Manila food: In the Uni canteen

Manila Food. Hint: too much meat :)

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Manila food: rice, fish, egg and mushroom
Manila food: rice, fish, egg and mushroom. ( Mushroom wasn't good.)

Too much meat. Too little vegetable. My impression of the food in Manila- especially on restaurants that are crowded by middle class and lower middle class Filipinos. I eat meat but not much. I like to try new food but such trial must always been interrupted, may be two days, by dal bhat tarkari🙂 As the first week passed by I started craving for the food that is a daily staple in Nepal. Dal was not be seen anywhere. We went to an Indian restaurant called Bollywood in Greenbelt. Surprisingly the manager was a Nepali speaking Indain from Darjeeling area (Kolkata, he said). The food was good but I must admit that the bill was too steep. And the motton momo, dipped in the Indian chicken-gravy, was quite strange to my taste but my classmates liked it. Here’s an excerpt of an article that I wrote for Kantipur newspaper two weeks ago about Nepali students in Manila and Bangkok. The excerpt in Nepali talks about the food in Manila.

जे खानुहुन्छ, तपाई त्यसैले चनिनिहुन्छ । विशेषगरी हुर्किदा खाएको खानाले (अपवादबाहेक) जिन्दगीभर तपाईलाई छाड्दैन । अझ भनौं, तपाईले छोड्नु हुन्न । दालभातकै कुरा गरौं, सानैदेखि त्यो खाएको हो भने पिज्जा, बर्गर, पास्ता, सुसीले तपाईलाई दुई/चार दिन आनन्द देलान् तर पाचौ दिनदेखि तपाईलाई कतिबेला दालभात खाउँ जस्तो लाग्छ । विशेषगरी विदेशमा ।
‘एक दिन पिज्जा खाए अघाइन्छ,’ स्नेहा राजवंशीले भनिन्– ‘भात दिनदिनै खाए अघाइदैन ।’
१९ बर्षे स्नेहा नौ महिना अघि नेपाल छाडेर फिलिपिन्सको मनिला आएकी थिइन्– डेन्टिस्ट्री (दन्त विज्ञान) पढ्न । ‘कात्तिक २९ गते,’ उनले सुनाईन्– ‘नेपाल छाडेको, घरपरिवार छाडेको । फ्लाईट (उडान) नम्बर समेत याद छ । आरए ४११ ।’
स्नेहा ती दशौ हज्जार नेपाली विद्यार्थी मध्धेकी हुन् जो स्वदेशमा स्तरीय र सस्तो शिक्षा (सहजै) उपलब्ध नहुदा विदेशिन बाध्य छन् । भारतमा भए जसोतसो खान्की नेपालकै जस्तो मिल्ला (तैपनि स्वाद नेपाली भए पो) तर फिलिपिन्स जस्तो गाई/सुगुर/कुखुरा अत्यधिक खाने, भात अलिकति खाने, तरकारी झन् थोरै खाने र दाल खादै नखाने ठाउँमा लामो समय टिक्नै गाह्रो हुन्छ ।
खानामै समश्या हुनथालेपछि ती विद्यार्थीले कसरी पढुन् ? त्यसैले हुनुपर्छ स्नेहा पढ्ने मनिलास्थित इमिल्यियो अगुईनाल्डो मेडिकल कलेजले आफ्नो होस्टेलमा बसेर पढ्ने ४० जना नेपाली विद्यार्थीहरुकै लागि भनेर नेपालबाट एकजना भान्से झिकाएको छ । यी मध्ये अघिकाँश त्यहा मेडिसिन (चिकित्साशास्त्र) पढ्छन् । नेपालमा स्तरीय कलेजमा हत्तपत्त सिटै नपाईने, पाइहाले ३५ लाख सम्मको शुल्क एकैचोटी तिर्नुपर्ने हुदा अविभावकहरु निरुत्साहित हुन्छन् । इमिल्यियो जस्ता कलेजहरुले चाहि महिनैपिच्छे शुल्क तिर्दा हुने व्यवस्था गरिदिन्छन् जसले अविभावकहरुलाई कमाउदै छोराछोरी पढाउन सजिलो पार्छ ।
….इमिलियो कलेजले  नेपाली विद्यार्थीका लागि शुरुमा एकजना फिलिपिनो भान्से पनि राखेको थियो । उसले खाना त नेपाली बनायो तर स्वाद नेपाली दिन सकेन । ‘काउली हामी भुटेर पकाउछौ नि,’ स्नेहाले भनिन्– ‘उनीहरुले झ्यान्ट्याङ्ग झोल हालिदिने ।’
‘हामीलाई चिल्लो, अमिलो, पिरो सबै मिल्नुपर्छ,’ २४ बर्षे उत्सव पोखरेलले भने– ‘त्यो उसले मिलाउनै नसक्ने ।’
— हालै कान्तिपुरमा प्रकाशित एउटा लेखबाट

3 thoughts on “Manila Food. Hint: too much meat :)

  1. i learned long ago that food is a cultural thing, and what tastes poison to one may be heaven to another: the most pungent and loved cheeses of the dutch, others can’t stand, and the pinoy bagoong (fish paste) smells like hell that my american boss once went around our office pantry searching for that dead rat when we happened to be reheating it in the office microwave. but we pinoys so love it, the nearest equivalent of caviar to us.

    but you could have easily stashed a pack of uncooked dhal bhat in your suitcase when you went to manila! (although i think some of ’em are already available in manila’s supermarts), as dhal bhat is not regular fare among filipinos as it is as staple as rice among nepalis.

    but food is also an acquired taste, and the more you get exposed to the cuisine of others, the more open your taste buds become. mine has always been open and experimenting, so i always get to love just the difference that the food of others are to my exploratory palate.

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  2. Some amazing pictures there, as I am addicted to your blog and most of your new posts are in Nepali so I went to older posts and then I saw these new Pictures that you have uploaded.
    I like the way you have added caption to all the pics, you have told about every dish what you liked and what you don’t.
    start writing in English otherwise I have to learn Nepali to go through your Nepali Posts : )

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  3. Hi Dinesh, mero naam Gilbert ho. I am a graduate from the Ateneo, and am currently working in the Communication Department as a research assistant. I stumbled upon your blog while looking for Nepalese restaurants in Manila, and I was gladly surprised to see your pictures inside Ateneo. I hope you’re enjoying your stay in the country. Would like to meet you some day. :D:D:D:D

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