Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Best of Boracay at Hole in the Wall here in Manila!

The beautiful island of Boracay will always have a special place in my heart. It's there where I had my first sunburn and literally looked like a lobster for weeks, it's also there were I learned to love the beach life and continued to yearn for it on a yearly basis, lastly, Boracay was also where Paul and I spent the last leg of our 3-part honeymoon at.

Related post: 10 fun things you can do in Boracay

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So, when our government suddenly woke up one morning and decided that "hey, today sounds like a good day to shut down the island." My heart broke and cried together with everyone, who in one way or another, called Boracay their...home. Such was the case of our dear friends N and O. They were our "neighbors" back when Paul and I were doing our mini food business at Mercato Central. We always look forward to chatting with them on a weekly basis and their sunshiney personality would always make a bad sales day much much brighter. Plus, I just love treating myself to their delicious mochi ice cream. Anyway, they ran a number of restaurants in the island and due to this very sudden closure, they sadly had to put all their businesses on hold.

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One reason why I love the F&B world here in the Philippines is because of this -- people helping one another. In order to help N and O as well as their employees make good of the sudden closure, Hole in the Wall gave them the opportunity to do a pop-up of 4 restaurant concepts namely: Fat Rice, Spice Bird, Poketo and Coco Mama. This is actually good news for Manila folks like myself as I get to enjoy the best dishes from Boracay without having to book a plane ticket.



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So, for lunch one day, Paul and I joined some of our foodie friends for lunch at Hole in the Wall and these are some of the things that we had:

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Spice bird's Piri-Piri Chicken Skin (Php. 110)
Admittedly, I never liked chicken skin. Yes, I know you're all thinking I'm really weird but that's just me. I remove that glorious, crunchy skin from every single Chicken Joy that I've had in my life much to the delight of Paul who would be waiting to have it. Anyway, I gave this a try and I got to admit that it was good. Not too greasy and it goes so well with their sauces.

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Speaking of sauces, Spice Bird do take their sauces so seriously that it's really the BOMB! I would hardly decide which one I like best as all are delicious depending on what you pair it with. However, if I have to choose one then I'd go for the Curry-Curry.


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Piri-Piri Chicken (Php. 320 for a quarter cut / Php. 545 for half a chicken)
Spice Bird specializes in grilled meats done Piri-piri style. Piri piri is actually a Portuguese term for chili so expect a bit of zing when you try Spice Bird's specialties. I'd say the chicken was very fragrant and juicy. Normally, when it comes to grilled chicken, I tend to be quite wary towards it as I do not like biting into dry, close to powdery type of chicken meat. This one was the total opposite, juice was dripping out and the meat was so tender. I also love the rice and veggie chips that were served with it.

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Piri-Piri Pork Belly (Php. 390)
If you like pork more than chicken that they got one that's worth trying too. Before I swoon over this melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, I noticed how reasonably priced all their dishes are. I tell you, inflation is real here in Metro Manila but things seems to be much more manageable in the province.

Okay, going back to the meat, I loved it! I was already raving about the chicken but the pork belly was really something else. I had this with some of Spice Bird's specialty sauces and it was definitely was real treat.

Moving on to the next concept: Poketo

Poketo is a Japanese Yakitori concept which I think is a brilliant idea. Sure, maybe a bowl of donburi is not one of the beach grubs that you'd immediately have but after a lazy day outdoors, having a bowl of Japanese rice and meat is definitely one that i'd consider to be comforting.

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Yakitori Bowl (Php. 320)
This was definitely one of my favorites that day. I just love the good selection of skewered yakitoris that sat on top of a bed of fluffy Japanese rice and served with onsen egg (hello beautiful thing!), tempura furikake and pickled veggies. It was soooo good! If only we didn't had more dishes to enjoy, I would have inhaled this entire bowl in no time. This is definitely a must must try!

We also had some specialties from Fat Rice. This concept specializes in Southeast Asian dishes so expect flavors from Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and more.

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We had Cha Ca "La Vong" (Php. 390) which is one dish that Nowie is super proud of. It was actually during the couple's trip to Vietnam where they had this and it was love at first bite which was succeeded by multiple bites after that. Since then, they knew that they just have to bring this delicious dish to our shores and so they did at their restaurant called Fat Rice. This classic Hanoi dish has melt-in-your-mouth cod fish on a skillet pan and served with dill, noodles, fish paste and more. The trick is to generously drizzle the noodles with the oil. Don't be shy, more oil will bring out the delicious flavor. Have it with a piece of the very tender cod fish, dill and nuts. It was really yummy!

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We also had the Cereal Salt and Pepper Pork  (Php. 390) which is similar to the ever famous cereal prawns of Singapore. Oh how I miss the Lion City. I love the tender to the bite pork spareribs and how the sweet cereal complemented it so well.

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Last was the Crab Fat Wings (Php. 390). Oh this is definitely not for the faint hearted. Big and plump chicken wings thats coated with crab fat and a delicious sweet glaze. I know that when it comes to wings, one will never be enough but do proceed with a bit more caution. Don't say I didn't warn you!

If there's one thing, I was really excited for dessert! I was so happy that they brought in Coco Mama as I've been wanting to try this since they opened in Boracay years ago. I remember hearing about it back when I was still in Singapore and I made a note to visit this should we manage to book a flight to visit Boracay.

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Just as how I imagined it, this is definitely one of the yummiest coconut ice cream that I've ever tasted. Silky smooth with the right amount of sweet level, I love how it's served with fresh Philippine mangoes (the best kind out there, trust me), sticky rice and toasted pinipig. Definitely the best way to end a delicious and satisfying meal.

These four amazing food brands will stay on at Hole in the Wall only until the end of the month. After that, they'll soon be flying back to their island in preparation for its re-opening come October. I sure hope the government sticks to their promise and I can't wait to take my twins to Boracay some day.

Show some love and visit the Best of Boracay at Hole in the Wall soon. This is located at the 4th floor, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue corner Makati Avenue, Makati City.

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