Enhanced community quarantine started March 16 in Luzon, forcing most restaurants to either temporarily shut down or open only for pick-up and delivery. Unfortunately, this meant a significant loss for not just established restaurants but small businesses as well. Many of them turned to social media and ramped up their posting to entice more customers. These are some of the treats we found through social media and enjoyed while staying home, and some goodies I made myself.
Support local whenever you can! And remember to wear a mask when picking up your food or meeting your delivery personnel.
Finds from the Barangay Facebook Group
Our barangay’s Facebook group is mainly for announcements from the Barangay Captain and dissemination of messages from Pasig City Hall, but the admins also allow posts promoting residents’ businesses. In fact, there’s a whole thread of people in the area posting pictures of what they have to offer.
That’s where we found this indulgent leche flan. Because it came from one of our neighbors, they delivered it right to our gate. We also bought steamed embutido which you can eat as is or, if you prefer, slice it up and fry it. You can’t tell in the picture, but there’s a lot of big chunk of cheese in each piece.
Do a little searching and see if your barangay has a Facebook (or Viber, or Telegram) group. You might be surprised at how many delicious things your neighbors are making. I love buying food that I find in our Facebook group for two reasons: It’s the one of the easiest ways to support small businesses, and because of the location, the delivery is always fast and cheap.
Milk tea and sliders from Sianna’s Tea & Pastries
Sianna’s Tea & Pastries is a Pasig-based business that offers milk tea and a variety of breads. They do big spreads for events, too, but since that hasn’t been possible as of late, they’ve been focusing on making deliveries.
They have an impressive variety of milk tea flavors on their menu. My favorites so far have been the salted caramel and the wintermelon. They also have fruit flavors like mango, green apple, and lychee.
One of our first food purchases from Sianna’s was a box of egg mayo sliders, which made a nice snack while working from home. We’ve also tried their ensaymada and loved it.
The best sliders they make, in my humble opinion, are their tiny veggie burgers. I’m always looking for a good, filling veggie burger, and have yet to find a favorite one in Manila so far. Sianna’s veggie burger sliders substitutes meat with banana blossoms (puso ng saging), and though the texture is different, you can hardly tell it’s not actual meat by the taste. It’s a great option for vegetarians (vegans should note that it does contain mayonnaise) or people like me who are just trying to live a little bit healthier without giving up their guilty pleasures.
Snacks from EveryEssential.ph
I stumbled across EveryEssential on Instagram. The post that caught my eye was a picture of chocolate chip cookies, but they sell many things, both edible and non-edible (like cute bags and accessories).
I picked out a bag of barbecue cornick (crunchy puffed corn nut), some chocolate coated biscuits, and of course, the chocolate chip cookies that I saw on their sponsored posts. My order arrived the next day and I was well-stocked with snacks for the next two weeks. The bag of Choco Sticks was so big that we still have some now, almost three weeks later, stored in a container in the fridge.
I included these in the post because these are quarantine snacks, however, EveryEssential is actually based in Makati, so expect a slightly higher delivery fee. You can check out what they’re selling now on their Instagram.
Grocery trips have been a hassle since the pandemic started, but only because of necessary safety measures that the shops have been taking to control the spread of the virus. After taking the daily commute and all the rush hour traffic out of the equation, I had more time to cook than I usually do.
Being home all the time forces you to get creative with leftovers so you don’t feel like you’ve eaten the same food for the past three meals. I made the sandwich on the left with leftover corned beef. I heated it up in a pan, threw in some extra onions, lined the inside of some pandesal with mayonnaise, and stacked it onto the bottom bun. Then I put a fried egg with a little cayenne pepper on top. On the right is a bowl of leftover adobo pasta that I made. I shredded the pork and chicken from the adobo and used the soup as a kind of oil-based sauce. Lastly, I garnished it with some crunchy fried garlic.
After stuffing myself with croquettes in Japan back in February, I got a strong craving for them and decided to try making them myself. I used this recipe and added cheese and bacon to half of the croquettes. They didn’t turn out as pretty as I had hoped, but they tasted fine. I’m planning to try a do-over with different fillings like mushrooms or ham next time.
One of the things I miss most about pre-Coronavirus life is being able to work, study, or just hang out in cafes. In an attempt to replicate that experience, I’ve been making my own matcha lattes.
For this one, I combined three spoons of matcha powder with two cubes of muscovado sugar, filled the glass halfway with hot water, and mixed everything until the powder dissolved. Then I added cold milk and topped it off with ice.
You can replace the muscovado sugar with your sweetener of choice, and skip the milk if it doesn’t agree with your stomach. Just add in more water instead. If you want it hot, warm the milk before adding it in, and obviously, don’t put in any ice.
Now that we’re under General Community Quarantine, food is a bit more accessible. But if you’re ordering out, you should still consider buying from your local businesses and help out the fine folks down your street and in your city.
Still hungry? Check out the rest of my food posts, including reviews of restaurants in Quezon City, Marikina, Baguio, Bacolod, and Japan.