scout food trip

Who­ever said that the jour­ney is more than the des­ti­na­tion ob­vi­ously wasn’t look­ing for food. Pre­sent­ing the first ever Scout food trip.


stop# 1 whitehouse burger cafe

Pam­buli Street, Marik­ina Hours: 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Pam­buli is such a sim­ple, dis­creet street that even taxi and jeep­ney driv­ers don’t know where it is. Com­ing from the LRT San­tolan sta­tion, take Mar­cos High­way and spot a Burger King along the way. Across it is a sign­less fork, take the one on the right (read: why street signs were in­vented). This leads you to Whitehouse which should be on your left, par­al­lel to a bas­ket­ball court.

Whitehouse is what you get when pro­duc­tion de­signer Vanessa Uri­arte’s props dump meets her part­ner chef Mhyca Bautista’s love for food— burgers es­pe­cially. “It was orig­i­nally a take­out counter, but when Typhoon Mario ooded my garage last 2013, we took the op­por­tu­nity to con­vert it into a real res­tau­rant,” said Vanessa.

Take time to roam around their well-cu­rated col­lec­tion of vintage ads, pop-col­ored oors, and nov­elty toys and items. It’s a good thing you’ll have lots of things to look at, be­cause once the Whitehouse Spe­cial is served, you’ll take your time down­ing a tower of a burger with egg, ham, dou­ble pat­ties, and dou­ble ched­dar. Best paired with their sig­na­ture Bub­blegum shake.

P.S. Scout got rst dibs on new menu items. Our fa­vorite: the chicken, crab­meat, and Asian sauce burger they call Chicken Ninja. Watch out for it!

stop# 2 cocina luna

Gen. Luna Street, Mal­abon Hours: 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.

The lo­cal folks re­fer to it as the black res­tau­rant, and you re­ally can’t miss it with its pitch-black matte fa­cade and eye-grab­bing love locks fence smack in the mid­dle of the busy residential area of Gen­eral Luna. The place has a rather cute col­lec­tion of framed quotes and DIY in­stal­la­tions that give con­trast to its very in­dus­trial vibe, with un­painted walls and wooden fur­ni­ture. It’s Ladies’ Night ev­ery Wed­nes­day (wear­ing pink is op­tional).

Cocina Luna is the brain­child of Chef Kat Al­cala who worked abroad and gured there were no good places to eat in her home­town. “My friends tell me I could’ve opened Cocina Luna in Mag­in­hawa or even Makati, but I wanted to bring de­li­cious food to my neigh­bor­hood.”

De­spite its Euro-pub-inspired space, Cocina Luna ac­tu­ally serves vamped up Filipino food with items like honey-glazed tuyo on the menu. “I like ex­per­i­ment­ing on Filipino dishes, and in­cor­po­rat­ing some of the things I learned from the US into my own recipes.” Chicken strips with ce­real bread­ing, any­one?

stop# 3 ex­ile on main st.

Leon Guinto, Malate Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Just a short walk past St. Scholas­tica Manila, look for a lit­tle al­ley lined with a bam­boo fence to nd your­self in artsy Ex­ile on Main St. (the res­tau­rant, not the Rolling Stones al­bum). Built to cater to good con­ver­sa­tions over food and beer, own­ers Ces San­tos, Happy Con­stantino, and Joshua So started Ex­ile in 2012 with friends in mind. Seat­ing ca­pac­ity is a bit lim­ited and kept to an in­ti­mate num­ber of two to three per ta­ble. Their largest cor­ner—a themed ta­ble with pil­lows, a head­board, and a hang­ing lamp post—is only open to groups of ve to seven peo­ple.

Their walls also serve as ex­hibit space and fre­quently host a num­ber of small events like board game night. While all of this is fas­ci­nat­ing, there’s also the up­side-down ta­ble on their ceil­ing to keep you amused. Read­ing through their hu­mor­ous menu can have you laugh­ing awk­wardly in one cor­ner as you wait for your friends to ar­rive.

Or­der their creamy Drunken Dory and Ti­napesto (tinapa pesto, get it?) for a hearty meal. Cap it all off with a serv­ing of their brownie a la mode.

stop# 4 señor pollo

Ebro Street, Makati Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.

The cor­ner where the cab dropped us off had a sketchy bud­get inn and had no street signs what­so­ever. But do trust Google Maps when it says Ebro street is just a short walk be­hind you. True enough, we im­me­di­ately saw the yel­low sign for Señor Pollo, the sec­ond, more spa­cious sib­ling to the orig­i­nal Que­zon City branch.

A whole wall is ded­i­cated to a fes­tive mu­ral by lo­cal artist Dee Jae Paeste, and it ex­tends to its glow­ing ver­sion in the re­stroom. Vintage South Amer­i­can posters dot the rus­tic place while painted ty­pog­ra­phy dec­o­rate the walls. There was one say­ing ‘Give heat a chance’ and boy was it scorch­ing dur­ing lunchtime.

“We’ll be in­stalling aircons soon,” chipped in owner Daniel Ma­banta. “But I’d like to stay off the malls. There’s a lack of choices for good, af­ford­able food around here. I want to keep it ex­cit­ing.” And ‘ex­cit­ing’ was a good choice of word as we chowed down de­li­cious fries, fried and roasted chicken with chimichurri, and colom­bian beans. Yum is an un­der­state­ment.

stop# 5 cry­ing tiger

Guanzon Street, Makati Hours: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Sand­wiched by other build­ings in an unas­sum­ing street, we might have missed this gem if not for the huge mu­ral of their logo an­nounc­ing its pres­ence. With the Thai em­peror’s photo in a cal­en­dar, a loop­ing video of Thai KTV, and mis­matched oral table­tops, Cry­ing Tiger is a piece of Thai­land’s col­or­ful off-the-street food cul­ture here in Manila. “We trav­eled to Bangkok just to see what kind of street food they have aside from what we al­ready know. Pad Thai has be­come too ba­sic for us,” said Chef Mario San Pe­dro.

It’s a eld day for chili lovers to try the Mee Goreng, the Thai ver­sion of pancit, which packs a nice spicy punch. Moo Todd Kra Tiem Prik Thai (or gar­lic pep­per pork, if you’re not up for the tongue twis­ter) is a hefty meal that re­minds me of the lo­cal tap­silog. Also, a bar is ready to serve drinks dur­ing happy hour.

Chef Mario adds, “What we love about Thai food is that rich or poor, ev­ery­one in Bangkok dines on the streets.” If street food is al­ways this good, you know where to nd me.












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