It was my cousin’s birthday and my sister suggested we celebrate it at this new Filipino Tambayan (hang-out place) Eskinita in Al Muraqqabat. Eskinita comes from the Spanish word “Esquina” which means tiny corner. Eskinita means tiny alley where most street vendors can be found. Eskinita Dubai is restaurant that offers different street foods in the Philippines which are mostly grilled. Since its a Filipino restaurant, expect it to be noisy. 🙂 They offer most of the street foods you can find in Philippines. Some of the grilled street food are isaw which is the grilled chicken intestine (don’t worry this is properly cleaned), adidas or chicken feet, ulo, or chicken head, leeg or chicken neck, balunbalunan or chicken gizzard, hotdogs, chicken inasal or chicken barbecue with a different way of marinating which originated from Bacolod a province in the Philippines, and of course fish and squid. For the fried street food, they have kwek-kwek or eggs wrapped in an orange batter, fish balls, squid balls, kikiam, chicken balls. The balls and kikiam are like the naruto you find in ramen but our version is fried and shaped like a ball except for kikiam. The prices range from AED 3.00 to AED 12.00 depending on what you ordered. The tokens serves as your money to buy what you want from the trays. So you have to buy a token from the cashier, select what you like from the tray then give the tokens to the ihaw (grill) guy as your payment.
We opted for the all-you-can-eat buffet for AED 35.00 as I was not sure with the street food, as it looks like its marinated in ketchup. The place mat looks like this and I have to take a picture of it as it is nostalgic. I used to read this as a kid. Its like the Marvel and DC Comics of the Philipppines
This is how Filipino Buffet looks like, carbs every where. 🙂 There is plain rice, java rice and guisadong pancit bihon and canton (stir fry rice and egg noodles). I only had 3-4 table spoons of the plain rice and pancit as I don’t want to stuff myself so much.
For the viands they have the following:
- Ensaladang talong at bagoong- grilled eggplant with onion, tomato and shrimp paste toppings. This is one of the best viands they have. I had second serving for this.
- Chicken Galantina- which is like a chicken meat loaf sliced in oblong thin slices drizzled with sweet and chili sauce. I did not like this much, the chicken was bland and they did not give the customer the option if they like it with the sauce or not.
- Chicken Skin- the most evil of all the viands they served. This is deep fried chicken skin, its not oily but knowing its fried and its CHICKEN SKIN then this means your cholesterol will shoot up.
- Fried Chicken- sadly most of the parts are only chicken breast.
- Daing na Bangus- milk fish marinated in vinegar, garlic, salt and black pepper. This one is ok, nothing special.
- Afritadang Manok- chicken stew in tomato based gravy. Same, nothing exceptional.
- Kare-Kare at Bagoong- beef stew in peanut sauce with veggies , eaten with shrimp paste to give the satly taste. I liked the kare-kare as well.
Filipinos are known to be meat and seafood eaters, even our vegetable dishes has shrimp or egg on it. My vegetarian friends find it challenging to eat in the Philippines as there are very limited options. As you can see above, there is no vegetarian food at all.
They have a dessert section as well which I was not able to take a picture of. A cart where you can make your own halo-halo and another cart for the malagkit desserts or sweet delicacies made of glutinous rice. Their halo-halo cart has a lot of ingredients which is very good. My halo halo was very colorful. The malagkit desserts are not so yummy. It doesn’t taste anything like what we have back home. I would say AED 35.00 for a buffet is worth it if you eat a lot and enjoy a live music while eating. However not everyone is a big eater so this isn’t for me.