The Mercato Report – Friday, February 3, 2012

Every so often, Team Hurry up the Cakes ventures off to the mostly-first-class land of Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, to partake in the weekly celebration of gluttony, revelry, and sheer hedonism that is the Midnight Mercato food fair.

A few hours after Char and I had dinner the other night, we decided to go to Serendra/Bonifacio High Street at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, to have dessert at our new favorite gelato place, Gelatissimo.

Typically, though, we decided to walk to Mercato Centrale instead for their Midnight Market and grab a post-dinner bite. Well, I had dinner. Char just watched me eat.

Right next to Mercato is a new pro-turf Soccer field which, I must admit, gave a nice, warm, “community” vibe to the al fresco smokey-barbecue atmosphere of the Midnight Market. Brilliant real estate move by Bonifacio Global City, as it certainly adds value to an already-popular location.

Soccer! The new (old) hipster sport!

Instead of doing a Mercato Classic Tour (one person finds a table and waits, while the others go and buy food), we decided to take Mercato Express, which meant that we just keep walking around and eating, without a table.

First nibble of the evening was Bale Dutung‘s sublime Lechon Wrap. It’s crispy lechon flakes, with onions, cilantro, tomatoes, and a salty/sweet sauce, wrapped in tortilla. The cilantro colored a beautiful contrast to the crispy, heavy, tasty, flavors of the wrap filling. It’s my new Mercato favorite.

Lechon wrap.


Next up, we had Chinque‘s Inasal Chicken butts, with SEVEN butts on a stick. You usually can’t go wrong with this, but after a heavy, greasy, crispy lechon wrap, somehow pure chicken fat and skin on a stick would only be a good idea if served with a substantial amount of starchy staple.

Chicken fat on a stick. Lovely.

Unfortunately, I decided to order Cuisiniers‘s Roast Beef, which was delicious and tender during the taste test, but was overwhelming when served. Still, the sheer volume of roast beef is good deal at Php130.

Looked good, tasted good

Looked okay, tasted the same, but that's a packed box of beef.

We ended our Mercato Express tour with our favorites at Merry Moo Ice Cream/Gelato: scoops of Strawberry Basil and Milo flavored ice cream, best consumed while walking in cozy weather.

Both flavors looked the same in this light. But isn't it pretty?

Overall, a good food evening.