We popped by the mercato centrale on our last day in manila in search of a new and inspiring filipino culinary experience. And that's exactly what we found.
The mercato centrale is a delightful little spot featuring small stalls selling everything from organic produce and natural cosmetics to homemade cupcakes. But it was the macrobiotic meals we were there for and after some walking around we finally spotted our target.
There wasn't a huge variety of dishes on offer, but what was available we eagerly snapped up: kari-kari and another filipino dish the name of which escapes me right now. They were both fabulous! The macrobiotic leaning was evident from the absence of much salt but this didn't detract from the overall flavour at all - on the contrary, it gave the meal a wholesome, healthy feel. And after all the super sweet food we came across in the Philippines it was also refreshing to try something that was not doused in sugar.
Quite contrary to the principles of macrobiotics, we ate our food up so quickly it was gone in the blink of an eyelid... not the healthiest way to eat but a sure sign of a meal thoroughly enjoyed.
Before heading off we picked up a jar of vegan bagoong (shrimp paste), which has turned out to be a lifesaver at our next destination (boracay island) where vegan food is hard to come by. Boiled okra with vegan bagoong is a match made in heaven!
We'll be back in Manila soon and very much hope to be able to stop by for another helping of Alice's creations.Pros: healthy, local style food, 100% vegan
Cons: not available every day, eating space surrounded by meat stalls, no aircon is eating area