No hunger games in Naga: Go local
The day my friends and I were leaving Naga for Manila, I texted Mom to report briefly on the trip, knowing how worried she gets whenever I fly. "Mom, I think I'm Bicolana because I can't get enough of the food here. I remember how I've always loved Lola's kandinga (bopis in Tagalog, a spicy dish of beef lungs), and I just discovered I like every Bicolano dish there is."
|Camarines Sur's Naga City, though physically like other urbanized areas in the country,|
still stands out for its untainted provincial life.
Thus began my short-lived quest for an alien delicacy, finding out afterward from a nearby stall that balaw is just what Tagalogs call Bicol Express, a fusion-type spicy stew. I was floored but pleased to learn I have Bicol roots. At the same time, with or without Bicolano blood, any Filipino must love Naga.
|The historic Saint Francis Church, erected in 1578 in Nueva Caceres, is the first in Naga.|
|The central figure of Jesus Christ on the cross reaching out to the saint is a Franciscan trademark.|
|Red Platter can be found along Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City, CamSur.|
Sorry for the low-res photos. Taken with cellphone camera.
|Red Platter's Bicol Express and pinangat made from freshwater shrimp and taro leaves, topped with thick coconut milk.|
|The restaurant serves classic Asian dishes, and carries the best of Bicol, too.|
Mainly serving traditional Filipino dishes with a twist, the resto also innovates in some of its offerings. Below is a creamy, uncanny Malunggay Cake at Php75.00 that looks exactly like the one pictured in the tabletop ad.
|Malunggay (moringa oleifera) cake topped with white chocolate roll.|