It’s raining comfort food in Araneta Center
The rainy season is associated with a deluge of emotions, but for some, it is just the best time to eat and perhaps go on a food trip.
Whether it’s because of the cold weather or the laidback mood, the rainy season has this drawing power to make us crave comfort food and drinks. And many of the restaurants here in Araneta Center are happy to satisfy that yearning.
Champion champorado at Tapa King
While it may have built a name for its delicious tapa (dried beef), Tapa King is also proving to be royalty when it comes to Filipino snacks such as the ultimate Filipino comfort food, the champorado. With the right mix of sweet and creamy, Tapa King’s champorado has the charm to transform diners back to simpler times when their folks would serve them this treat. It also serves danggit, which provides a perfectly salty balance to the champorado.
Tapa King is located at the Farmers Market.
Dencio’s and chill
Dencio’s hits all the right marks with its menu of Filipino food. Want a hot soup? Go for its Sinigang na Tiyan ng Bangus among its array of sinigang dishes or its Bulalo. Craving some barbecue? You won’t go wrong with its Boneless Chicken Inasal.
Aside from its mouthwatering Filipino dishes, Dencio’s has also become a favorite hangout place for those who want to unwind after a long day at work. Serving local beer at affordable prices especially by the bucket, the resto-bar also takes pride in its “beermates”—the best of which are its Krispy Sisig and the Hot and Spicy Tofulutan, which will give you the perfect kick this rainy season.
Dencio’s is located at the Kia Theatre Arcade.
Pho-ll in love with Pho Hoa
Perhaps Vietnam’s most popular dish is the Pho, a rice noodle soup mixed with delicious broth, vegetables and meat, which is usually beef or chicken.
Pho Hoa’s Beef Noodle Soup and the Beef Stew Noodle Soup are a smorgasbord of flavors in one bowl, satisfying minus the guilt. Vietnamese cuisine is also known for its fresh ingredients, and this is perfectly displayed in Pho Hoa’s Pomelo Shrimp Salad and Vietnamese Chicken Vegetable Salad, which do not compromise flavor despite being healthy.
Pho Hoa is located on the second floor of the Gateway Mall.
Can’t-miss Ramen at Rai Rai Ken
Even before throngs of ramen stores have sprouted in the Metro, there was Rai Rai Ken already. Celebrating its 26th year this September, Rai Rai Ken continues to modify its menu, coming up with new offerings while retaining time-tested favorites.
One such innovation is its infusion of the well-loved Batchoy to its ramen, coming up with the Miso Batchoy Ramen, the Gyu Batchoy Ramen and the Classic Sho Batchoy Ramen, which will definitely tickle the fancy of those who love Filipino and Japanese food. Also perfect for this ramen weather is Rai Rai Ken’s Seafood Hot Pot Ramen and sushi rolls.
Rai Rai Ken is located on the second floor of Ali Mall.
Mind-blowing goodness at Sachi
With its delectable lineup of ramen and sushi, Sachi remains one of the leading oriental restaurants in Araneta Center.
If you are in the mood for something exotic and delicious at the same time, why not try Sachi’s latest addition to its menu—the Pork Tonkotsu Ramen. Made only of the freshest ingredients and a broth that comes from pig head, this ramen will definitely warm any stomach. If you also want a cozy restaurant where not all attendants shout “Irrasshaimase,” then this is the place to be.
Sachi is located at the Coliseum Circle.
Terrific discovery at Teriyaki Boy
The Teriyaki Boy Chicken is still the king of this Japanese restaurant’s menu, with its succulent meat and mildly sweet sauce, making it a comfort food one should not miss during the rainy season.
Teriyaki Boy also offers sushi roll platters which can contain four to eight pieces of, at most, two kinds of sushi rolls. But hungry friends and families are in for a treat with its big sushi platter which consists of 10 different rolls and sashimi like the California Roll, the Dynamite Roll and the Philly Cheese Steak Roll. This fish-tival of a tray is available for takeout and delivery, perfect for nights when you just want to stay home while listening to the sound of raindrops.
Teriyaki Boy is located on the third floor of the Gateway Mall.
Dakasi’s Hot Stuff
The milk tea has enjoyed a spike in popularity over the years, thanks to its sweet taste and creamy texture that will surely bring a smile to one’s face.
In a bevy of milk tea stores around the Metro, Dakasi stands out because its hot milk teas are just as good as its cold drinks. This comes in handy especially when you have a craving on a chilly day. Some of its best-selling warm drinks are the Dakasi Bubble Milk Tea and the Golden Honey Grapefruit Tea, the latter specially providing soothing comfort to those battling cough and colds. Customers also get a hand on the sinkers, temperature and sugar level of these hot drinks.
Dakasi is located on the ground floor of the Ali Mall.
Life is sweet at Dulcinea
Deriving its name from the Spanish word “dulce” which means sweet, Dulcinea has been delivering Spanish fare from every spectrum of the taste bud for years now.
Its Sopa de Mariscos, made just with the freshest ingredients, provides a warm and tasty beginning to every meal, while its Chorizo Bilbao is a flavorful version that is similar to no other, packing the juicy meat that’s spiced just right. One cannot go to Dulcinea and not have its ever-popular Churros con Chocolate—the marriage of delightfully crispy churros and indulgent chocolate dip has been recognized by many as the best churros in the Metro, bar none. Perhaps the most comforting thing about Dulcinea is that the quality and taste of its food remain fantastic all these decades.
Dulcinea is located on the second floor of Ali Mall.
Giovanni's Bar Ristorante : Viva Eat-alya!
Giovanni’s Bar Ristorante proves that one does not have to fly to Rome, Milan or Venice to experience a night in Italy. The only Italian resto-bar this side of the Metro, it offers authentic Italian food without forcing the diner to break the bank.
While it is known for its half-a-meter pizzas, Giovanni’s also has in its menu a wide array of pasta, sopa and antipasto one will enjoy. Its Minestrone is a classic vegetable soup that will drive diners wanting more, while its Seafood Carbonara is a satisfying dish that does not compromise on the freshness of its ingredients. It is also a perfectly quiet spot to enjoy a glass or bottle of wine imported from the vineyards of Italy.
Giovanni’s Bar Ristorante is located at the Manhattan Parkview.
Comfort comes easy at Gumbo
When your entire cuisine is synonymous to comfort food, a sense of nostalgia comes with every taste. And while New Orleans cuisine may not be all that usual among Filipinos, Gumbo’s offerings still provide a sentimental tug to the heart.
Known as the Big Easy for the laidback lifestyle in the city, New Orleans has established a unique take on Mediterranean food that is now widely available to the country thanks to Gumbo. Its seafood gumbo, a stew with generous heaps of seafood is spicy enough to warm a diner during the cold weather. Its Seafood Jambalaya is a bowlful of rice, meat and spices that has both soul and flavor. Gumbo’s dishes are a feast to the eyes and the palate.
Gumbo is located on the second floor of the Gateway Mall.
Finding the perfect spot at Johann Coffee Corner
Nothing beats a warm cup of coffee or tea during the rainy season. But Johann Coffee Corner takes this to another level with its unique hot chocolate selection.
This cozy coffee shop understands that not all chocolate drinks are created equal; and so it has come up with the chili-infused spicy hot chocolate. The gentle and comforting taste of chocolate caresses the tongue initially before the spike that comes from the crushed chili touches the throat. The marriage results in a mug of perfect perk-me-up best enjoyed during the monsoons. The place is also a perfect spot to chill because it is not as noisy and crowded as other cafes.
Johann Coffee Corner is located on the fifth floor of the Gateway Mall.
One’s definition of a comfort food may vary from that of others’. Whether looking for something spicy, hot, sweet, creamy, hearty, salty or filling, one will definitely find comfort in knowing that his or her cravings will be satisfied at the Araneta Center.
Check out this video:
Check out this video: