Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Local Pinoy Scene

Singing with Chucky at Senore Paquitos, our local tapas bar.
Six months now in Manila, and we're still loving this city.

Most Friday evenings we walk down to Senor Paquitos. It has become our local tapas bar and we love the ambience, the live music and the food.

It seems to us that most locals we meet can sing and play and this venue is never short of audience participation.  Most Friday nights Neil manages a song or two with Chucky. Recently we donated a rainmaker bamboo instrument to the bar - a drummer has to have something to do with his hands!

Pinoy Cuisine

It has taken us a while to understand Pinoy food, with American, Spanish, Mexican, Chinese and local flavour it takes some time to get "into" to the local dishes.  Of course it doesn't help that most menus are written in Tagalog.  But with the help of Google and asking lots of questions we are now enjoying a great many different dishes.  Some dishes combine two different styles of cooking, with meat, mainly pork, firstly boiled then deep fried and served with a range of condiments and sauces that use a variety of oils, vinegars, spices and a large serve of minced garlic. Garlic Bangus, Adobo, Sisig, Crispy Pata, Bulalooften served with delicious steaming garlic rice, are just a few of the choices.

Garlic crab, delicious except for the oil    Mixed vegetable platter with pickled egg      Garlic Bangus, flattened fish 
Relaxing Down the Coast

Over the past few months we have managed a few weekend escapes to the south west coast of Luzon Island, staying at The Coral Beach Club at Matabunkay.  Hosts John and MJ and the delightful manager, Jennifer, offer a peaceful beachside escape from the noise, hassle and traffic of Manila.

With a pool, spa and excellent kitchen offering Pinoy and Western Cuisine, comfortable accommodation and this stunning sunset, whats not to enjoy.  John and MJ recently celebrated the completion of their new house, also on the beach, with a magic sunset party. An eclectic group of friends, both local and expat, spent a day sailing on John's catamaran and then partied on the balcony at sunset.  John charmingly referred to it as the "IPU" for his new house - "Initial Piss Up".  You can't take the aussie out of the boy.

Matabunkay Beach Sunset