What is the Best Convenience Store Tapa?September 5, 2016
Tapa is arguably one of the most popular variations of the silog. Tender, thin cuts of meat, salted and cured, fried or grilled then served with sinangag and a runny egg, well that’s heaven. It’s a long process, one that may take days depending on how you wish to prepare it. However, in our world where we lack time and, sometimes, money, we have to settle with budget meals from our favorite convenience stores. And, much like most things, not all tapas are made equal. So we’ve taken to our beloved saviors in the night when you’re hungry and you only have enough money for a rice meal, and found which convenience store tapa is a notch above the rest.
The most expensive of the bunch priced at P 69. The tapa is served with atchara and your option of egg (for an extra P15). This tapa is salty, one that’s been flavored more with garlic and soy. Their budget version comes out as having good amounts of flavor throughout, but the meat is quite tough and the atchara seems like it missed that dunk of acid before making it onto the plate. In the end, a reasonable price for a reasonable tapa.
One of the newer entries in our convenience store vernacular, the Japan-based store has become popular with offices across Makati for their unlimited rice that comes with your order of one of their meals. Their tapa is no exception. However, no amount of rice can really save their tapa (P59). The meat is generally gummy and lacks, well, flavor. But if you love rice more than life, then knock yourself out.
Surprisingly, 7-Eleven’s tapa (P65) exceeds expectations in terms of tenderness and flavor. The meat is fork-tender and is reminiscent of late nights gorging your way through Sinangag Express or Rodic’s. Though it does not hold the flavor or depth that those have, it has a pleasant sweetness that goes with the soy, but lacks the pepperiness that could round the tapa. But be warned, these morsels of flavor are limited, the serving size is less than ideal, especially given the amount of rice given. But, all-in-all, the tapa’s spanking.
In the end, 7-Eleven comes through with a very delectable tapa that is not only tender, but also extremely flavorul. Circle K came close, but 7-Eleven had a more rounded flavor, and a better cook.