Eating in Manila
By Viator, October 2012
For great native dishes that also go well with a western palate, first and foremost try everything that comes off a Philippine grill. Marinated for days, spiced fish, chicken and pork can be grilled to a variety of specifications. On West Avenue, Grill Talk offers local favorites featuring garlic, pepper and soy sauce marinades (to name a few) that taste and smell wonderful.
If you are not up for barbeque, most local restaurants will have the following favorites. A bit sour, you will be surprised by the sinigang na hipon (sour soup with shrimp), fried lumpia (a variation of fried spring rolls) or a more basic palabok (simple noodles and egg).
There are also a number of local desserts, some purely in fruit form, such as locally grown mangoes, jackfruit, or fermented coconuts, or in a more exotic fashion -- such as buko salad, a mix of coconuts, fruit and delicious sweet cream.
As to not rule out any one restaurant, we recommend perusing the Rockwell neighborhood of Makati and the famous Bonifacio High Street in Metro Manila.
For the adventurous diner, there is one popular food, which, though quite delicious, is a little tough to swallow. Balut is a fertilized duck embryo that is boiled and eaten by sucking it out of the shell. Common street food in the Philippines, locals enjoy the bone-crunching texture and salty interior of this dish as a regular snack.