Back in Manila. Between hello and goodbye is lunch at North Park (Banaue St.-Quezon City branch). Out of the original 10 foodies, there’s only the four of us left. Joan and I ordered Ultimate Noodles for us to share.
The mami (noodle soup) meal went full-blown lauriat. Oh lordly! The culprit, Joan’s hubby. He ordered like there’s no tomorrow. We had Fresh Prawn Dumplings, Yang Chow Fried Rice, Fried Bean Curd Skin and Shitake Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce, Nanking Beef and Aniseed Beef Tendons, and Head Off Prawns with Sweet Chili Sauce.
Topped with shrimp wonton, fried pork ribs, tendons, two kinds of mushrooms, and baby bok choy, the Ultimate Noodles is a meal in itself. I’m telling you, it is super-sized and meant to be shared.
Something I’m not fond of, the tendons give the broth a thicker, sort of slimy texture. Also, the rich taste of tendons is pronounced. I prefer a cleaner, more mellow mix of flavors. Joan has a wholly different view – she says she’ll be dreaming about it in Laoag.
They use the airy and flaky tofu for the fried bean curd dish. It got mixed opinions. As for me, I haven’t had tofu skin in a long time, so it was good refreshing my taste buds. The textures and light flavors seduced my palate. And then came the fried prawns. The amount of chili in the sweet and subtly tangy sauce is spot on, perfect to perk up the well-drained nicely fried succulent prawns.
No one touches my road food! It’s one huge bun with everything in it. It has tasty meatballs, smoked barbecued pork, tender shitake mushrooms, sweet pork sausage, salted egg yolk and chicken (which I don’t eat, btw). Deserving to be up there with the top siopaos in the metropolis, North Park’s Tai Pao really hits the spot.
For the tsinoys, North Park’s kind of cooking is like your typical ama’s way of pampering. They are generous with ingredients and portions are big.
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