I think the kids who study at UP Diliman have it so good. Whenever they're hungry, they can just make their way to Maginhawa Street to satisfy their food cravings. From the milk tea to South American cuisine to katsudon, iskos and iskas have a foodie haven right in their own backyard!
For the rest of us that didn't study in UP (sadface), discovering the culinary gems dotted along Maginhawa is still fun to do, especially when you have a guide to take you along!
In the spirit of my favorite drag queen, RuPaul, I give you guys the first in the series of the Hole in the Wall Extravaganza, where I serve pure, unadulterated obscure eatery realness!
A gratuitous photo of some of my most favorite people on this planet. You are welcome.
Getting back on track, D recently mounted an exhibit at Avellana Gallery in Pasay and picked me up from work with his colleague Pog in tow. Since we were all pretty much starving, we decided to go to Maginhawa to grab a bite. Pog recommended a spot that served really good (and CHEAP) Asian food, so why not?
THANK YOU FOR TAKING US HERE, POG!
Roberta Seafood Cantina is located on the stretch of Maginhawa closer to Philcoa. It's a very simple, non-descript place that doesn't scream Asian cuisine at first glance. No water fountains or bonsai to be had here, people. The volume of customers, however, gave us an idea of what to expect in terms of the food. A lot of the diners that night included artsy youngsters, as well as older groups catching up over dinner.
The Thai Papaya Salad (P85) was served in a hefty bowl that even the three of us had trouble finishing, due in part to the plentiful slices of siling labuyo interspersed among the vegetables. This dish goes perfectly with beer, and for those of you who enjoy a brewski with your dinner, they serve beer here, too!
When you eat at Roberta Seafood Cantina, perhaps one of the most sulit items on the menu is their Appetizer Sampler Plate (P165), which is practically a meal on its own! You just need to order a plate of rice and you have a very fulfilling and tasty selection of dishes to choose from. Their appetizer selection is extensive, so you can mix-and-match according to your taste. D and Pog both opted for the Appetizer Sampler Plates, so hooray for me!
Seen above (from L to R): Stuffed Jalapeño Peppers (very spicy!), Grilled Chili Squid Heads and Roberta Express (ginataang puso ng saging).
Seen above (from L to R): Curry Puffs, Mixed Seafood Gambas (would be better if they were more flavorful), Catfish Mango Salad
The Tom Yum Goong (P185) is enough to feed three people. Look at how big those prawns are! You know how in some restaurants that serve prawns, they try to cheat you by serving the shrimpiest pieces (pun intended), and as if that wasn't enough, cut them in half? You won't get that at Roberta. The Tom Yum is very Filipinized, in that it is sweeter than it is spicy, and it totally hit the spot. I was feeling very under the weather, so the spiciness of the soup helped unclog my nostrils in no time.
By the time we were through, we were so full we couldn't move. And for about 250 pesos per head, it was totally worth it! If you're sick of fast food and in the UP Village area, head on down to Roberta Seafood Cantina for an excellent Asian food experience.
Roberta Seafood Cantina is located at 45B Maginhawa Street, UP Village, Quezon City.