Friday, March 4, 2011

Filipino Food Truck: Manila Machine

The Manila Machine, a Filipino food truck conceived by two food bloggers (Marvin Gapultos of Burnt Lumpia and Nastassia Johnson of Let Me Eat Cake) was present at last weeks Santa Monica Main St Lot. I made my way to the lot with the sole purpose of catching this truck because I haven't had Filipino cuisine in a long time (years!) and also had a deep craving for their popular ube (purple yam) cupcakes.

They offer meat or vegetarian lumpias, which are Filipino spring rolls. I opted for the Shanghai version which had pork and carrots. I liked the well seasoned pork and the crispiness of the thin golden wrapper. The lumpias were served with a sweet and sour sauce, but I enjoyed my spring rolls au naturel.

Pork belly and pineapple adobo
I was wary of the pork belly since it was from a "fast food" establishment. It couldn't possibly be cooked to tenderness, right? Well, it was. The meat was fatty and juicy, braised in savory sauce of vinegar and soy. The saltiness of the pork was paired with sweet pineapple chunks. The gravy soaked rice was something rather comforting, just like mom's home cooked meal.

The vegetarian pancit was my least favorite. While every other dish displayed bold flavors, the pancit was bland. The noodles were also soggy. But I do have to commend them on their hearty portions.

The spam slider with fried egg was delicious. The spam was a thicker cut and served on a pan de sal roll. I was initially hesitant about the banana ketchup but it worked well with the slider. The egg yolk was running all over the slider. That's a good thing. Unfortunately, it caused a slip-and-slide action with the slider and it was hard to hold the whole thing in place. Very messy but tasty.
I was too full to eat the Ube cupcake so I saved it for breakfast. It was such a gorgeous purple color, and was still very moist the next morning (don't pop it in the fridge as it'll dry out. I stored it in a tuperware at room temperature). The cupcake had a lovely aroma of coconut. I don't usually like frosting but I appreciated that this wasn't overly sweet.

Manila Machine offered one of my better food truck experience. I thought the food was flavorful and unique, very unlike the many taco fusion trucks out there. I also liked that they had a good selection of items and the entree portions were quite filling. You can follow them on twitter.

1 comment:

filipino love said...

I went to the Philippines and feel in love not only with the place but with great food. Cheap but tasty. I love the ADOBO the Most!