Filipinos eat all the time. If I count the number of times I set aside daily to grab onto something to eat, I can count at least six. One of these meals is Merienda Cena. I don’t know what this Spanish phrase meant but when I googled it, I found someone claiming that it’s equivalent to high tea. I somewhat agree with that definition but high tea usually consists of pastries and very light meals, for me a Merienda can occasionally be a heavier than the pastries and biscuits that the English serve for high tea.
You may ask what I might want to have for Merienda Cena. Let me illustrate that by talking you through my latest visit to C2 Classic cuisine at Rockwell.
C2 is the place that I go to when I want to have a go on Filipino dishes but prepared with French culinary techniques. They have mostly been successful in experimenting with traditional Filipino dishes. Here are my favorites from their menu:
1. Their Lumpiang Sariwa – It’s what you may call the equivalent of an open faced sandwich. They don’t wrap the vegetables inside the lumpia wrapper. Instead – they fry the lumpia wrapper into chips and serve them on the side.
2. Tokwa’t Baboy – I have always liked Tokwa – but I always order eat without it’s partner: pork. It’s mainly because of the part that is usually used for it – which are the pigs ears. I don’t like cartilage. C2’s version is what I prefer – they use fried pork belly.
3. Capeng Barako – they serve it with Polvoron ( but I still prefer my mom’s recipe ). They also give you condensed milk to use as a sweetener and creamer for this traditional coffee from Batangas. The way it’s served is a fusion of Filipino and Vietnamese coffee experience – especially when you pour the condensed milk and it settles at the bottom.
4. Biko Barako – I like Biko – especially when it has a lot of latik on top. For the C2 version –they infused the lowly rice cake with molten hazelnut. Definitely a must try.
5. Satay Bagnet – this one is a mixture of Malay and Ilocano. I love satay sauce – and I think I have already demonstrated my love for crispy pork belly. I think this is the third dish with pork belly in it. So when I saw this on the Menu – I knew I just had to try it. I’m happy that I did.
6. Bibingka Souffle – I dedicated one whole entry for this previously and I am highlighting it again. This dessert I think is a good demo of what the Cravings group can deliver when they combine our home-grown cooking technique and the French culinary technique.
These are my favorite merienda dishes. Do you have a list of your favorite dishes you’d care to share?