'm told it's like eating sisig in a vinegar sauce. i don't care to find out for myself.
food always tastes better when there's someone to share it with. besides, the candid shots are fun. <3



pj said...

i <3 salcedo! last time i was there (3 weeks ago?) i didn't see the baklava stall. will hunt it down next time! i'm a huuuuge baklava fan.
my personal favorites at salcedo are the rellenong bangus from Nena's bangus, and the bikol express and kinunot (stingray cooked in coconut milk, yum yum yum) from the bikolano stall. ^__^
Not yummy word verification: bulate (I'm serious)

skysenshi said...

I've always wanted to go to the Salcedo Market. Hay. If I can only find the time.

isea said...

peej, there's kinunot at the stall we like in tiendesitas. no need to go to salcedo for that, unless they make it better there, of course. :)

bea, time is not found but made. ;)

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