Street food can be found all over the world. New York wouldn’t be New York without hotdog and pretzel stands. Can you imagine the Arab countries without the ubiquitous shawarma stalls? Or Japan without the curb-side ramen and soba places? What if Hong Kong’s popular Mong Kok area lost all the dimsum and Peking duck food-booths? And what if esoteric isaw, quec-quec, betamax, helmet, tokneneng and adidas could no longer be found in the streets of Manila? Most definitely, a bland world for someone who wants to have a taste of the culture of a particular country or region he, or she, gets to visit.
There are fish ball vendors roaming the streets of Laoag — the capital city of the northernmost province in the Philippines. But there is also Tayamen’s, which started as a makeshift food stand in front of the owners’ home. In 1997, the owners receptively opened their home to their regular habitués, who have become accustomed to calling them “tiyong” and “tiyang”, uncle and auntie in the vernacular.
No risky business when it comes to common Filipino street food — that is what Tayamen’s is all about. Freshness and safety is their foremost concern. Plus, its homey feel makes the place a magnet for school kids and young professionals, who want to let loose and enjoy their food.
Fish Balls, fish nuggets, kikiam, chicken feet, isaw and barbecue are the bestsellers of Taya, short for Tayamen’s, and a term popularized by their regular patrons. They also make the best take-out Ilocos longaniza which is sold by the kilo.
Tayamen’s Don E. Ruiz St. Laoag Ilocos Norte Philippines