Thursday, March 8, 2012

Barrio Fiesta, Luk Yuen, & Farmers' Dampa

I was browsing my photo files and remembered the 2 misadventures I've had in dining out. The first photo below was taken last December 2011 at the Barrio Fiesta restaurant in SM Sta. Rosa. My family and I decided to have dinner after some Christmas shopping, and I chose the Barrio Fiesta with very few guests that time.

Choosing between group set menus, we ordered the set menu for group of 4-5 persons, consisting of kare-kare seafoods and assorted fried items (milkfish, pork, lumpia, etc). If I'm not mistaken, it was reasonably priced at less than Php 800 including the rice and drinks. However, we were not able to finish the food because of the overall bland taste of our chosen menu. 

We did not even consumed half of the fried food items, as they taste almost the same, despite its variety of choices. It could be the frying oil used, or they were not freshly-cooked. Perhaps it could have been a better dining experience if we chose the set menu with assorted grilled items instead.

My next food misadventure happened at Luk Yuen restaurant in the basement of SM Megamall last month. For an afternoon snack while looking for a hard-to-find fabric, I ordered a dry noodle with seafoods at Luk Yuen. When the food arrived, I was quite disappointed that it was really dry, without a thick sauce which somehow I was expecting to soften and bring more taste to the noodles.

However, the noodles' portion size is generous with lots of shrimps and veggies. The minimal water stock from the toppings lent some flavor to the noodles, but its not enough to whet my appetite. I ended up taking half of the food at home. Well, I learned my lesson that I should verify how the food was prepared, and not just make assumptions, hehe.

Here's a tip if you're looking for a "dampa" or "paluto" place in Quezon City. There is a "paluto" style food court at the upper side of the Farmer's Market in Cubao, Q.C. Being situated in an established wet market, the food items there are much cheaper than at Bluewave in Macapagal avenue, or "dampa" places in Libis or MC Home Depot at Meralco avenue. I was able to buy live suahe shrimp for only Php 300/kg, and "gay" mudcrabs at Php 500/kg just last month.

Paluto or cooking charge starts at Php 80 for half kilo items, and Php 140 for 3/4 to 1 kilo items. Then just order rice from the chosen paluto stall there, and buy your drinks anywhere in the market. You could even bring some food like what we did and nobody will call your attention, as long as you also buy their items or patronize their cooking services. Its an open air foodcourt, but its not noisy nor smelly that we always associate with wet markets.

We tried the "SiS" paluto stall because of good reviews, and we're not disappointed. There are available air conditioned dining rooms upstairs with additional fee of only Php 100 per table, or Php 300 per room if you want privacy. Handwash stations have soap dispensers, while the washrooms are clean enough.

Next food reviews are good eats in Camiguin and Cagayan de Oro!

Photo for Farmer's Dampa was taken from

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