Around the World in 500 Pesos // An Appetite Magazine Exclusive
For the June issue of Appetite Magazine, our editor Migs presented an exciting challenge for our monthly Resto6 column — Were we interested, he asked, in combing the metro for amazing meals for two people under P500? Of course, we were up for the challenge. And, almost instantly, a light went off in my head. I told Anthony, Let’s do it Amazing Race-style!
Now you must understand that both Anthony and I are huge fans of the show — We enjoy watching the teams travel around the world, doing all these crazy tasks, and have even entertained thoughts of applying as one of the competing teams. We’ve got it all figured out — I told Anthony I wouldn’t mind being in charge of tasks like driving (“If you can drive in Manila, you can drive anywhere.”), eating exotic meats, and charming the locals (Hey, someone’s got to do it), if he takes care of doing all the physical challenges, like walking on tightropes, jumping off moving horse carts, and anything that involves heavy lifting or pumping milk from an animal. It’s a fair split, no? I think so.
Anyway, back to Appetite… In true Amazing Race fashion, we decided to make things more challenging by selecting restaurants that represented the best of international cuisines. And boy did we trot around for this one! So get comfy, everyone, and join us for a journey around the world in 500 pesos or less. And don’t worry. No one gets eliminated. At least this time. Hahaha!
There's definitely no backing out now — We've officially accepted the P500 budget challenge, and it's even printed on the magazine cover!
As you can see, Anthony was a little more liberal with his scoring this time around, which, I guess makes me Simon Cowell, and Anthony… Paula Abdul? Hahaha!
I give you one guess as to whose idea it was to include the maracas in the shot above. Hey, it's a nice touch, right?!? LOL!
By the way, just to clarify, we did not include drinks in the P500 budget. After all, you don't really see anyone in the Amazing Race popping open a can of soda, right?
TURKISH CUISINE // Jacob’s Shawarma
We were delighted to discover that Jacob's Shawarma is open 24 hours, making it the perfect option after a night of drinking and dancing.
I watched Anthony slather his shawarma with cool yogurt sauce — It's the perfect compliment to the spicy meat.
We struck up a conversation with the handsome fella behind the counter, and were thrilled to discover that it was Jacob himself!
Who needs a sword when you've got that collar?
ITALIAN CUISINE // Gino’s Pizza
Look at that perfectly charred Sausage Pizza from Gino's — a true sight to behold — which we paired with a green salad to keep things fresh and healthy.
You can check out our previous blog post from Gino’s here.
MEXICAN CUISINE // Orale!
At Orale, diners are greeted as they enter by this rooster with a peculiar penchant for peppers.
Try to see how many Mexican icons you can identify while waiting for your burrito. Andale! Andale!
We split a burrito stuffed with flavorful carnitas, and also got an order of the taco carne asada, all for EXACTLY P500! Oh, and just in case you're wondering, the maracas were my idea. Hahaha!
You can check out our previous blog post from Orale here.
AMERICAN CUISINE // Mad Mark’s
At Mad Mark's, you can get the Man Sandwich AND the Mariner Sandwich for under P500, and still have room in the budget for their delicious herb parmesan fries.
Just as I was about to take my first bite, Anthony made it a point to explain how snakes "unlock" their jaws when swallowing their prey whole. Good strategy if you could do it, I told him.
One last Instagram picture before the carnage.
In a matter of minutes, all that was left on our table were two wooden chopping boards.
FILIPINO CUISINE // Three Sisters
Of course, no survey would be complete without traditional Filipino fare — At Three Sisters in Kapitolyo, I wanted to give all three women a big kiss on the cheek for this one!
Anthony goes for the kill.
Don't forget to douse your barbecue with their homemade sauce, which is delightfully thick, sweet and syrupy.
THAI CUISINE // Krung Thai
We end our journey in Krung Thai, which has gotten a lot of buzz lately and is located, interestingly enough, in my hometown of Marikina.
Would you believe you can get this huge serving of pad thai, along with a catfish salad, all for P498?
There's also a small boutique in Krung Thai, where you can shop for soaps, slippers and lanterns while waiting for your food. Can you guess which lantern I would have bought?
Hope you enjoyed the feature. You can read the whole article, along with all six restaurants’ information, here.
Happy eating, everyone!