MANILA, Philippines – Christmas shoppers took a break from the holiday rush to check out the opening of the metro’s first food truck market at the heart of the Ayala commercial center on Friday night.
Several food trucks, along with other specialty vendors, parked in front of Glorietta 3 for the opening night of Cucina Andare, inspired by the food truck craze in the United States. The relaxing Glorietta Park, flanked by the towering Makati Shangri-La Hotel and 6750 Ayala Avenue building, turned into an instant food haven as Filipinos took advantage of the cool Friday night to eat and dine al fresco under a clear night sky.
Organized by the people behind the hit Mercato Centrale weekend market in Taguig City, Cucina Andare opens every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Cucina Andare co-organizer Anton Diaz noted the San Francisco-inspired ambience, where food trucks are reinventing the food scene. In his blog, he said this latest venture is inspired by the Off the Grid Food Truck Markets in San Francisco.
Chatting with ABS-CBNnews.com at the opening, he said some of the vehicles were imported from New York and converted locally into food trucks. One even had a small dining space inside the bus for customers.
But it wasn’t all food trucks at Cucina Andare, as many vendors found in Mercato Centrale, as well as new home-based food businesses are participating in the food truck market.
Some of the food trucks are operated by established names in the businesses such as Brothers Burger and The Big Chill, whose GuaTruck offers a healthy alternatives as most of the vendors opted for easy-to-cook fare like shawarmas, tacos and burgers.
Shawarma Bros. proved to be among the popular trucks for its shawarma and rice combos, while the converted Volkswagen Combi was a hit for its surfer vibe.
Also a hit among the foodies was Schmidt’s, whose gourmet hotdog creations, included a Japanese-style dog with curry and nori, and a hotdog sandwich topped with Caesar salad and bacon strips.
Adding to the relaxed atmosphere was a special performance by indie artist Johnoy Danao, who performed cuts from his album as well as a cover of Coldplay's "Yellow."