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Food & Drink Features

Where to order the best sushi bake in Manila— and other lockdown food trends we went crazy for

Where to satisfy your hankerings for sushi bake, sourdough, kimchi, and whatever else has been whetting the appetites of Filipinos staying at home.
ANCX | Jul 09 2020

From Dalgona coffee to sushi bake, the pandemic has elicited its fair share of lockdown food trends, some of which have come and gone. But with the general community quarantine (GCQ) in effect, and many people still sheltering at home, it looks like some of these trends have actually evolved through the months, as chefs and food entrepreneurs continue to innovate. Here’s where we are, foodwise, with trend-forward dishes that are visually appealing, some with assembly or cooking required, but all worth a call or message to order for pickup or delivery.

SUSHI BAKE

The sushi bake is essentially a baked rice casserole with sushi roll aspirations. But it looks like one lockdown trend that won’t be dying down anytime soon. That’s probably because it’s versatile enough to work as a simple homemade dish, or as a more indulgent one to order from outside. And with versatility comes all sorts of variants, from familiar sushi ingredients like kani and unagi, to an actual “nacho” rice-less version.

Spicy Sushi by The Sushi Bake

The Sushi Bake offers the classic version that you bake in the oven before enjoying. But it’s the bestselling Spicy Sushi variant that may be worthy of repeat orders.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by THE SUSHI BAKE (@thesushibake) on

 

Ebi Kani Aburi by Ley’s Kitchen

This longtime purveyor first became famous for its rich crab dishes, and applied the same flavor-forward approach to its sushi bake with an overabundance of shrimp and crabsticks (and a thinner layer of rice) that’s torched aburi style.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ley’s Kitchen (@leys_kitchen) on

 

Kani Sushi Bake with Unagi by Kamikalu

They had us at unagi. This sushi bake is generous to a fault with unagi, kani, ebiko, layered in mayo and rice. There’s also an “overload” version with the addition of spicy scallops.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kamikalu (@kamikalu_ph) on

 

Baked Kimbap by Baked OK

Of course, sushi bake has to come in a Korean version, essentially transferring the ingredients for Korean gimbap or seaweed rice roll to a cheesy baked casserole form.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Baked OK (@bakedok) on

 

5-Cheese Nacho Bake by Nacho Bake

Now this doesn’t technically have anything to do with a sushi bake, but we couldn’t resist including it here. After all, it follows the basic principles, but instead of rice, there’s ground beef topped with five different cheeses, and comes with salsa and chips, of course.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by NachoBake (@nachobake) on

 

SPECIALTY BREADS

Bread baking definitely became a thing during lockdown as people tried to bring out their “inner bakers,” albeit with mixed results. On social media, ube pandesal and sourdough bread gained lots of traction, and pro bakers took on the trend, expanding beyond their usual offerings, and showing just how much of a necessary carb bread really is.

Pinipig Sourdough by Panaderya Toyo

For some reason, sourdough has caught the imagination of Filipinos, whether they attempt to make their own or buy elsewhere. While there’s no shortage of good sourdough in town, there’s something to be said for this standout from Chef Jordy Navarra’s reimagined panaderia, especially when it’s studded with pinipig for a subtle added texture.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Panaderya Toyo (@panaderyatoyo) on

 

Milk Cheese Logs by Masa Bakery

Sort of like a cross between cheese rolls and milk bread, this is the latest product from this bakery with a modern approach to traditional panaderia staples, from pan de coco to Spanish bread to wheat pandesal.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MASA BAKERY (@masabakerymanila) on

 

Garden Focaccia by Crafted At Home

Explore Instagram or Pinterest to find focaccia bread with fanciful designs made with vegetables and herbs. While Chef Karla Mendoza’s garden focaccia doesn’t go for those elaborate designs, it nonetheless looks and tastes beautiful. Other focaccia toppings are available too.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Crafted At Home (@crafted_at_home) on

 

Cinnamon Rolls by Flour Pot

There’s just something about the combination of soft bread and cinnamon that spell bready comfort, and these old-fashioned rolls by Rhea Castro SyCip (of rum cake fame) deliver with their soft-chewy, almost creamy texture, generous smear of cream cheese, and pronounced cinnamon flavor, also available in Caramel Pecan.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Flour Pot (@flourpotmanila) on

 

GLOBAL FAVES

With K-dramas at an all-time high, kimchi and DIY samgyupsal were guaranteed to be a hit during the lockdown, but other international food trends have emerged as well, like DIY Mexican tacos and a delicious Spanish steak oddity called cachopo.

Tacos by Manila Tortilla

Taco lovers have been hankering for legit Mexican tacos since lockdown, and this online outfit delivers with beautifully packaged taco kits that come with your choice of carnitas, salmon confit, beef belly, duck breast, plus freshly made wheat tortillas, salsa, pickles, and even lime wedges.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by VIBER TO ORDER 🤤🕊️💚 (@manilatortilla) on

 

Cachopo ala Amado by Cartel Deli

Think of it as chicken cordon bleu, but with steak. Made from an heirloom recipe from Asturias, Spain, this too-good-to-believe dish features double striploin steak, topped with jamon and Manchego cheese, then breaded and deep fried till crisp.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Cartel Deli (@cartel.deli) on

 

Samgyupsal package by Premier The Samgyupsal

If you miss your regular samgyupsal outings, thankfully Korean restaurants have come to the rescue with customizable samgyupsal kits, complete with grill rentals. This Manila-based Korean restaurant happens to have a massive selection of premium beef and pork cuts and side dishes to choose from.

 

Vegan Kimchi by This Kimchi

This fermented Korean condiment is slowly becoming a staple in Filipino households. No longer exotic, it’s versatile enough to eat with most anything, not just Korean food. Chef Patrick Go of Gochugang at The Grid Rockwell recently launched this vegan kimchi line to show that there’s more to kimchi than just cabbage.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by THIS KIMCHI Vegan Kimchi (@thiskimchi) on