Taking a trip to the Philippines can be hard. Taking a trip down Bloomfield Avenue to Taste of Philippines is easy.
The first thing I tried at Taste of Philippines was the Spam Fries. Yes, you may be thinking “Spam?!?”
But I will tell you it was much more delicious than it sounds. Unlike regular french fries, spam fries are meatier and have a tasty pork flavor. They are also thick, crispy, and accompanied by an assortment of fun sauces for dipping.
Another first for me was a drink called Sago’t Gualaman (ordered it after seeing so many people in the restaurant drinking it). Imagine a very sweet drink with a bubblegum flavor. It featured tapioca pearls and gelatin balls, giving it a unique texture, similar to bubble tea.
Next up, was the entree course, and I tried a dish called Adobosilog, choosing the chicken option. It was a delicious stew packed with flavor and tender chicken in sauce, that came with two scoops of rice and two fried eggs. The other entree dish I tried was Tinapasilog, a Filipino smoked milk fish, served with eggplant, rice, eggs, and bagoong (a fermented fish condiment). The dish was served with yummy sides that complemented the smokiness of the fish.
For dessert, I tried Halo Halo, a popular Filipino dessert consisting of crushed ice, sweetened bean paste, taro ice cream, pieces of flan, evaporated milk, coconut stripes, and Fruity Pebbles to top it off. The best spoonful was one that had all the ingredients at once! Though it sounds super sweet, the ice cream and bean paste were more neutral, and that helped me justify completely indulging in the dessert. It was refreshing and a perfect way to end the meal!
You have to TRY the spam fries. I promise, they will surprise you!
You can’t go wrong with the traditional milk fish!
The Halo Halo was delish, but you may also want to try a dessert that has Ube in it, a very traditional Filipino ingredient.
Taste of Philippines, 148 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair, 862-213-3627. Hour: Monday – Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Georgia Chen is a junior at Montclair High School. Here’s $20 Bucks explores affordable and adventurous eats around town for students.