July 24th dawned humid and rainy as my family set out for Market! Market! for an afternoon of eating and shopping. Well, my parents, aunts, and cousins, anyway: my uncle had to head for an errand elsewhere in Makati and I had a Chocolate Appreciation workshop come three in the afternoon. But despite the need to rush, there was time enough for lunch – and, oh: what a lunch!
P 800.00 (US$ 17.69) gets you this fully-loaded bilao (flat, tray-like basket) from Marina at M!M!’s open-air food court. What’s in it, you ask? The good stuff, baby; nothin’ but the good stuff:
- Steamed rice enough for six (we got an additional two cups, as there were eight of us);
- Binagoongang baboy – a savory dish of pork chunks cooked with bagoong alamang, garlic, and onions;
- Ensaladang manggang hilaw – finely-chopped green mangoes, ripe tomatoes, red onions, and more bagoong;
- Grilled squid;
- Barbecued chicken;
- Grilled oysters topped with cheese and garlic;
- Crispy baby crabs (crablets); and
- Pancit Canton with all the trimmings.
The platter also came with a huge jug of iced tea.
Everything was so good that my American-born cousins enjoyed every bite. After all, it isn’t every day you can feed a crowd well for less than twenty dollars. 😉