March 18, 2008

dinner at Cafe Via Mare

Another restaurant we tried, this time at the Powerplant Mall in Makati City was Cafe Via Mare, a successful Filipino restaurant founded by Glenda Barretto, a pioneer in Manila's competitive food business. It appeals to local diners and it's a great place to take foreign visitors to introduce them to Filipino food. My cousins took us there for dinner so we could try their specialties. The rice porridge (shown below) with salty toppings caught my interest but it was a big bowl so my brother and I had to split it. It was served steaming hot and was very comforting and filling. The topping assortment, which included sliced salted eggs and crunchy fried egg noodles, was a tasty accompaniment to the dish.

(shown below)
tokwa't baboy or deep fried tofu cubes and pork with a soy & vinegar dressing
pancit palabok or rice noodles with shrimps, crumbled pork rind and tofu

(above) trio puto bumbong and bibingka served with fresh grated coconut
A visit to Via Mare is incomplete without trying their bibingka or sweet rice cakes and puto bumbong or glutinous rice cakes cooked in a special steamer. Puto bumbong is traditionally purple-colored but at Via Mare, they came up with Trio, a new three flavor version with pandan (fragrant leaf), ube (purple yam) and langka (jackfruit) served with muscovado sugar, which is quite good. They were a perfect sweet end to one of our memorable dining experiences in Manila.
the unique design of the puto bumbong steamer (shown below)

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