Episode 69: Abra Miki ni Nanay – Enjoying hot, authentic noodles (sort of) straight from Abra

We’ve heard of efforts to bring to a large foodie audience authentic bagnet, authentic Cebu lechon, authentic La Paz batchoy, and other authentic (read: tastes as if you’re eating the dish in its hometown) Filipino dishes, but Abra Miki is probably the newest in my books.

Abra Miki is, well, Abra province’s version of the locos Region’s popular pancit miki. This is made of miki noodles and pork broth flavored by annatto seeds (atsuete). Abra Miki is said to be so popular, the local government celebrated its first Miki Festival in Bangued in 2011, partly to promote the dish, but most of all to use pancit miki as a leverage to open Abra for tourists.

Luckily for us in Metro Manila, we don’t have to go all the way to Abra just to eat pancit miki. The team of “Foods Tayo” recently visited Abra Miki ni Nanay, a small restaurant in Quezon City that takes pride in serving authentic Abra miki.

Abra Miki ni Nanay, which opened this April, is the brainchild of TV host Boy Abunda and his friends. The owners say most of the ingredients are sourced straight from Abra to maintain the dish’s authentic taste and texture.

The restaurant’s best seller is called the “Super Special Miki.” At P50, you’re treated to a big bowl of miki noodle soup topped with chicharon, pork bits, and a hard-boiled egg. This is best eaten with Pan de Limon, a local bread, and cookies called Abra Masa Podria.

The noodles are firm and chewy, and quite filling. The soup is made salty and savory by the mix of chicharon and pork broth. They also have sukang Iloko, chili, and soy sauce for those who want even more flavor in their noodles.

Here’s another interesting fact about the “Super Special Miki”: it’s the biggest noodle variety in the restaurant, and it can be shared among three persons, which gives one an idea how filling this pancit miki is. (Rice, please?) Also, it seems news crews from TV5 and other stations flock to the restaurant at times to have dinner there.

Just a tip, though: Abra Miki ni Nanay opens late in the afternoon, and the places fills up with customers quite quickly, so coming early or patiently waiting in line is a must. That’s okay, enjoying a big bowl of Abra’s pancit miki is worth the wait.

Abra Miki ni Nanay
No. 28 K-J Street, Kamias, Quezon City
Monday to Sunday, 5:00pm to 2:00am
Tel. No. 0915-5316970


To learn more about “Foods Tayo,” visit:
News5 Everywhere http://n5e.interaksyon.com/

To have a behind-the-scenes look at what we’re up to (and for some hardcore food porn), visit:
My Instagram account @unlimitedgrubgrabs
My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Unlimited-Grub-Grabs/205718846136461


Side Story – Foods Tayo

Last August I joined TV5’s newest noontime news program, “Aksyon sa Tanghali,” anchored by Raffy Tulfo and Cherie Mercado. It’s a program targeting housewives, workers, commuters, and other viewers having their lunch break, but that’s not what I’m supposed to talk about.

Instead, let me divert your attention to one of our program’s segments, “Foods Tayo.”

The idea of “Foods Tayo” is to introduce tasty dishes and unique food ideas that can be bought at affordable prices. Featured topics include specialty shops, food establishments, and twists to mainstream Filipino and foreign dishes.

The segment takes the form of a silent movie starring the host, feature reporter Roda Magnaye. The formula is actually simple: Roda visits a restaurant or shop, watches the featured dish being prepared, eats the stuff, and gives her critique.

We’ve visited over a dozen restaurants already, and so far the segment itself has had some sort of a following. It helps that the places we visit are those with sought-after dishes, such as affordable kebabs, unique versions of Filipino delicacies, heart-breaking (read: juicy, crispy, and fatty)crispy pata, and all-day breakfast meals.

Yeah, that includes the hilariously-named “Talong Mo Kay Tulfo,” overstuffed eggplant omelette, among other things, but that’s another story.

So what exactly am I doing in this segment, you may ask? “Aside from seeking out places to feature, I help in providing insight on the featured dishes, such as the taste, texture, and presentation.

Incidentally, they’re more knowledgeable about seeking out food than I do, since they have a bigger information network when it comes to this stuff.

I also help advertise the places we visit in my own little way, such as this blog, and my social media posts. That’s why at certain parts of the week, I bombard my Facebook page with pictures of our escapades.

One more thing: “Foods Tayo” has this little skit in between, where I play as Roda’s love interest. Part of the planning is thinking of ways for me to impress and woo and show the world how much I love Roda. My efforts, however, always end up with hilarious results.

On a personal note, playing the lovesick suitor is tough for a tsun-tsun like me, I may say, and I admit I’m doing poorly. “Umaarte na nga lang ako,” to put it bluntly. Maybe I should aspire to be like Michael V or Tado and take up comedy acting lessons.

Showbiz work aside, working on “Foods Tayo” is a wake-up call for me as a food writer. There’s a lot of new restaurants and dishes to be discovered, and I hope to take advantage of my piggybacking on the crew’s food-hunting to help the news program, and the places we feature.

To learn more about “Foods Tayo,” visit:
News5 Everywhere http://n5e.interaksyon.com/

To have a behind-the-scenes look at what we’re up to (and for some hardcore food porn), visit:
My Instagram account @unlimitedgrubgrabs
My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Unlimited-Grub-Grabs/205718846136461

Episode 68: A Silly and Spicy Time at Silly Labuyo (and how my food blogging antics were exposed)

My cover is officially blown.

For the longest time, I’ve dined quietly and made little critiques here and there of the restaurants I’ve visited and the dishes I’ve tried.

It helps that after almost five years, Unlimited Grub Grabs remains a virtual unknown in the food blogging community. (Seriously though, I’m having a hard time sustaining a food blogger’s lifestyle, but that’s another story.)

Despite being a food critic, I do have my favorites. One such place is Silly Labuyo, a small restaurant along the Greenfield District, just across Shangri-La Mall at Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong.

I usually eat my breakfast at Silly Labuyo when I have time to spare before work.  My favorite meal there is the Crispy Bacon breakfast meal, with an extra order of garlic fried rice.

I’ve also tried their Corned Beef and Bangus breakfast meals, though in the end I still end up eating the Crispy Bacon. It helps that they serve free coffee with their breakfast meals, so it’s a fulfilling meal all in all. Besides, hello? Bacon?

At one point I made it a habit to have lunch as well at Silly Labuyo. I frequently ordered their Bulalo Batangas, a big, hearty bowl of the classic beef bulalo, or the Atomic Chicken, the devastatingly crispy grandchild of the crispy fried chicken.  The bulalo soup is thick and beefy, while the chicken is crunchier and more appetizing than your usual chicken meal.

I’ve also tried their Lamb Stew, the fatty and juicy cousin of the typical caldereta (besides, lamb), Adobong Kambing, and the saucy and tender Bronco Beef Ribs.

The common denominator in Silly Labuyo is that there’s always a hint of spiciness in each of their dishes (except the bulalo, in which case you can always crush a piece of siling labuyo to give it the kick you expect). Also, the servings are deceivingly small, but they’re so filling that you’ll want a lot of rice – and water – with your meal.

One day, a TV5 crew dropped by to make a feature story on Silly Labuyo. One of them was me.

The crew, headed by our feature reporter Roda Magnaye, met with the manager, Ms. Allen Aragones, to talk about Silly Labuyo’s dishes. It was then that they found out about me being their very frequent customer and all. Whoops, they finally know about me.

Anyway, we featured some of Silly Labuyo’s best-sellers and new dishes, such as the Crispy Dinuguan, the Super Dynamite (hot chili fingers with mozzarella cheese fillings), Bicol XXXPress (Bicol Express, duh), and the Belly Crackers (crispy chicken skin).

We also had a behind-the-scenes look at how the dishes (especially the Super Dynamite) are made. Everything is actually made fresh, and the cooking and waiting time is reasonable.

And then there’s the Wotda Duck, sizzling and saucy native duck served primarily as pulutan. The duck is plump, tender and meaty, and it coats your tongue with a tasty, fatty juice that leaves one craving for more of the damn bird.

Silly Labuyo now serves desserts too, courtesy of the adjacent Flour Power Bakeshop. It’s a 70s-themed small space that’s on its soft opening, which serves freshly baked cakes and pastries.

It’s nice to know that Silly Labuyo is open 24 hours a day, which makes it a perfect place to satisfy your cravings for something tasty and spicy. They also serve beer, so expect to see a group or two of yuppies with their beer towers especially in the morning.

By the way, the last time I had breakfast at Silly Labuyo, the staff were all smiles upon seeing me. “Uy, Sir Mark, may itinatago ka palang lihim sa amin, ha? Taga-TV5 ka pala!” they said.

I also remembered that Roda has outed me as a food blogger.


I’ll explain what I was doing with the TV5 crew at a later post.