The grub up north: Commonwealth StrEAT Part II



Visiting a food park once will never be enough, there are a handful of stalls to try and a mouthful of tastes to discover. Cake and I visited Commonwealth StrEAT thrice, and on our last visit we decided to cap our food adventure with (goblets of) margarita.



   OZAWA   
Budget: P140-P165




Their Noritako is a different take on your usual sushi roll. A crispy, wafer-thin taco shell is followed by nori and sushi rice, topped with a choice of crunchy karaage (chicken) or beef tenderloin steak, julienned carrots and drizzled with Japanese mayo.
Don’t bother using the chopsticks that came with it. Instead, put your hands to good use. Its generous meat and chewy Japanese rice will more than make up for the messiness. Make sure you wash it down with their raspberry iced tea slush that’s big enough to share.


   HUE CAFE   
Budget: P80-P175



Hue Café has a whimsical take on desserts. Bird’s Nest has an interesting plating as a meringue bowl held a single scoop of vanilla ice cream—and it’s not an ordinary cold treat—rich and thick, like it were that fancy Madagascar vanilla ice cream (It was legit!). The extra crunch of the meringue with the sweetness is the very definition of “foodgasm.”
Dark Saturn Mad Frappe’s visual alone will make you think of galactic sculptures  in museums. It is covered by a gigantic cloud of cotton candy and topped by a dome made of Belgian chocolate. To further play up the planetary theme, star-shaped cereals were placed on the cotton candy, like orbiting celestial bodies. The drink is more of an ice-blended treat than the ice-cream-based milkshake of your childhood.
   ROCCOS   
Budget: P175-P200



A little thin for your typical steak, but their T-bone offering is fair for the price. The meat is tender (although becomes a bit tough along the fat trimmings). You have the option of choosing between the classic and rosemary recipes. It comes with buttery gravy that you’d love to drown your whole meal in.
Their best-selling all-meat pizza lacked the herbed savory taste of a tomato-based sauce. It has a generous mixture of cheese and different kinds of Italian meat in a handmade artisanal crust.
   MALIWAN THAI KITCHENS   
Budget: P70-P200


This food truck kitchen has sweeter-than-usual Thai creations. Although the classic Pad Thai leans on the sweet side, if you’re into spicy delicacies, it has a hot peppery kick you’ll love even if you go for the mild spiciness option.
The Thai premium milk tea has a difficult taste to replicate and find locally, but their version is close to the ones you’ll find in random Bangkok streets—although their concoction seems to have more condensed milk.
   SNOOZE BAR   
Budget: P130-P350

Welcome to your neighborhood watering hole. Cap your barkada night at StrEAT with their wide selection of local beers (which you can also take home), Beergerita (different flavored frozen margaritas served with an upside-down bottle of Smule or beer in the large goblet) or a fishbowl cocktail of spiced and white rum with slices of strawberry and lemon called Storm Trooper.
Then munch on Cheesy Meat Onion Rings and Time Bombs (aka the street favorite “dynamite,” jalapeño stuffed with cheese) as you try to keep sober.
   SCHIMDTS GOURMET HOTDOGS   
Budget: P120-P220

The newest addition to the StrEAT lineup promises you the world—at least, a taste of it. The champ among their gourmet hotdogs is still undoubtedly the classic Coney Island Chili Dog with the tried-and-tested combination of homemade chili (add more chili to your servings, please!), cheese, jalapeño, onions and sour cream.
For Japanese cuisine fans, give Wagamama a chance. Schimdt’s hotdogs have a slight smoky taste while their buns are tasty and soft. (Tip: You can actually inform them if you like your bread a little bit more toasted than usual.)

Written with Cake Evangelista. This post was originally published 
on Inquirer Super on Dec. 11, 2016

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