Before I tell you what happened at the launch of the first ever Malabon Kulinarya Festival last Tuesday, we’d like to invite you first to the bazaar happening until tomorrow, May 18th, 8am to 5pm, at the parking lot of Malabon City Hall. It’s a 3-day event, but I only got to post today, so you only have until tomorrow to come to the bazaar. There’ll be 30 food and non-food establishments participating. So, if you like anything you see in this feature, you might want to visit the Food Bazaar and Tiangge.
On May 21st, which is the official Malabon Day celebration, there’ll be a cooking competition among senior citizens and cooking enthusiasts aged 18-35 years old at the Malabon Amphitheater. Pinoy Junior Master Chef finalist Miko Manzano will be there for a cooking demonstration too. His family originates from Malabon, which is most likely one of the reasons why he has such passion in cooking at a very young age of 12. Miko was also present at the launch of Malabon Kulinarya Festival 2012, which was held at Dampa sa Paseo restaurant.
The launch of Malabon Kulinarya Festival was aimed at showcasing the diversity of Malabon cuisine and our rich culinary tradition. We’re originally from Navotas and we moved to Malabon 6 years ago, but we can honestly say that the flavors that Malabon has to offer have played a big part in our love and passion for food. And we do hope that this project by the city government, headed by Acting City Mayor Lenlen Oreta and the Malabon Tourism Council, would indeed boost the tourism and economic activities here in Malabon.
The launch of the festival was graced by none other than Annie Pascual-Guerrero, the founder of Center for Culinary Arts, Manila. I was surprised to learn that she is from Malabon, and she couldn’t be any prouder. She told us stories about how growing up here in Malabon and being influenced by her mother developed her deep passion for cooking.
At the event, Ms. Annie Guerrero shared her recipes for Sumpia with Garlic Vinegar Dip and Adobong Pusit Malabon Style (we’ll share these recipes on our next post). She was assisted by Chef Mira Cruz (she’s also from Malabon) and Chef Melissa Sison (not in the photo) from CCA. They gave really helpful tips on cooking, which I know the audience appreciated.
I didn’t get to taste these dishes, but our nanay also prepares them at home and they have almost the same recipes, so I know they are delicious. My fellow bloggers who were there could attest to that.
If you ask me about the food in Malabon, I would tell you that we serve ultimate Pinoy comfort food. You might be all familiar with Pancit Malabon, Dolor’s Sapin-Sapin, and Arny-Dading’s Peachy-peachy (they have products at the event too, but I wasn’t able to take photos), but there are so much more food that we have to offer. Let me share some of them that were showcased at the launch of Malabon Kulinarya Festival 2012.
Kikiam. You probably know the ones you buy frozen at the grocery store. BUT, we have a different kind of kikiam here and it’s delicious! It’s meaty, not floury. It’s from Aling Upeng Kikiam.
Taste of Heaven sells Cassava Cake, Leche Flan, Ube Jam, Baked Macaroni, Cheesy Embutido, Smoked Longganisa and a lot more. I wish they had a brochure for all their products. Anyway, I got to taste their embutido and Ube Jam, and I loved both. Can’t wait to visit their store soon.
I love this cake specially made by Simon’s for Malabon Kulinarya Festival. Their online store sells different pastries that should delight anyone with a sweet tooth.
Chicken Teriyaki from Jack’s Food Haus – I loved the taste of this. The chicken pieces were fried before cooking it with teriyaki sauce. Reminds me so much of Manang’s chicken, but this one’s more saucy.
I was looking forward to the whole event because of Judy-Ann’s Crispy Pata. We’ve wanted to try this for the longest time, but I always hold back ’cause I don’t want my family eating that much pork and fat. I guess I need to find people who’d help us devour the whole crispy pata so we won’t feel too guilty.
Anyway, as expected, Judy-Ann’s crispy pata was so flavorful and good! It’s definitely the best crispy pata I’ve ever had, so I’m now more determined to push through with writing a full feature on them here. First, we need to ask our foodie friends to join us.
They were also offering this, and I completely forgot what it was. Too many dishes to remember. I didn’t get to try it too. I would suggest for next year that all the stores / stalls have brochures or information sheets ready for all the guests.
Of course, our top favorite is Nanay’s Pancit Malabon! I’ve only had this pancit from 2 different restaurants here in Malabon, and I can say that Nanay’s was the most flavorful of all. I skipped this one though since their pancit is the most common food we serve during special occasions here.
I wish I tried Nanay’s broas though. The bloggers who were with me raved about them. They said they were nice, soft and sweet. I can always come by their store here anyway.
Nanay Elvie’s Relyeno and Tinapang Bangus – These are favorites here in Malabon. Because of the abundance of bangus or milkfish here in our area, it’s a very common fare for all of us. That’s why whenever we go somewhere, we skip the bangus altogether.
One of our favorite merienda here is Turon. But, I haven’t tried the Turon Pinipig yet. I was hoping to have a taste of this during the event, but completely forgot ’cause there was just too many of them to try.
Maid in Heaven‘s peanut butter and bagoong. I’ve never tasted peanut butter as deliciously sweet as the ones we sell here in Malabon. I haven’t tried Maid in Heaven’s yet though, but I’m sure it’ll be as nutty and sweet. Their bagoong, I have yet to try too. We have a supplier of bagoong near our home, that’s why we haven’t had the chance to try anything else. From one of the bloggers who raved about the bagoong, I think they offer the same salty goodness as what I’m used to.
They also have Achara (pickled green papaya), but I wish there was a stall that featured Acharang Dampalit. It’s the BEST achara I’ve ever tasted. This one from Maid in Heaven, again, I haven’t tried yet.
There were other food stalls at the Festival. I didn’t know Master Siomai was also from Malabon. There’s also Ginataang Labong from CESO Agriculture. This one, I didn’t get to taste too.
Another one of my ultimate favorites is our Okoy. The version from Okoy ni Jr. is the regular version, while the one from Betsy’s (one of the popular restaurants in the city) uses potatoes. I love them both!
After the sampling at the food bazaar, we went inside the air-conditioned area in Dampa sa Paseo for lunch. The food was by Betsy’s catering. Sadly, I wasn’t able to take photos of the dishes they served, but I can tell you in all honesty that Betsy’s is one of my favorite restaurants, having had lunch there many, many times during my elementary and high school days in St. James Academy in Malabon. They served us Pork Binagoongan which was gratifyingly spicy, Lumpiang Hubad (no wrapper), Okoy (the one with potatoes) and a lot more. Of course, I ended the meal with a small serving of their Ginataang Bilo-bilo / Alpahor.
Overall, it was a very fun-filled and satisfying afternoon. I can’t wait to visit all the stores of the food providers that came to the event. They all made me proud to be a foodie who hails from Malabon City. The amount of creativity we put into our food, adding our own twists on the usual favorites, just shows that Filipinos can truly excel. Just like what Ms. Annie Guerrero said during the event, all we need is consistency and we can definitely make a mark in the culinary world.
I can’t wait for the next Malabon Kulinarya Festival. I hope they’ll organize a Malabon Food Tour.
What dishes or food products from Malabon have you tried?