There is no denying that each person gets a sense of comfort, nostalgia every time they eat their comfort food. To many, like me, other than a cheesecake, it’s many of the dishes from our country. I am all for trying the best local foods in a place but when you have been away from home too long, wouldn’t it be amazing if while you are outside your country, you could come to a place and be able to eat some of your favorite food? It is a good thing that on days I am not feeling the Taiwanese food, there are small Filipino restaurants in Taipei where I could feel at home.
I have only been made aware of Filipino shops at Minquan West Road （民權四路）two years ago when my Canadian friend said she has Filipino friends in Canada and that she loves halo-halo. So, we went and ate different Filipino dishes and afterwards, enjoyed our halo-halo. Halo is a Filipino word which means to mix. Halo-halo is a famous refreshing dessert or snack which is a mixture of sweetened fruits and beans, shaved ice, milk and sometimes ice cream and leche flan. The ingredients vary and it depends on anything delicious you want to be mixed with ice.
I only went to that place a few times in 2017. Two years later, I am learning Chinese in Taiwan and I brought my classmates to the same area and tried one of the restaurants. One of my classmates is a Filipino and it was her first time there. She was craving Filipino food and we could not have thought about at a better time! She and I decided on the food that our foreign classmates tried. We had our famous sinigang, adobo, caldereta, chopseuy, ginisang monggo, halo-halo, and turon! The thought of these makes me salivate that I feel bad I did not take pictures of the food. I was so busy eating and talking to them, I missed doing it! Oh well, with or without photos, I still have the memory to share this!
Each one of my classmates had their favorite dish and some that they did not like that much. Actually, they think the chopsuey (sauteed vegetables) was just a so-so. For my beloved sinigang na baboy ( pork sour soup/stew), my Vietnamese classmate did not like it. She is not fond of sour food so it was understandable. However, my Japanse classmate loved it so much she started sipping and sipping! Our Brazilian friend even made a comment that the sinigang made her feel like she is remembering some memories she does not even know. I guess I could relate as sinigang has always been one of my comfort food. I could sip the soup forever! That and eat it with 2 cups of rice!
Then came the most awaited halo-halo! Everyone was consistently praising it! I can’t blame them! I think it’s a very good dessert and I missed eating it, too! I remember that from 2 years ago, the one I got from another I did not like that much! But this one, it did not have ice cream but boy, it was heaven eating it and sharing it with friends. We were talking about how we could come back there even just for halo-halo! It was really But with the winter fast approaching, good luck with trying it again very soon! That day, I was really proud of the Filipino food that my friends tried. They had so much fun that even days after we ate it, they were still talking about it and were even promoting to others. It was really a great mix of adventure!