MANILA -- Whatever you define your comfort food to be, The Grid Food Market at the Powerplant Mall has got you covered.
And while the food hall at Rockwell has comfort food purveyors aplenty offering massive burgers to steaming bowls of ramen, we shine the spotlight on three stalls — Bucky’s, Le Chon, and Bun Appetit — that offer kid-friendly fare, festive delights, and healthy indulgent options.
What can be more kid-friendly comfort food than fries, fried chicken, and pasta?
Start your Bucky’s meal by munching on Twister Fries that are available here year-round. Bucky’s version nails that sweet-smoky flavor profile that you expect on these fries, minus the oily fingers.
Cooked to a light gold color with airy crispy pockets that make for gloriously crisp skin, Bucky’s Fried Chicken is chicken done right. With juicy finger-licking flavor, it doesn’t need gravy, but trust us, it’s even better with it!
One of the heftier dishes in the food hall, Bucky’s Baked Ziti is served on a sizzling plate -- a generous mound of pasta topped with a Bolognese-like meat ragu and grilled melted cheese.
If you’re not going for some Bucky’s (their dense brownies) for dessert, opt for their milk soft serve. Drizzled with salted caramel and flecked with polvoron crumbs, you’ll be surprised at how fast this one disappears.
Perhaps it’s the irresistible smell of lechon wafting from the pit, or it could be the tempting choices that chef Happy Ongpauco pairs with the lechon, but come any weekend lunch at the Grid Food Market, there’s always a line in Le Chon.
Lechon is Filipino comfort food that’s best shared, and in Le Chon a single order can comfortably serve two, or a very hungry one. To order, you assemble your plate by choosing your meat and flavor, picking a side dish, and finally deciding on rice and sauces.
We tried the original flavors of Porchetta and Lechon Manok and had sides of kamote chips and grilled eggplant with baby ganoush.
Between the two meats, it was the Porchetta that was the table-pleaser — aromatic with crispy cracklin’ skin and well-rendered meat. It was especially glorious when paired with yellow butter rice and that creamy eggplant side dish.
Use the available sauces to balance out flavor or add some spice. Sauces include a liver sauce sweetened with muscovado (Muscovado Liver Sauce), an sour-tinged aioli (Adobo White Sauce), and a spicy-sweet syrupy sauce (Labuyo Lime).
Serving soft brioche buns slathered with a light dressing and topped with luscious sweet lobster meat (or with some creamy aioli-dressed crab), Bun Appetit is not your regular sandwich shop.
Offering the comforts of premium seafood, the shop can dish up crab, shrimp, or lobster in a buttered brioche bun, in a grilled cheese sandwich, or on hip avocado toast.
Besides the obvious lobster rolls, it was avocado toast that stood out for the table. Smoked avocado drizzled with lemon on crusty bread with plump and juicy shrimp sprinkled with chili flakes and alfalfa sprouts made for a rich but the most refreshing bite. A must-try.
While prices are steep in Bun Appetit, you taste what you pay for, and there’s comfort in that.