Come For the Chicken, and Stay for the Halo-Halo at Mang InasalFebruary 2, 2017
With all the buzz Filipino food has been getting, there has been a surprise dish that has emerged as the unofficial representative of our cuisine. Adobo, sinigang, pancit have all been name-checked, but 2016 seemed to be the year of halo-halo. While many countries around the Asian region have their own version of creamy ice desserts, ours stands out on taste, texture, and the plethora of ingredients that make it truly Filipino.
The halo-halo perfectly represents the veritable melting pot of our cuisine and culture. We have native island fruits and vegetables in our make-up, but have adopted other ingredients over our history. Each bowl is a colorful ode to various ingredients: a scoop of sticky, vividly purple ube halaya, bright green jello that is a product of American influence, red and yellow beans that add sweetness and snap in every bite.
It is an extremely pleasant surprise to discover Mang Inasal’s take, as the fast food chain is known for their widely-loved chicken inasal. But their halo-halo can rival other fast food chains in terms of value, and most importantly, taste. All boxes are ticked-rich custardy leche flan, chewy sago, sweet bananas and more, but the difference is in the milk. Made specifically for Mang Inasal, it feels like a cross between evaporated and condensed, and its creaminess unites the whole bowl together. Chicken inasal is their thing, but their halo-halo is definitely worth a trip on its own.