Had another Mercato Centrale food trip last weekend, this time on a Saturday with friends. Here's the lowdown on our chow down!
It's crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, all right, but it's also smothered in sauce! This is my new favorite fried chicken--double deep fried chicken with Manang's "secret soy garlic sauce" available in original, mild spicy, and extra spicy variants. I particularly like mine mildly spicy because it was still sweet and tasty, but also had a hot kick.
I won't be gushing about Auntie May's Escargot anymore because I've blogged about it way too much already (here and here), but I'm glad I encouraged my friends to try it 'cause it was one of the dishes that they really liked. This time, though, I also got to try the new Ribs & Potatoes, which was excellent as well. The meat was tender and the barbecue sauce was sweet and slightly smoky. It reminded me of Racks' ribs sauce, though it wasn't as thick and it was less salty--just right!
I've always wanted to try the Pan de Bagnet from Chef Claude Tayag's Bale Dutung stall, but the long lines have kept me from doing so in my previous visits. We actually stumbled upon it while we were already on the prowl for desserts, but we couldn't resist! We were also lucky 'cause I think we got the last order. The crisp, slightly salty bagnet (deep fried pork belly) on a bed of onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and other herbs and spices, which had a sourness to it, was splendid. I hope they can use a different kind of bread, though, because it was quite crumbly and dry.
We also got some chicken isaw (intestines) and beef kebab from Mongol-Yan. I wasn't satisfied with the isaw because I usually like mine more toasted with a spicy vinegar dip, but I found the kebab pretty good. It could've been more tender, but it was very flavorful.
My friend bought a chocolate caramel cupcake from a stall-which-must-not-be-named, while I opted for a slice of chocolate caramel cake from MedChef. We liked the one from MedChef a lot better! It had a good balance between rich chocolate and gooey caramel, and a great moist texture. It's definitely going on my list of favorites next to Chocolat's Death by Tablea and Bailey's Chocolate Cake!
After hogging the chocolate cakes I decided to skip the ice cream, but I was able to try some from my friends' cups of Merry Moo. We all loved the Earl Grey Tea flavor! Therese G. had hers with a scoop of Sea Salt Caramel, while Joseph I. paired it with Belgian Chocolate. Heavenly! Too bad the Empire macarons stall wasn't around. Therese's combination would've been even better with salted caramel macarons! My sweet tooth would be in ecstasy.
The chilled Black Tea from Gold Leaf went well with everything I had for lunch. I got to taste the Green Tea, which was a bit sweeter, and the Milk Tea, which would've been another delicious choice--if I wasn't going to be sampling cakes and ice cream along with it, that is!