Philippines Food and Drink
Unlike a lot of Asian cooking, most Filipino dishes make only moderate use of spices; instead, sour or vinegary flavours are more common. One exception is the fiery cuisine of the Bicol region to the southeast of Manila, which uses a lot of chili and coconut milk. Throughout the country the diet is based around fish and meat (particularly pork), and vegetarians may have trouble explaining what they want. Rice is a staple and served with almost every meal.
While most restaurants have table service, there are also many small carenderias where you choose from a selection of pre-prepared dishes in large pots. For the less adventurous, there are also European-style restaurants and American fast food outlets.
• Lechon (roasted whole pig) is prepared for fiestas and family celebrations.
• Kare-kare (an oxtail stew in peanut sauce served with bagoong (fermented shrimp paste)).
• Sinigang (meat or fish in a pleasantly sour broth).
• Adobo (braised pork and chicken in a tangy soy sauce with vinegar and garlic).
• Seafood, which may be grilled, boiled, fried or steamed and served with kalamansi (the local lemon), bagoong (a fish paste) or vinegar with labuyo (the fiery native pepper).
Things to know:
Waiter service is common in bars and there are no strict regulations regarding the sale of alcohol.
Usually 10% of the bill, unless service charge is included.
Locally brewed beer, such as San Miguel.
The legal drinking age in the Philippines is 18.