Eid’l Adha is coming up on Monday, September 12, which is why most of us are enjoying a long weekend ahead. For Muslims in the Philippines and all over the world, this day commemorates the end of the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca. It also honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to obey Allah.
Learning about Muslim holidays piqued my interest in halal cuisine, food enjoyed by Filipino Muslims. As a refresher, halal cuisine is a type of food that is ritually slaughtered and deemed fit to eat for Muslims.
For a while I thought I would not find a specialty restaurant that serves halal food, much less one that has a Filipino flavor to it. My search eventually led me to Dulang Restaurant, a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Ermita, Manila.
Dulang’s menu consists mostly of Tausug and Malaysian specialties that are delicious, filling, and affordable. Some that I tried so far are the beef korma (spicy beef stew), spicy vegetables in coconut milk, mi goreng (Malaysian noodles), and their version of suman sa latik for dessert, among others. I have yet to try their other Tausug specialties, such as the Tiyula’ Itum (black soup), and kahawa or native coffee.
Traditionally, Muslims go to a mosque on Eid’l Adha for prayers, and sacrifice a live animal (such as a goat, cow, or sheep) for feasting. They share at least a third of the sacrificed meat to the poor. Those who can’t afford a live animal just buy generous portions of meat.
The last time I came across Dulang was during the previous Eid’l Fitr (end of Ramadan). As expected, the place was filled with Muslims and other local patrons who choose to dine in the restaurant. The situation was the same when I visited Dulang recently. Come to think of it, the restaurant is a favorite among job hunters and workers from neighboring offices.
Dulang is not just a place to enjoy halal food, but also to appreciate the cuisine of our brothers and sisters from Mindanao. A trip to Ermita is in order if you want to try out something uniquely Filipino.
1313 M. Adriatico St. corner Padre Faura