6 Dishes In Manila That Will Make You Go WTF


Competition in the local foodie scene is getting tougher and tougher by the day so it’s no surprise that restaurants are constantly coming up with new, unique dishes! But is there such a thing as pushing the envelope too far?

The restaurants on this list don’t seem to think so with their dishes that will make you go “WTF?!” at first sight! Are they worth trying? Read on and find out!

1. Kushikatsu Daruma’s Isaw and Chicken Heart Kushikatsu

Not all foodies might be familiar with the term ‘kushikatsu’ but it’s actually a type of food that we Filipinos love and know very well.

Kushikatsu is basically breaded deep-fried food on a stick and is the star of the show over at Kushikatsu Daruma! There are a couple of options in the menu to choose from, which include tonkatsu, camembert cheese, and gyoza!

Kushikatsu Daruma

Photo from Unisse C.’s looloo review for Kushikatsu Daruma

We don’t know about you but no array of deep fried food on a stick will ever be complete without some popular street food favorites! So if you’re looking for some isaw (both chicken and pork!) and even some chicken heart, you won’t be disappointed with Kushikatsu Daruma.

Since we’re used to having these food items cooked on the grill, it might cause some hesitation now that it’s breaded and deep-fried. But don’t worry because the different cooking technique gives our favorite street food a different flavor, especially when paired with the provided dipping sauce! But remember: double dipping isn’t allowed!

Kushikatsu Daruma is located at 2/F Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

2. Stinky Tofu

There really isn’t much of a story behind the name Stinky Tofu beyond the fact that this dish really does reek.

A popular street food in places such as Taiwan and Hong Kong, Stinky Tofu gets its offensive smell from its fermentation process which makes use of a brine made up of fermented milk, vegetables, and other aromatics and spices. The longer it’s fermented, the stinkier it gets. Some people even compare the smell to rotten garbage.

So we’ve established that Stinky Tofu smells horrible. But does that mean that it tastes as bad too? The looloo app users definitely disagree! “It was just a normal tofu for me,” Brie K. shares in his looloo review for Fat Fook Taiwanese Kitchen, one of the few places where you can find Stinky Tofu in Manila. Celine J. recommends trying Stinky Tofu even just for the heck of it in her looloo review, “I promise you’ll… live.”

Wondering where else can you find Stinky Tofu? Tien Ma’s and Taipei Taipei are two other restaurants serving this odorous dish!

3. Cocina Peruvia’s Anticucho de Corazon de Vaca

Anticucho de Corazon de Vaca seems like a fancy, mouthful of name for a dish that is actually just beef heart skewers. The idea of eating beef hearts might make some foodies queasy but we promise that it’s actually not quite like the chewy, sometimes mushy offals we sometimes get in our local cuisine. In fact, it’s texture has even be described as similar to a tender rib-eye!

Antichuchos de Corazon de Vaca Cocina Peruvia

Photo from Foodie F.’s looloo review for Cocina Peruvia

Cocina Peruvia is located at G/F Bonifacio One Technology Tower, 3030 Rizal Drive corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

4. Hey Handsome’s Soy Sauce Ice Cream

There are just some things you don’t expect to find in a dessert, especially ice cream, and soy sauce is one of them. But if there’s something that Hey Handsome is good at, it’s stepping out of the box with their food and producing beautiful, mouth-watering dishes using flavors that we’re familiar with. When you put it that way, it doesn’t seem like too much of a shock that Hey Handsome came up with soy sauce ice cream.

Soy Sauce Ice Cream Hey Handsome

Photo from Ruth S.’s looloo review for Hey Handsome

The soy sauce-flavored ice cream is actually part of a dish named Donut Sang Kaya, which is also made up of doughnuts, pandan dressing, and egg crisps. “Weird?” Ruth S. asks in her looloo review. “Yes, WEIRDLY GOOD AND YUMMY! I don’t know how to exactly describe them but the soy sauce ice cream was WOW! Just wow!”

“You can clearly sample the soy sauce at first,” Marc M. says in his looloo review. “Then it quickly progresses to a more caramel-like finish. I love it!”

Hey Handsome is located at G/F Net Park Building, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

5. FOO’D’s Cipolla Carmellata and Lemon Curd

Feel like going on a gastronomical adventure featuring flavors and cooking techniques you would never have imagined together before? Then you’re due for a trip to FOO’D! With Michelin-starred chef Davide Oldani at the helm, FOO’D proves that fine dining doesn’t always have to wear a hole into your bank account.

Cipolla Caramellata FOO'D

Photo from Christian C.’s looloo review for FOO’D

One standout item on the menu at FOO’D is Chef Oldani’s signature dish, the Cipolla Carmellata. Made up of a caramelized onion tart and Grana Padano gelato and hot cream, the combination of onion and cheese might cause some hesitation but looloo app users swear that it’s on the money. “I found it impressive,” says April H. in her looloo review. “I thought this dish was a study in contrasts, not just in terms of taste but also texture and temperature. All the ingredients served to put a spotlight on the sweetness of the onion.”

Lemon Curd FOO'D

Photo from Mary Love S.’s looloo review for FOO’D

For dessert, there’s the Lemon Curd, which is not any simple lemon curd by any means. Covered with dehydrated meringue, it also comes with a cacao crumble, curry almonds, and a green lettuce gelato. Yup, you read that right. Lettuce-flavored gelato. It’s recommended that you have a little bit of everything with each spoonful. Because when you do, well, we’ll let the looloo app reviews do the talking.

“MAGIC HAPPENED!” Denise A. narrates in her looloo review. “It was heavenly! Definitely a must try when visiting this restaurant.”

“Imagine it with me — crunchy meringue, tangy lemon, cold gelato. Aaaah.” Christina R. adds in her own review. “And who makes lettuce gelato? They do. Never been happier to eat my veggies.”

FOO’D is located at G/F Shangri-La at The Fort, 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

6. Alab Restaurant’s Laing Ice Cream

Earlier we said there are just some things you don’t expect to find in a dessert, especially ice cream. Soy sauce is one. Laing is another.

Laing Ice Cream Alab

Photo from Jayson J.’s looloo review for Alab

At Alab Restaurant, this local favorite has been turned into a dessert. EJ M. described this unusual flavor as “sweet and milky” at first taste in his looloo review. But it doesn’t end there! “After the ice cream melts, the laing flavor lingers in your tastebuds! Amaaaaaazeballs! You guys should try it!”

Alab Restaurant has branches in UP Town Center, Venice Grand Canal Mall, and Scout Rallos Street, Tomas Morato

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About Author

Bella Javier

Bella is a lover of all things sweet, a multi-time winner of the timeless children’s party and icebreaker game, Name That Tune, and a self-proclaimed queen of wishful thinking. A wanderer whose hunger lasts 24/7 and a proud owner of an oldies playlist mixed with songs she can sing fluently but does not understand, she’ll choose neither Edward or Jacob when asked that same old question.