12 Foods and drink to try in Zamboanga
The gastronomy composition of a place reflects its culture. The unique and varied flavors of Zamboanga City, known as Asia’s Latin City is just a reflection of how diverse this third largest city in the Philippines is. Visit Zamboanga and you’ll discover why.
So, here are the known foods and drink to try in Zamboanga City:
Delicious seafood meal, along with your usual Filipino dishes; waiting a little longer wouldn’t matter when you get to taste what you ordered. And this is in the province, my dear, service may be not that fast but food is guaranteed fresh and delectable. Try their Brazo de Mercedes as well. It was so good to culminate the meal.
Where: Zamboanga Village Restaurant, near Garden Orchid Hotel
Aside from Malaysian and other Muslim tribes, Zamboanga has quite an ample population of Chinese, that finding a Chinese dish is easy. Fix your cravings for Chinese food when you’re in town.
Where: Red Restaurant near Pasonanca Park
Zamboanga is known for its fresh seafood but you can also find good grilled, local food flavor. When Zamboanguenos say ‘Mano-mano”, it means you can eat with your bare hands as mano means hands in our dialect.
Where: Mano-Mano restaurant
If curacha is Zamboanga city’s signature dish. Zamboanga White is its signature drink. You can find this shake in most restaurants and hotels in the city. This fresh fruit shake is made from milk, sugar, lychees and pineapple. It is best paired with your seafood meals.
Where: Alavar Seafood Restaurant or in most hotels/ restaurants in Zamboanga city
This well-known Zamboanga dessert is made famous by Hacienda de Palmeras Hotel & restaurant. Its colorful presentation made from various fruits with milk and pink ice cream on top become such a hit.
Where: Hacienda de Palmeras Hotel & Restaurant
A spicy dish native to people of Mindanao, Pyanggang means chicken in blackened coconut curry. The main meat is marinated in a curry paste made from blackened coconut.
Where: any Tausug restaurant and eatery
Satay, in modern Indonesian, sate in Malay, this southeast asian dish originates in Java , Indonesia. The satay I tried in Bali, Indonesia actually tasted the same. This dish is consist of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce.
Where: Dennis Coffee Garden, or at any Tausug food stalls
Bangbang refers to Tausug pastries that are eaten as desserts, appetizers or during merienda time. These are finger food sweet pastries that are not only prepared during special occasions but practically at any day.
Where: Dennis Coffee Garden, KCC
Saging frito or fried banana with haleya (sweetened coconut sauce) or Juwalan for Tausugs is a favorite merienda/dessert for the locals. I remember this was my favorite merienda back then and love the haleya. You can also try the potato version.
Where: any local food stalls/ restaurant
A common dish in Malaysia and some parts in Mindanao like Zamboanga City. Ingredients are small pieces of beef, grilled on hot coals, along with cubes of rice dazed on red-coloured, spicy sauce.
Where: Downtown Zamboanga
Malaysian imports such as Apollo wafers and Maggi Kari have become part of Zamboangueno food. If you want to sample spicy noodles in curry Malaysian style, then you may buy some of these Maggi Kari packs before going home.
Where: Canelar Barter Trade Center
The signature dish of Zamboanga City that you can find at the most popular local restaurant in the city, Alavar Seafood Restaurant; Curacha, or the red frog crabs is a must try. For just 1K, you can get a kilo of cooked curacha bathed in its unique Alavar sauce.
Where: Alavar Seafood Restaurant, Tetuan, Zamboanga City
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