A couple of weeks ago, our good friend "MG" whom I hadn't seen in a while told me that Villa Manila was doing a "Kamayan Night". For those who haven't heard that term before, kamayan literally refers to eating with your hands. In short, for the Filipino's I know, it also refers to a fairly festive occasion where family and friends get together and eat like crazy!
MG had great timing as my good friends, the twins, Pete and John's Birthday was rapidly approaching. Ange was nice enough to coordinate and since the four of us had been here together before, Ange knew everyone's preferences....in other words, pork, pork, and more pork. Since there would be 8 of us, Ange ordered the "Fiesta" and we supplemented with two (small) orders of Crispy Pata and Chicharon Bulaklak.
As you can gather, it's imperative that you make reservations in advance, unless you want to wait for a couple of hours for food. You can then supplement again if the need arises. Also, note the fine print that adds charges if you have excess people and don't supplement.
Also, those bowls don't hold soup, ok? It's water and lemon for your hands....you'll be needing them, since you'll be eating with 'em. So don't drink that!
Anyway, having made reservations, our banana leaf draped table was ready when we arrived. And they quickly got our first supplement, the bulaklak, fried pork intestines, out to the table. Love the version here and can't get enough of it.
Soon enough, our Server, whom I shall call "Iron Hands" because he didn't even flinch when placing our steaming rice on the banana leaves.
"Iron Hands" also displayed his overall strength when he brought the proteins out to be served.
Here's the progress......so in case you're keeping score, you can see the the Inihaw na Baboy and the Halabos na Hipop (steamed shrimp), along with the Adobo....
Fried Chicken (supplement), bicol express, crispy pata (supplement), etc, etc.....
On a funny note, Xiāng Jiāo couldf not get enough of the Crispy Pata and Lechon Kawale.....she even got a pork "high" feeling a bit light headed near the end of the meal.
In case you were worried about our vegetable intake, dinner came with Inihaw na Talong (grilled eggplant) and the green stuff at the end of the table....though I think it was mostly a garnish. Those preserved eggs were pretty heady, but was nice combined with the mango and the atchara.
You can kind of tell what everyone was missing here right? Crispy Pata, bulaklak, lechon kawale, bicol express, adobo, and inihaw na baboy...it sure wan;t pork.....
This stuff is obviously great pulutan....beer food. Unfortunately, Villla Manila does not serve alcohol, nor allow BYOB. I was told it was because of the church across the street.
Initially, we thought we'd get a "mega" halo-halo, but there just wasn't much room after the cake.
500 East 8th Street
National City, CA 91950
Kamayan Night only on Thursday - I suggest calling and making reservations.
Because everyone was itching for a nightcap. Candice, who has a deep affection for old-school and dive bars, suggested La Maze. Remember, this was the group who hit up Albie's. It was a nice old-school ending to a wonderful evening.