Gourmet - /goor-mey/: epicurean, gastronmist, foodie, lover of foods (noun) or loving food or finer things (adjective).
I happen to pass by Banilad Town Center (BTC) one Saturday afternoon while on my way home and a one streamer grabbed my attention; it says “Gourmet Street Food. Saturdays 10:00pm to 2:00am”. I patiently waited for that late night to come and know what it was all about.
I presupposed it was just a late night market of our all-time favorites cooked openly along the streets: charcoal-grilled pork or chicken barbeques, as well as other edible pork or chicken parts skewered on bamboo sticks. I was also thinking of tempura, the deep-fried orange-flour coated eggs, squidballs, and all the balls you can imagine. Or was it just another version of BGC’s Midnight Mercato that offers the same streetfoods but in a much cleaner and presentable way?
All sorts of warm meat pies. The big rectangular ones are lechon sisig pies.
My guess was totally off tangent. I was greeted by a fresh organic salad wrapped in nori, as well as a Choriburger on the first stall. The second stall was selling all the best warm meat pies, pastries and bread soup bowls. I was ecstatic when I saw cream puffs packed in fours, I was reminded of Dulcinea. The third one was selling their own version of the Korean kimbaps. Prices range from P50.00 – P100.00 per box or piece of goodies, not bad if you are just looking for something to fill your mouth (not your stomach).
Big Q's fresh salad offering, prepared right in front of you. This one is the Fern Gully Tempati, a luscious combination of local pako, urugula and lettuce.
Chori burger patty being grilled
This gathering of home-based businesses started over a month ago (October 2011). According to one of the food stall I chatted with, the late night food market was a hit to most of the late night entertainment goers (VUDU, and other restaurants that open late night) in BTC. I was a bit excited knowing that this fresh concept is now being tried in Cebu City. This is another good reason we should include BTC whenever we have late night food cravings (good news for those who eat a lot even during night time). This time, we will no longer be limited with fastfood and 24/7 convenience stores that have limited offerings.
Though an exact copy of Midnight Mercato, this is worth a try in our beloved city. With the opening of late night food market, this will eventually make Cebu City a destination for the select crowd who just love to make night a ‘day’. It is also a great venue for budding entrepreneurs to test their potential market. After all, we all deserve not just the usual foods the usual restaurants, fastfoods and streetside vendors have to offer.
I have tried the first stall’s organic salad wrap named “fern gully tempati” (sorry If I got the last word mispelled) in a very rich Japanese sauce. This light and healthy snack uses fresh salad greens with a unique twist ---it has “pako” or fresh edible fern shoots. The urugula added a different dimension on the taste, while the combination of three greens (romaine lettuce, urugula and pako) made the wrap crunchy even up to the last bite. The pako reminded me of my climbing days where it is abundant in any tropical forest. I have not seen any pako being sold in local supermarkets or public markets here in Cebu City. If you are lucky, you can buy a bundle of fresh pako during Sunday Market in BTC. Supply of pako came from Cantipla, somewhere in Ayala Heights in Trans Central Highway (going to Balamban). You too can make this simple snack, preparation is just a breeze. I have made the recipe by just mere observation on how it was prepared, see below.
FERN GULLY TIMPATI
What you need:
Leaves of Romaine lettuce
Leaves of Urugula
Few stalks of Pako
Few strips of ripe mango
2 pieces cooked shrimp, deveined
Few stalks of Chives for tying
For the dressing:
1 cup yoghurt
1/2 cup Cream Cheese
1 clove Garlic
1 tsp Lemon Juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp Lemon Juice
Salt and pepper to taste
How to prepare:
- Cut nori 3 inches tall by 5 inches wide. Place this in a flat surface. Wrapping is as simple as wrapping a spring roll, leaving only the other side open.
- For the filling, put a mixture of romaine and urugula leaves (3-4 inches in size). Top with pako.
- Put ripe mango strips on top, then roll nori. Make sure an inch of the filling is not covered by nori, and put an allowance at the bottom to seal it. Use the chives for tying.
- Insert shrimps at the top most of the wrap. The yellow mango strip and shrimp add a lovely color to this fresh salad wrap.
- To make the dressing, just combine all the ingredients and mix well. Then serve.
Note: you can use any versions of vainegrette you want. Enjoy eating!
Banilad Town Center