Man Eats: Surigao del Sur

During our Butuan trip, we took a road trip to the Britania Group of Islands in Surigao del Sur.

The Britania Group of Islands is composed of over a dozen islands and islets off the coast of Lianga Bay facing the Pacific Ocean.

It was a easy 2 hour drive to the Barangay Britania docks in San Agustin where we rented a couple of bangkas to take us island hopping. The 2 hour travel time included a short stop in a wet market near the docks where we bought some freshly caught fish, liempo (pork belly), and other stuff we needed for lunch on one of the islands.

After a short 10 minute boat ride from the docks, we arrived in Bonbon island, the biggest islet in the group.

Bonbon Island

While some of us swam, and some of us slept, lunch was being prepared for us. This is the life!

We ate these…

Inihaw na Gangis - a type of Unicorn Fish
Inihaw na Liempo
Sinugba + Kinilaw = Sinuglaw.
Utensils optional.
Mr. Barracuda, I'm gonna eat you before you eat me.

…with a view like this…

Like Bourdain said, food tastes better with sand between your toes.

After cleaning up our area, we hopped on the bangka to head off to another island.

We rode Janeth aaaaall daaaaay loooong!
Hagonoy Island

The sand on Hagonoy Island was much finer than Bonbon Island. Since we had to be back in Butuan by nightfall and didn’t have much time island hopping, we decided to spend the rest of our day here throwing back some cold ones.

My favorite saint.

On our way back to the dock, we passed by some of the other islands and islets. Beautiful!

Boslon Island
Twin Islands
Another island...

Kain. Tulog. Inom. They should have named this place the Babuyan Islands instead.

I love this place.

Man Eats: Butuan

Hi ho, hi ho, off to Butuan I go.

Left early Saturday morning and got to Butuan just in time for…lunch at Tito Ben’s house! Yay!

Lechon + Kinilaw + Rice
I ♥ you, lechon!
Don't be jealous. I ♥ you just as much, kinilaw!

For dessert, what else but…


To be honest, I never really cared much for this freaky fruit and this was the first time I really tried Durian. With an open mind and a full stomach, I just grabbed a whole seed and bit into the creamy flesh. I was surprised to find myself really enjoying it. It’s an acquired taste if you can get past the smell, I guess. But to those who really love it (ie. Butuanons), the hunt for the perfect, sweetest Durian is like the search for the Holy Grail. That is if the Holy Grail had an odor.

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the nearby streets with the cousins and swimming in the hotel pool with Ro.

After a quick nap, we went back to Tito Ben’s for dinner where they served…leftovers?!?

Fried Lechon. Award!

YES!!! If there was an award for “Best Use of Leftovers,” Fried Lechon would definitely win. Twice.

Haven’t tried it? It’s quite simple, really. Just chop up your leftover lechon (meat, ribs, bones, ears, trotters, everything!) and marinate it with toyo (soy sauce) and calamansi. After letting it sit for a while, strain and deep fry the motherf*cker. Enjoy!

The next day, we took a road trip to the Britania Islands in Surigao del Sur. Check out the post here.

Got back to Butuan the same day in time for dinner where we had Wawa’s Adobo (mmm…garlicky) with Tita Susan’s crushed tomato sawsawan, which she learned in Pampanga. Sorry, was too tired from the long drive and didn’t have the energy to take pics of these.

Monday, we had a big Calo gathering in Tito Ben’s house (yes, everything happens in Tito Ben’s house) for Wawa’s and Tito Boy’s death anniversary mass.

I miss them both.

Of course, where there are Calos, there’s food.


And what would a family gathering in Butuan be like without, you guessed it, lechon!

Crackling Porktastic!
Ribs first, meat later.

Butuan has the best lechon in the Philippines! Yeah, I said it. Bourdain, you’ve been misled and we would gladly have you over to try the best roast pig you’ve never had.

Spent the rest of the afternoon swimming with Ro and hanging out with the cousins. Some of the girls were craving for kakanin so we had Pichi-Pichi and Bibingka.

Arny would leave Dading for this.
Bibingka made from rice flour.

Dinner that night were the crabs that were featured in Amy Besa’s Ang Sariling Atin birthday lunch.

No utensils required.

Of course, no trip to Butuan would be complete without a stopover at Margie’s Kitchen.

Life is your dessert first.

See you next year, Butuan!

Man Eats: Hong Kong – Day 4

On our last day in Hong Kong, we decided to have lunch in Nagoya, a Japanese restaurant we found during our last trip here.

2/F Miramar Shopping Center, Tsim Sha Tsui

Nagoya serves the usual fare you’d expect from a Japanese restaurant.

Stuff like…

Uni Sushi


Shakedon with Ikura

But what makes us come back is this…

Foie Gras Sushi
HK$55 for 2 pcs. Not bad!

I’m gonna miss you, Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong skyline at night

Until the next food trip…

Man Eats: Hong Kong – Day 3

The itinerary for our Hong Kong trip included hitting the Citygate Outlets in Tung Chung on Saturday.

But then, while killing time in Silvercord Mall on Friday (Banana was in H&M mode), I luckily spotted this…

The newest addition to the Ippudo family.

I’ve heard so much about Ippudo NY from my family but I’ve never tried it. It’s better than Momofuku pa daw.

So, sorry shopping but good food always comes first.

Luckily for us, Ippudo HK in Silvercord Mall was on soft opening the week we were there. They were officially set to open on July 18.

Blessed be those who walk through these doors...
Are you ready?
Two orders of Page 1 and an order of Page 2, please.

The starters…

Gyoza Dumplings
Noodle Salad with Japanese Style Dressing
Crispy Chicken with Sweet Sauce

The mains…

BBQ Pork Buns. Wild!
Akamaru Shinaji. Best ramen evaaaaaar!

And I want one of these for the house…

I want!

My family always told me that Ippudo was good. They didn’t tell me it was THIS good.

Ippudo NY. Ippudo SG. Ippudo HK. Ippudo PH. Please?

After a lunch like that, you wouldn’t really be thinking about dinner, right? YOU wouldn’t. I would. Especially if dinner was at BLT Burger in Ocean Terminal.

BLT Burger is the latest addition to Chef Laurent Tourondel’s BLT empire — which includes the flagship BLT Steak, BLT Prime, and BLT Fish.

While it may be just a burger joint, it's the best burger joint out there.

You can check out their Hong Kong menu here.

Banana had the BLT Burger, which is a 7oz. grilled Certified Angus Beef burger with double smoked bacon, lettuce, onions, tomatoes and BLT Burger sauce with fat fries on the side.

The BLT Burger

I had the Australian Wagyu Burger with American cheese, which is a 7oz. grilled Ningaloo Farm Australian Wagyu beef burger with lettuce, onions, and tomatoes, topped with melted American cheese with skinny fries on the side.

The Australian Wagyu Burger
Go ahead, make out with your computer screen. I won't judge.

Of course, no burger joint experience would be complete without a milkshake.

Monkey Business = Chocolate Ice Cream + Peanut Butter + Banana

Can you say Best Saturday Ever?

Man Eats: Hong Kong – Day 2

Woke up at 7am Friday morning to eat lunch. Yes, lunch.

Got to Tim Ho Wan in Mongkok at 9:20am thinking that nobody was crazy enough to be there that early.


Apparently, there are even bigger fans of Tim Ho Wan than me. 36 of them, in fact.

This was our place in line at 9:20 am!

This was the line by 9:45am. Tim Ho Wan opens at 10am, by the way.

See the blue parking post? That's our spot in line.

From the opposite angle, you can see that the line had already turned the corner.

15 more minutes to opening...

People in line were all given menu checklists so that we could just hand them over to the girl at the door when we entered. No need to order inside. Saves them and us a lot of time. Thank God there was a checklist with English translation.

First seating was at 10am and, since the place was tiny, we were given numbers (we were #8) and asked to come back after 30 minutes.

After killing time in Mannings and 7-Eleven, we went back to Tim Ho Wan to wait another 20 minutes.

I love you, Tim!
The cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world.

By the time we got in, they were already handing out #32 and were asking people to come back in 2 hours!

Finally seated at around 11am, our orders didn’t take too long to arrive. Thank you, checklist!

First to arrive were the Steamed Fresh Shrimp Dumplings and Steamed Pork Dumplings with Shrimp.


But we didn’t wake up at 7am and wait in the rain for an hour and a half for these.

We came here for this…

Hello, Baked Buns with BBQ Pork. We meet again!
Always worth the wait. Always.

And this…

Fried Noodles with Soya Sauce

All those PLUS 6 more orders of Baked Buns with BBQ Pork to take home only amounted to…

Cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant indeed.

That’s less than P1,000. Cheap eats rule!

By noon we were done with lunch. Went around Mongkok and Prince Edward a bit to burn off some of the calories…Hahahaha! Just kidding. Banana wanted to go shopping.

Got back to the hotel around 4pm to rest and dress up for dinner with the HK Pinedas.

Dinner was in Wan Chai in a restaurant called Fook Lam Moon where the specialty of the house is Suckling Pig. Yes, baboy na naman.


As we ordered, the waitress told us that they had already ran out of the Suckling Pig and we should have informed them when we made the reservation. After some begging and pleading, the kitchen finally agreed to prepare another Suckling Pig for us. Unfortunately, we would have to wait an hour. That’s fine.

A garoupa dish, a beef dish, and a bottle of wine later (around 30 minutes), the Suckling Pig was ready.

One pig to four people sounds like good math to me.

Capped the day off with dessert and more wine and beer in Lan Kwai Fong with the Pinedas.

Man Eats: Hong Kong – Day 1

Well hello, Hong Kong. I’ve missed you.

Flight arrived around 10:30am and got to the hotel around noon. They said that the room won’t be ready until 1pm.

That’s fine.

Let’s eat!

Had lunch at Tonkichi at The One Mall in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Tonkichi...where everything is fried.

For starters, we had the Fried Soft Shell Crab with Ponzu Sauce. I would come back just for this.

Fried Soft Shell Crab with Ponzu Sauce

Mains were Rosu Katsu (Pork Loin) and Fried Oysters.

Rosu Katsu
DIY Sauce. Fun!
Fried Oysters

Loved the unlimited side salad with seaweed dressing too.

Got back to the hotel after lunch to finish checking-in. Rested a bit. Shopped a bit.

Time for dinner. Yay!

Dinner was in some hole-in-the-wall restaurant that served the usual roastings.

Crispy Roast Pork - Baboy na naman!
Ginger Sauce goes with anything.

Walked around a bit after dinner and had a couple of beers in a bar right across the hotel.

The Hoegaarden glass is as big as my head.

Decided to call it a day at around 11pm.

Have to wake up early to fall in line, you know…