You have a lot of local Filipino food restaurants to choose from when you’re in Manila.
But Aling Sosing’s Carinderia, a legendary restaurant on the corner of a shaded street in Makati, is among the best of the best places to eat in Manila.
In this blog post I’m excited to share all the food details with you.
Watch the video:
If you have a few minutes, first watch the entire video of this meal to see all the action!
(Of you can watch it on YouTube here)
Aling Sosing’s Carinderia
Located in Makati, a city within Metro Manila, that’s known for being the financial center of the city, Aling Sosing’s Carinderia is a local Filipino food restaurant that’s removed from the downtown hustle, and on a semi-quiet tree shaded corner of a road.
When you arrive you’ll be greeted by the display of all the Filipino dishes prepared and waiting for you to point and choose from.
The setting, and the display of all things food at Aling Sosing’s Carinderia, will instantly make your mouth water.
My wife Ying and I arrived at about 11 am on a weekday, eager to arrive before the main lunch rush, which I had read could be pretty extreme.
When we arrived, there were still a number of tables up for grab, so we got a seat on the sidewalk — open air to fully enjoy the atmosphere.
But literally minutes after we sat down, and remember it was still just after 11 am, all the tables filled up. And they only got busier and busier towards lunchtime, with many people opting for takeaway because all the tables were packed.
Ordering your food
Similar to just about all local Filipino carinderias (a carinderia is a local restaurant), all the food is prepared ahead of time, and when you order you simply go up to the front of the stall, and point and choose to order whatever dishes you like.
Aling Sosing’s, you’ll find many of the most typical and famous Filipino dishes, all of which look outstanding. Kind of like eating Nasi Padang in Indonesia, by far the hardest part is limiting yourself to a reasonable amount of food — because I can guarantee you’ll want to order it all.
I chose a number of different dishes, with a mixture of Filipino stews and grilled dishes, and retreated to our plastic table to start eating.
Inihaw na tilapia (grilled tilapia)
Grilled fish is always something I love to eat, so we first started the meal with inihaw na tilapia, a grilled tilapia.
In Thailand, tilapia like this are often coated in a salt crust before being grilled, but they did well to grill this tilapia while keeping it nice and in-tact but with no crust. It had a nice natural charred flavor to it, and it was especially delicious when combined with rice and a sauce that included soy sauce, fresh chilies, and kalamansi juice.
Inihaw na liempo (grilled pork belly)
Inihaw na liempo, or big thick slabs of grilled pork belly, is among the most famous and beloved of all Filipino foods, and at Aling Sosing’s Carinderia, they are known for it.
Smoking and grilling over hot coals, the fatty slabs of pork belly slow grill and smoke away to ensure they are embedded with an unbelievable smoky flavor.
When you order inihaw na liempo, they take one of the pieces, and slice it up and serve it on a plate.
The pork had some good texture to it, and you get all the layers — meat, fat, and skin — in a single texture filled bite. The smokiness of the meat was a highlight for me.
Pinakbet (vegetable stew)
Pinakbet is a favorite Filipino vegetable dish of mine, and at Aling Sosing’s Carinderia they probably had the best version of it that I’ve ever had. When I arrived at 11 am, they had already almost sold out of it for the day, so I got one of the last portions.
Squash, bitter melon, long beans, and a variety of other vegetables were included, with some pieces of pork, and a light shrimp paste tasting sauce. It was balanced perfectly, and perfectly salty.
The pinakbet was one of the best dishes I tried here.
Kaldereta (goat stew)
Possibly because I grew up eating a lot of goat, but goat is always one of my personal favorite meats of anything.
And so when I see a good looking kaldereta, a Filipino goat meat stew, I can’t resist. I ate kaldereta a number of times on my recent trip to the Philippines.
The kaldereta at Aling Sosing’s Carinderia was a little oily and mild in spice, but it was so comforting and the meat was so tender. With rice, it was so good.
Adobong pusit (squid adobo)
You’ve undoutedbly heard of adobo, which many consider to be the national dish of the Philippines. I saw squid adobo, with lots of black ink in the pot, and ordered it.
The squid was tender, but slightly rubbery, and it had a sweet and sour taste to it.
There are countless versions and tastes of Filipino adobo, and this was a little more on the sweet side, while I prefer more on the salty side.
The pork bbq was an impulse decision.
Ying and I saw it cooking fresh on the grill, and it looked and smelled so good, that we ordered some mid-way through our meal.
The pork was unbelievably tender and juicy, and had the perfect amount of tangy sweet bbq sauce all over it.
It was so good that we ate 2 skewers and ordered 2 more immediately.
Finally, I have to tell you one thing that I’m a little embarrassed about…
I didn’t order bulalo.
Bulalo is a Filipino bone marrow soup, and Aling Sosing’s Carinderia is known for theirs.
But I didn’t order it because the day before I had eaten at another carinderia in Manila and had bulalo, so I wanted to switch up and try some different dishes. However, I’m regretting it now, because it looked amazing.
Anyway, they still serve you some of the beef broth (which I think is from the same soup) and it includes small bones and vegetables complimentary when you’re eating here (just doesn’t include big chunks of meat or marrow).
The broth was outstanding, the type of liquid that you start taking spoonfuls and you can’t stop. It was meaty and salty, and crazy addictive.
You really should order bulalo when you eat at Aling Sosing’s Carinderia.
I’ve eaten at quite a few carinderias in Manila, and Aling Sosing’s, for both their prepared stews and grilled dishes, is no doubt one of the best.
My wife and I sat enjoying the bustling atmosphere for lunch, and enjoyed every bite.
Total price – 640 PHP ($12.90) for everything and we ate a pretty huge meal
Aling Sosing’s is a local street food restaurant (carinderia) in Manila, Philippines, that serves some of the best tasting Filipino food you’ll find in all of Manila.
I especially enjoyed their pinakbet and kaldereta, along with their famous meaty soup. My meal here was one of the best I had in Manila!
Aling Sosing’s Carinderia
Address: Palanan 5819 Zobel Roxas, Palanan Makati City, Philippines
Open hours: 8 am – 6 pm from Monday – Saturday