Last Sunday, I woke up wanting to go to Ongpin, the Chinese Capital of the Philippines. As soon as I opened my eyes after a long and quiet sleep, my katawang lupa (flesh and corporeal being) just suddenly crave for the look, the noise and the smell of Ongpin.
Thanks to super friend Willie, he accompanied me and made my silly craving a reality. My longing was really plain and unchallenging. I just wanted to walk the super busy street of Ongpin, buy a snack and then leave. But thank goodness I was with itinerant Willie because he knows a very good eatery in this old and hoary part of Manila.
We dined at what is known as Estero. It is a non-air-conditioned diner that is right beside a creek and a tidal channel used as drainage canal in the overly populated area of Manila. I was at first so tentative and doubtful about the place. But when the gentle lady manning the eatery approached us and handed the menu, I knew that I was into some exciting gastronomic adventure.
estero (if I was the owner, i would call it “estuary” para sosyal)
classic yang chow rice and the surprisingly good hototay soup!
joyous version of their mung bean sprouts
buttered chicken is love
Estero is tagged as a fast food on the internet but it is unlike the usual fast food that items were pre-prepared and placed on a heater display. Estero food are only cooked upon ordering. Maybe the reason why it is called fast food is because the kitchen is equipped with high pressure burners and the cooks prepare their dishes so fast. In a haste, the server was already serving our freshly cooked Hototay and the surprisingly crunchy Stir-Fried Mung Bean Sprouts.
Aside from the very good food, Estero’s price was surprisingly cheap. Total bill of all the fantastic dishes we ordered was roughly around 8 (US) dollars.
KFC or Kentucky Fried Chicken is my favorite chicken meal. Instead of McDonalds (which is the most preferred universal food of majority of earthlings), KFC has always been my choice of fast food. It is the food chain I would run to every time I need an immediate digestive fix. Whenever I am out of the Philippines and wish to have a break from eating the local cuisine of the country I am touring/visiting, I would always search for a possible nearby KFC branch.
Aside from the numerous branches of KFC in the Philippines, I have dined at a KFC branch in Kuala Lumpur; in Hong Kong; Casablanca in Morocco; in Bangkok; in Singapore; and the one in Gold Coast, Australia.
Generally, the flavor and taste of the KFC fried chicken in all these branches in various nations I have been to are quite the same. I can boldly say that indeed the eleven secret herbs and spices (which I particularly have no clue on what these are) are present in all those fried fowls. All has been sooo dangerously good.
kfc siem reap branch
However, I would like to make it known to you that the taste of KFC in Siem Reap, Cambodia is strange and totally different. It lacks the tang and flavor of the savory fried chicken that you have been serving in other branches around the world. They don’t even serve the flavorsome gravy! I have to settle myself with the dreary tomato catsup.
The Siem Reap version lacks the indescribable satisfaction. I just hope you would look into this and discontinue depriving the adoring Siem Reap populace on what supposed to be the true, authentic and scrumptious flavor of a KFC.
Your Equally Delicious Aficionado,
P.S. If you want me to check out the taste of your 11-spices-and-herbs-coated-chicken in London and Houston, I am but all willing to do that…Stay yummy like I do…