Best Filipino Food - 2006
Mango Bay Philippine Cuisine
A fluorescent-lit, Formica-edged food court is an unexpected place to find delicious examples of adobo, kare-kare, and deep-fried bangus, but these and other Filipino specialties are proffered daily, cafeteria-style, at Mango Bay, an unprepossessing establishment adjoining Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and Mexican eateries of identical ambience. Reflecting the cuisine's focus on vinegar, tamarind, lime, and other sour-salty flavors, Mango Bay's chicken adobo marinated, boiled, fried, and sautéed until falling-off-the-bone luscious is a bracing delight. Ditto the bangus, a quickly fried whitefish that's sweet and moist inside, crunchy and savory outside, and served with hard-boiled quail eggs and sweet, crisp snow peas. Other dishes include typically bountiful stews of tongue, tripe, oxtail, and eggplant as well as paella (the Spanish ruled the islands for four centuries, after all) plus fried banana rolls for dessert. Condiment bottles of patis, the Filipino fish sauce, are on hand to enhance your meal, and there are copies of Manila Today scattered about to keep one abreast of developments abroad.