The best things we tasted in January 2024 2
Food & Drink

The best things we tasted in January 2024

Starting this month, we are starting this series, wherein we we focus on individual dishes and drinks which we had enjoyed in the past month.
Jeeves de Veyra | Jan 31 2024

(Ed's Note: One of the difficulties in doing full-blown restaurant reviews is that one should try several dishes in order to make a fair judgment. But often, we really don't have the time -- or space in our stomachs -- to do just that.

So we thought of this new series, where we focus on individual dishes and drinks which we had enjoyed in the past month. Hopefully we can do this more often. But in the meantime, enjoy.)

Three Meat Medley at Las Flores Greenbelt

Spanish restaurant Las Flores has restarted its breakfast offerings with the opening of its Greenbelt 3 branch.

I thought that the Triple Meat Medley was the standout plate. I’d ordinarily be wary about silogs from higher-end restaurants but this plate of tapa, tocino and adobo with spiked vinegar, garlic rice and freestyle eggs was quite large, even at its premium price. The chunks of pork adobo deserve a special mention as this surprised and wowed us with how melt-in-your-mouth tender these were.

For now, it’s only the new branch at Greenbelt 3 that’s serving breakfast from 7 to 10:30 a.m. daily. The Three Meat Medley is priced at P595, although the adobo can be ordered as its own silog for P495. Pair these or any of the breakfast entrees with a cafe americano for P55

Iekei Ramen Series 5 Limited King at Ramen Nagi (multiple branches)

There was something really special in Ramen Nagi's series of Limited King ramens. The Iekai Pork Broth ramen was so special that I dove deep into Discord to figure out what it was. Turns out that this was an underground favorite in Japan that was invented by a truck driver that combined his favorite styles of ramen. 

That familiar flavor in this already rich broth was chicken fat. This was made for those who don’t want to decide between chicken and pork broth – so you get both rich Hakata-style tonkotsu (pork broth) and clean Tokyo-style shoyu and chicken in one bowl. 

Ramen Nagi collaborated with Japanese chef Shigea Fujiseki for this. He is legendary in the ramen world for his struggles to keep his ramen shop, Musashi-ya, afloat until this style finally exploded back in the 2000s. And yeah, have this with an extra bowl of rice or extra noodles to get those last few drops of broth from the bowl.

This was only available for two days at the Greenbelt Ramen Nagi to rave reviews. The same ramen with the Iekei broth and toppings ramen is now available at all Ramen Nagi branches until February 28.

Pulled Pork Soft Tacos at Fiddle Leaf Restaurant & Bar, Somerset Alabang

Soft tacos with corn tortillas done right are pretty rare. Though more flavorful than the more common flour tortillas, the last soft tacos I've had with corn masa tortillas were too delicate and crumbled when I held them up with my hands. I ended up being eaten with utensils instead which I thought took away that street food portability. 

In contrast, Fiddle Leaf’s soft corn tortilla held up even when soaked with their pulled pork drippings and salsa. Considering there are three of these in a serving, P340++ for this was not bad at all.

Halo-Halo at Hey Charlie, Legaspi Village, Makati

The thing about this halo-halo from a stand tucked away in Legaspi Village is that it holds back its sweetness to let the creaminess of the snow-like shaven frozen milk and the gelato on top shine. 

Admittedly, the ice melts too fast when it’s delivered. But when taken fresh from the stall, the ice melts at just the right pace that makes it easier to mix-mix. P148 for ube, strawberry or mango gelato topped halo-halo at its stall right outside the OPL Building on C. Palanca St., Legaspi Village.

Taiwan Fried Baos

I’ve long looked for scallion pork buns similar to those in Xi Men Ding and the Raohe night markets when I went on a Taipei food crawl so many years ago. These buns aren’t exactly the some ones as the originals are made in a tandoori-like vertical oven and packed with a lot more scallions.

However, they do come close with their scallion bola-bola filling and that crispy bottom. Add a shot of their chili oil to complete the bite. They’re good to take home or for delivery as they can be popped into a toaster oven, with just the bottom heating element on and they’re good to go.

A fried bao is P35 each and you can try to get them fresh from their stall near Cash & Carry although they’re often out doing pop-ups at different Mercato Centrale locations, the Ayala Triangle Car Free Weekends, and tiangges around the city. Check out their Facebook page (LINK: to know where they’re setting up soon.

Banana Del Norte at The Long Bar, Raffles Makati

The Long Bar at Raffles Makati has a must-sip for cocktail drinkers who’ve grown weary of the same old variations on whisky sours and G&Ts.

The Banana Del Norte (P600++) in the bar’s limited Exploration of Regions menu is a crazy mix that shouldn’t work -- the friendly honey toffee notes of a Glenmorangie with the intimidating smoke, brine and peat of an Ardbeg bound together by an espresso liqueur served smoked under glass to intensify the smoky notes. 

The result is a drink that I haven’t found anywhere else in the city and have been recommending to lovers of unique drinks. Don’t forget to nibble away the cocktail infused banana chips before you have the glass taken away.

Panama Gesha Pourover at The Fat Seed

The Fat Seed has been around for some time but I never really got the chance to try them out. Checked out the new branch at One Ayala while waiting for a meeting and was really impressed by its Panama Gesha pourover roasted by them. They’re pretty tight lipped about the exact farm and origin, but this was one of the balanced and sweetest fruit forward specialty coffee brewed black and without any sweeteners or syrups I’ve had in a while. 

Spending P500 for a cup of coffee may seem excessive. But for those who want to get a taste of what all the bougie fuss about specialty coffee is all about, this is a nice introductory sip.

The Fat Seed Café + Roastery branches can be found in UP Town Center, Greenbelt, BGC, and Ayala One.

Photos by Jeeves de Veyra