Cubao is a fantastic place for good eats, but there are no surprises in food courts. The better food courts are up in Gateway, but the food courts downstairs at Farmers’ Market are places I have not visited yet. Needless to say, the picture above gives you a good idea of at least one meal that costs 81 pesos.
Worst dinner ever? I’ve had gloop before – mostly in the form of cafeteria food and college canteen food – but Farmers’ Market gloop has to take the cake for perhaps the worst gloop I have ever had in months. For a place that apparently has something to do with Chinese cooking, the presence of ketchup was enough for me to consider just eating the food and not enjoying it one bit.
Don’t get me wrong: I love gloop as much as the next guy, as long as it’s sold – and named – as ulam, sold at a fairly reasonable price, and has to look exactly like the plastic replicas they have on display. I was supposed to have lechon paksiw and garlic fried chicken, but what I had was a mess of fatty, brown, microwave-reheated crap that, if you’re a culinary masochist, you’ll probably like. I have had better hospital food.
Let’s start with the gloop that is lechon paksiw. Needless to say, it’s terrible. I understand extenders of lightly-fried tofu added to the mix, but the sauce doesn’t have to be as runny as that of fresh adobo or, for all intents and purposes of a guess, watered-down sarsa. No, not freshly-rendered sauce made from liver and offal, but the stuff that come in bottles. Add some small pork bones to the mix, and you have… well, pretty much that. I love pork and pork fat as much as the next guy, but when you have the soggy depressing mass just floating around in a pool of gravy you cannot comprehend, you pass.
The garlic fried chicken was easier to understand: reheated precooked chicken breaded in seasoned flour, with the crust turning into floury garlic powder-flavored chicharon that totally sucks. It’s bigger than most fastfood chicken pieces, but upon closer inspection, the size of the chicken was made possible by a very thick crust with all sorts of coagulated chicken fat right under the skin, which probably dissolved from a full day of reheats.
About the only thing good in this overpriced, overcooked meal was the Coke, which was rather syrupy. That’s it. Madness in a food court? Definitely, always.