Mercato Centrale: Our Post-Apocalyptic Foodtrip

If May 21st was indeed Doomsday, then Mercato Centrale would have probably been Heaven, for me at least: an overwhelming abundance of food.

I was debating whether to write about my thoughts on Harold Camping’s Epic Failure (again), or to simply put together a happier and lighthearted entry about Mercato Centrale.

Obviously, the latter won. Passions prevail, hehe.

If you are not familiar with what Mercato Centrale is, then here’s a bit of info. The Bonafacio Global City marketing team has been coming up with new and innovative ways to get more people to visit and hopefully invest in their land. Mercato Centrale is perhaps a product of this hodgepodge of ideas. It is indeed one of the most happening midnight food markets in the Metro today. Palettes of both foodies and insomniacs (who are probably in search of a midnight snack) are satisfied in this smorgasbord of diverse and sundry flavors made available in the Mercato Centrale.

During the day, Mercato Centrale is a haven to mostly organic food products, targeting those who sport a healthful zeal in life. This place is blooming with the freshest greens and the ripest tomatoes. But at night, it boasts of a more urban appeal as Mercato Centrale drops its sunshine-y look and is replaced by Midnight Mercato, home to adventurous (and hungry) individuals who are seeking offbeat food choices and classic favorites. Gates open at 10 p.m., so make sure you aren’t a sleepyhead. ; )

And this is where the heart of my entry begins…

Upon entering, you will notice that 1/3 of the place is filled with smoke. And here’s why: GRILLED FOOD! Fresh seafood, choice cut meat, and these delightful sticks of cholesterol goodness are skewered, marinated in tasty sauces, and then grilled. I highly recommend the GIGANTIC Chicken Isaw (P30/stick). Please, drop the healthy consciousness, you will not regret eating this (especially when slightly charred and dipped in their special vinegar. YUM.)

Classic dishes such as Shrimp Tempura, Chicago Deep Dishes, and Lechon are also sold here. There were even creative twists to our favorite Pig such as Bagnet Sandwiches. I wasn’t able to take a picture though because the place was packed with people.

Carb Crab-filled Takoyaki

Baby Tacos (!!!)

Stuffed Tomatoes


Japanese-themed Hotdogs aptly called Hapadogs. That’s actually a Hotdog Tempura at the back!

Manang’s Double-Fried Chicken. People say it’s better than Bon Chon! Gotta try this next time!

Chinese Hot Pot

The Collective’s Offbeat Cafe, home of the Krispy Kreme Burger

Assorted Nuts…is it just me or does this seem out of place? Haha.

Of course, there were drinks.

And now, for the best part: DESSERT! I was a bit very disappointed that the Mochiko booth was empty!!! #$%^&*( But at least there was an incredible slew of dessert choices to make up for it.

French Macaron Heaven! Empire Macarons (they also sell in the Power Plant’s food bazaar)

Gelato

Cake ♥

Uhm, more cake hihi ♥ ♥

OMG. THESE ARE REALLY, REALLY GOOD. The Tablea Cakeballs taste like Starbucks’s Cake Pops…but even better!

I was already getting a bit full because of the taste-testing. HAHA. But nevertheless, we were able to settle down for some “snacks” (actually lots of them).

Mico got some very loaded Nachos

Ryan got some Sour Cream Potatoes (the sour cream was too overpowering)

How can I resist Crab Takoyaki?

…and Macarons.
(From L-R: Salted Caramel Macaron from Empire, Rose Macaroon that was a twist between French Macarons and our Coconut Macaroons -didn’t work out for me-, and White Chocolate Macaron from Empire)

We also got some of the very deceptive Stuffed Tomatoes. These were disappointing since the stuffing was bland; the tomatoes were fresh though! Unfortunately, since it lacked flavor, we had added the sauce from the Sour Cream Potatoes to give it a little zing hehehe

I genuinely believe that the beauty of this place lies in its boldness and unique variety. I love the creative minds of food enthusiasts and how they were able to combine wild flavors that were risky, but surprisingly delectable.

Personally, I think Midnight Mercato lacked below zero beer. Or maybe, I just missed it. But I have to commend this place for housing a lot lot lot of different flavors and tastes! This place has so much to offer that visiting it once does not do justice! So obviously, I have to visit a second time…or third. Or a possible fourth! Oh well! No matter how many times I visit it, I can be sure to always stumble on something new. : )

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