August 9, 2008
I've been craving for Pantalan for the longest time but with the increase in gas prices, it's been really impractical to go to Manila JUST for Pantalan. Until now...
Our purpose to go the the Manila area was not actually to go to Pantalan but to visit the annual WOFEX (World Food Expo). I guess it was carved in destiny that we would get to eat at Pantalan and finally satisfy my intense craving for this restaurant. When we reached the World Trade Center - the venue for the WOFEX 2008, we were surprised to see that there were so many people in line. We began to have second thoughts in actually going. Dwelling upon the fact that if we didn't go, we would have wasted time and gas in traveling to Manila. We had to make the most of our long journey...
We didn't want to go home yet just in case we change our minds and push through with our original plan. We were cruising on Roxas Boulevard trying to think of something to do when Panatalan popped in my mind. It was not that hot outside so al fresco by the bay for lunch might be nice but most of all, to finally get to eat at Pantalan again after a long time. Sad though that there were no bamboo shells available, we had to settle for clams. It had the same flavor though cause I asked it to be cooked with chili and tausi (fermented beans). We really enjoyed this dish with all its spiciness and chinese cuisine taste. This dish alone can be a complete meal by the bay, but we were hungry for more.
We next decided on some steamed suahe or shrimps. Again a dish that was not available because the shrimps hasn't been delivered yet. We opted for prawns instead of the suahe since until now I adhere to what my mother would always tell me. Count my blessings and be contented with what is given to you. The sauhe arrived in the middle of ravaging through the steamed prawns. Lucky us. Good thing the prawns were very good. Perfectly cooked. Was a bit bland but we dipped it in some light soy sauce which gave it the right saltiness, sweetness, and flavor. This dish was heaven in itself but if we had gotten the suahe instead, it would be as if we've gone to heaven ten-folds.
As a soup dish, we decided on some Bouillabaisse Soup. A mix of seafood in a cream based soup. One of my favorite soups in the world. Pantalan's version was not the best but I love it! The creaminess and the milky flavor is indeed up my alley. I love the variety of seafood they had inside the soup. We had a bit of everything: shrimps, fish, clams, squid, and mussels although we wished they could have added crab also to the mix. The fish and the mussels were a bit fishy but the rest were really fresh and well cooked.
To wash everything down, my editor and I ordered some buko juice straight from the tree. It had a lot of juice in it that it would overflow everytime your obsessive-compulsive tendencies would make you fix the straw to point at yourself. It was really a funny sight. On the downside though, it had too much juice that it apparently lost all its meat. The meat left was a sort of goo stuck on the coconut's interior instead of the normal white coconut meat.
Our Pantalan lunch was indeed something to remember. The weather was perfect. The food, as always, superb.
Back at Yentafo Kruengsonge at Kallang Wave Mall
18 hours ago