1. Laya in Antipolo: The idea of a 6-7 course meal prepared fresh and laid out just for you and your companions in a private and personal atmosphere makes you appreciate each and every bite. Plus you can walk around the place too in between courses as if it was like a corner of a 5-star resort reserved just for you.
2. Marcia Adams in Tagaytay: Marcia has shown that you do not need a view of the Taal lake to have a grand time in Tagaytay. What you need are: Simple food prepared exceptionally well, a Tuscan style setting where all the ingredients (except the meat) can be found and hand-picked from the garden, and a house full of open windows that faces the west and glows in nice colors as the sun sets.
3. Ma Mon Luk: An institution. There is a reason why it has lasted this long and it is because of the taste of its noodles, coupled with its very special siopao and siomai and secret sauce that you can use in any of their meals. This was a staple food for us when we were kids back in the early 90’s as we drove by Kamuning to get our Ma Mon Luk fix for our weekend stay in the province.
What would you have for your last meal?
Something close to home. My dad is my best friend, mentor, and also a foodie in his own right. He would occasionally grill his famous Rib-Eye And Lamb Chops Combo that goes well with your favorite steak sauce or mint jelly, or can even be eaten without it. If I had a last meal, this would definitely be it.
Tell us a bit about a memorable food trip experience.
If wine was part of food, then my trip to Napa valley and sampling various flight of wines from different vineyards was the experience of a lifetime. We headed out at 8:00 in the morning from Vallejo to Napa to figure out which of the vineyards would be best to try first. Going through the vineyards and walking into the tasting rooms of different families and companies who make wine changes the perception that wine is not for the snobbish and elite. Wine is for anyone who has a passion to explore the world and experience its many peculiarities.
Just like how every glass of wine is different no matter how much effort one tries to make every bottle the same as the one before, every experience, no matter how repetitive, will always have something new for anyone to discover. This wine trip was topped off with the best tasting steak and ribs in the Napa region: Rutherford Grill. They serve their own selection of wines from the valley as well. They did stress though, that you should never be limited to the old world way of thinking which wine goes well with which food. If you like wine to go with something, then no one should tell you that you are wrong as it is an experience that you should hold personally to yourself. This was actually the very trip that changed my outlook and perception that we always have to be hungry: hungry for challenging yourself, hungry for changing the world for the better, hungry for the next experience and adventure.
What was the best food/meal you’ve ever eaten? the worst?
Best: Gaudi’ in Serendra offers these prime ribs cut into strips, cooked rare, then you cook it into your own liking on a hot ceramic plate full of rock salts on top of your table. No need for sauce for this!
Worst: The Grilled Lamb in a Makati restaurant really disappointed me, and I am a lamb fellow. The meat was not cleaned well, it felt sandy and grainy, and it was pegged at a ridiculous price tag. At least it had big servings :p
If you had to win a girl/guy over, what would be THE dish you’d have her/him try? (from any restaurant or your own cooking)
The Chicken and Prawns Risotto in Zuni will satisfy the craving for meat, seafood and semi-haute cuisine.
If you were a type of food/cuisine, what would you be and why?
Pizza best describes my personality: Comfort in what you know always works best (cheese and tomato base) and yet, always find something new to make each kind a bit different (toppings) to always have something happy to talk about. 🙂
What’s your motto/philosophy on eating?
Make every bite count. Never let any morsel or drop slide in without bringing out a memorable experience. Any bite or sip can bring back pleasant memories of a joyful past or let it elicit visions of a hopeful future, all the while enjoying the company of others or of yourself in the present.
Why do you deserve to be Mr./Ms. myfoodtrip?
Playing corny-ly(?) with the term “food trip”, this is where I feel at home: Food trips were never just about the food. It’s more about the trip as you discover each and every delicacy. Every food experience has a story to tell besides the food itself. And every story is a journey to the minds and imagination of those who love food. Food is never just about the smell, presentation, texture, flavor, and price. It is about each and every person who has tasted, raved, ranted and shared it, and made it what it is to you at that very moment. For me, this is what it means to be a Mr. myfoodtrip and this is what I offer to anyone who wants to join me in this journey.
Name: Ray Florence Reyes
Hometown: Lived half of my life in Mandaluyong, then now in Quezon City, and on some weekends, in the provinces of Bulacan and Batangas. :p
Occupation: General Manager (aka Full-time slave) of a small electric utility company outside Manila.
Hobbies/Interests: Eating, reading, experimenting with normal grocery items and liquors to make good drinks and snacks, driving really fast on twisty roads, creating philosophical correlations between normal mundane habits and the human passion for exploring new experiences, my peppermint plant