Currently, the Philippines has 7641 beautiful islands. These islands are rich in culture, different beliefs, and of course delectable food. The recipes may vary from the traditional ones to fusion cuisines. And in order to try all the specialties from different regions, you really need to travel all around the country.
But there is one food hall that offers authentic Filipino cuisines made available to all guests– Islas Pinas.
Islas Pinas is a food hall located at the ground floor of DoubleDragon Plaza, DD Meridian Park, Pasay City. This is a food and heritage village that showcases different cuisines from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao and had a soft opening last June 8, 2018.
The outlet is divided in 5 zones, Vernacular Area, Heritage, Urban, Ocean Region, and the Mountainous Region.
Upon entering the area, you will be welcomed by the okir carvings on the store’s wall. Okir are patterns found in many muslim arts. Accordingly, this area is inspired by the pre-colonization period of the Philippines.
The store offers food sets they call “sinag” and “alamat”. Sinag which means “ray of light” that represents the all-day Filipino breakfast just like tapsilog. And alamat, traditional folkloric stories or customs that represent regional dishes.
The heritage zone is inspired by Vigan’s famous Calle Crisologo. All cuisines that are usually sold in a bilao like pansit (fried noodles), puto (rice cake) are available here. They also sell fresh bread in the panaderya (bakery) area.
This is maybe my favorite part of the food hall, the urban zone. The area where you can find your favorite “tusok-tusok” or street food. For only PhP 20.00, you can either buy set of fish ball, squid ball, or kikiam. The usual buko juice that you can see in streets of Metro Manila is ready on the side.
OCEAN ZONE (Pampang)
As of the moment, ocean zone is still under construction and will be available in few months time. Basically, this zone will offer live seafood that is available for customized food request. You will get to enjoy eating in their “balangay” (plank boat) inspired dining area.
The mountainous zone is obviously inspired from the high areas of the Philippines. This will serve as a dining space for the guests who prefer an elevated place.
Islas Pinas offers not just a good Filipino food but also the Philippine’s most recognized landmarks. There is the rice terraces amphitheater for cultural activities and performances, a life-sized bahay kubo and chocolate hills dining area, Vigan and Paoay church inspired food hall, a jeepney and sari-sari store in the urban zone.
The outlet has a generous space that can accommodate up to 700 guests. And what’s unique about Islas Pinas is they have a souvenir shop just inside the area that sells Filipino products. It’s more like a memorable dining for all the guests when they buy stuff inside the shop.
For the payment, Islas Pinas adopts a some sort of cashless system. If you tried dining in Thailand’s food courts, this is somewhat like the same payment scheme that is being applied in the outlet. Upon entering the hall, you need to get a card that will serve as your money when buy food from different stalls. And when you’re done, you need to surrender the card to the cashier just located in the exit and pay for the food you consumed.
All cuisines in Islas Pinas represent the whole country from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The menu was created by chef Margarita Forés, 2016 Asia’s Best Female Chef.
Since the outlet believes that the authentic Filipino food comes from the household, they approached chefs and home cooks from different regions in the country to brainstorm for the restaurant’s menus and recipes. With this, we can say that Islas Pinas indeed showcases culture, tradition, and heritage through food and experience.
Overall, though the hall is still not complete, the outlet’s operation is fully working to give a warm welcome to the guests. Moreover, all guests are assured with the freshness and authenticity of all cuisines available at Islas Pinas.
Disclaimer: This feature is not sponsored by Islas Pinas.