by Heidi Ng
September 29, 2013
Dinner Nations Manila is a group of expats and locals with an
international perspective on expanding social networks through dining
experiences around the Metro. They aim to create dining environments
where friendships can be forged amongst people who share a communal
passion for food. By limiting dinner groups to a smaller number, Dinner
Nations hopes to create a personal atmosphere conducive to mingling and
This expatriate group has been my foodie group for the past months as
we discovered new places to dine at and shared stories about living in
Sao Paulo, London, or Sydney. It is a great opportunity to meet people
who grew up in a different environment and culture from me. It is also
interesting to know about different work cultures of other people.
It seems to be a unanimous opinion though that despite our bad
reputation for having a very corrupt government, these expats enjoy the
Philippine lifestyle. One expatriate even said, “I do not know how I can
go back to my old life of not having a cleaner or a nanny.” We have to
admit, life in the Philippines is a good life if one can afford it. We
have help so this gives us more time to enjoy life, or work even harder.
So, I always look forward to dinners that are scheduled twice a month
at some of the most unique and delicious venues around town. My
experience has always been a positive one. One of my most memorable one
was a dinner at Casa Marcos where we enjoyed the restaurant’s unique
offerings like tapang baboy ramo, frog legs cooked adobo style, and
Spanish sisig. Yes, tapa and frogs. Who would have thought that a
Spanish restaurant like Casa would actually serve such unique offerings!
The kalderetang usa is so unique too. Not a lot of restaurants can pull
off serving baboy ramo, usa and frog legs with talented cooking that
they actually taste very good and do not leave a bad taste in the mouth.
It was a memorable dinner for the expatriates and locals alike. They
seem to want to do a Casa Marcos dinner again soon because of the unique
Filipino dishes, the Spanish sisig and the paella. And, well, the red
and white sangrias were much appreciated, too.