Steamed Crab in Chili Sauce
at Harbor View Restaurant
with Lee Y and Kim H
For the final meal of my third trip to the Philippines, I wanted to keep it local but a bit more upscale than what I'd been getting. Thus far, my experiences with Philippine food had either been in a shopping mall, on the street, from a fast food joint, or at a resort. A quick internet search pointed to Harbor View Restaurant, an establishment on a pier overlooking Manila Harbor. Some reviews warned that it was overpriced, and that was even better, because I was feeling good from the work that we'd accomplished over the past couple days, and I was way under budget on my per diem (see cheapass hotel below), so I had money to spend and well-earned enthusiasm with which to spend it. I invited two Korean WHO staffers working with me on the project.
The view from my seat.
kangkong adobo (3.5)
We had a great time. The restaurant itself wasn't quite as upscale as hoped, more along the lines of a casual seafood shack with paper napkins and disposable chopsticks. For some of the menu items, like the fresh-from-the-tank goodies sold by the gram, the prices could be regarded as pricey, especially by local standards. The one crab that we ordered came out to 1400 pesos (about US$34), more than twice what I'd paid for all my other meals during the past couple days combined. But it was very good--huge chunks of sweet meat drowned in a gorgeous garlicky soy-chili sauce. It felt like money well spent to hear the squeals of joy at every bite from my dining companions, two young women who claimed that they hadn't enjoyed such a delightful meal since they'd been assigned to Manila. Oh, thank you, Professor Hahm! The magnificent views of the harbor and city skyline at dusk didn't hurt.
Casa Bocobo Hotel, located just 3 blocks from WHO.
Fortunately, I got a free upgrade to this huge deluxe room (from the "petite" that I'd reserved).
At US$34 per night, it came with a view of the city.