Friday, January 11, 2013

The best hummus and tabbouleh in Manila

The other night, I actually had nothing on my agenda -- the first time in four weeks that this was so. So I took the opportunity to stay home and go on a post-holiday detox.

Actually I was not planning to eat at all. After four weeks of feasting, I was happy to skip dinner for once. And all I wanted to do was get a massage and watch a DVD I'd been waiting to watch for weeks.

I also wanted to get a headstart on my travel planning for the year. Whenever I have even a spare minute, I've been looking online about where to go and what to do in 2013.

I've pretty much decided my Africa trip, and I'm now thinking more about my Middle East and European trips. And then I found out about this unique arts experience in Ho Chi Minh that sounds I want to do that too.

Life can really get so complicated when you have a passport and a credit card.

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And of course, there's Sri Lanka coming up in about three weeks.

Such fun, especially as so many friends are coming along. I've just arranged for everyone to hang out at a beach on our last day before going to the airport on the way home from Sri Lanka, as our flight from Colombo to Bangkok on Thai Airways leaves at midnight.

We're flying Thai Airways

This is all being done the Travelife way, of course. I didn't want everyone to get tired from an entire day out and then to board a flight to Bangkok at midnight; so I arranged for late check-out at our Colombo hotel -- the best hotel in Sri Lanka, by the way -- and then an afternoon of shopping, followed by dinner by the beach.

Everyone gets a room for a few hours at the beach resort as well, compliments of Travelife and the Ambassador of Sri Lanka and our partners, so that they can relax, have a swim and chill out instead of having to wait at the airport for a midnight flight.

Hanging out on a golden beach with a few beers sure beats waiting in a crowded airport terminal. This way, we can be at the airport just 90 minutes before the flight, all relaxed and maybe even sun-tanned. So very Travelife.


But back to the raison d'etre of this blog entry. The other day at 4 PM, there I was at the office editing food articles -- how awful it is to be editing food articles on an empty stomach, as I'd been on a fast the whole day actually -- and looking at the most delicious photos of food and dishes ever.

These are coming out in the February-March 2013 issue of Travelife Magazine, by the way.


I was supposed to be on a diet, or at least a detox. But after editing all those food articles, I simply gave way. Life's too short to be miserably hungry, I told myself.

But I definitely had to be smart about what to eat. I was so close to ordering a juicy rib-eye somewhere or to calling up a couple of friends for an impromptu six-course Thai dinner. While I was typing and editing, I was channeling green chicken curry and ceviche.


Yeah. One of the articles on my computer yesterday was a beautifully written article -- so beautiful that Peru is now on my 2013 travel list! -- by one of my contributing editors, who went to Lima and had the best local food in the world.

He landed in Lima and tried to get a reservation at this hole-in-the-wall that made it to a best restaurants of the world list. No such luck, he was immediately told. Even the President of Peru finds it hard to get a reservation.

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But then somehow they found out he was contributing editor of the country's leading travel & lifestyle publication, which is now also among the most respected travel magazines in Southeast Asia. That got him his table.

Read more about it in Travelife's Super Food Issue, February - March 2013, which will be out on the newsstands by February 15.


As for me, as soon as I was finished editing, I phoned Kasbah, my favorite Northern African restaurant at the Fort, to order a take-away of hummus and tabouleh for pick-up.

This was perfect detox and diet food, and I would be able to soothe my food cravings.

I'm sort of a hummus and tabouleh expert by now, after having spent so much time in the Middle East and North Africa.

And as far as I'm concerned, Kasbah makes the best hummus and tabouleh in Manila. It's usually made fresh on the premises, and you can taste the freshness of the chopped vegetables. So delicious, and so good for you.

And just another delicious day in our never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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