It can be challenging to stick to a limited budget if you tend to have a hankering for dishes that your standard carinderia isn’t likely to serve. It’s especially horrible on the day before payday, when you’re PMS-ing, craving for Yellow Cab’s Charlie Chan Chicken Pasta, and down to your last P100.
The previous scenario is precisely what brought me to Flavor Square in the first place. I was walking back to my office after an afternoon of running errands. My tummy was rumbling and screaming for my favorite Yellow Cab pasta but my pre-payday wallet was vehemently protesting and urged me to eat at home instead. I was dead set on ignoring the hunger pangs until I smelled the aroma of teriyaki sauce and garlic on the street. I thought my cravings were simply making me delirious since the area I was in was rife with informal settlers and the few eateries that were there would make even the least squeamish among us hesitate before sitting down for a meal.
Flavor Square’s frontage was clearly marked and brightly lit, with a couple of tarps advertising their menu offerings outside the place. It’s easy to see for anyone passing through Gen. Malvar street in Brgy. San Antonio in Pasig. Granted, it’s not your typical carinderia since they serve pasta meals and different sorts of fried rice instead of the usual rice and ulam combo but their prices made me curious about the quality of their offerings.
A huge serving of Kung Pao Chicken Pasta could be had for PHP70 (while the very similar Charlie Chan Chicken Pasta I was craving for is priced at PHP270), so I went for it. Did it taste exactly the same? No (and the noodles weren’t as al dente but you go elsewhere for that anyway), but it came pretty darn close and I left the place with my cravings fully satisfied.
Over the next few weeks (and especially after I found out that they delivered food all the way up to Kapitolyo), I got to try more of their dishes. The Beef Teriyaki Rice is a particular favorite, with its rice grains coated with Flavor Square’s homemade teriyaki sauce, stir fried with a generous helping of tender beef chunks, and then topped off with a heaping spoonful of chopped green onions. I usually order that when I need something quick and satisfying during 15-minute lunch breaks, or when my boyfriend visits my office and we’re both unwilling to shell out more than PHP55 each for a meal.
The Chicken Pesto Rice is another winner (and quite a steal at PHP70 considering they make their own pesto on site every day), while the Kani Aligue Rice comes with breaded, deep-fried kani sticks and is so decadent that you just know it’s bad for you (but you’ll keep eating it anyway). And for those days when you want something light, meat-free, but still substantial, the Seafood Marinara Pasta is a good bet.
Flavor Square had about fourteen regular menu offerings the last time I checked, and I have yet to sample all of them. Thankfully, with it’s affordable price, there’s no reason to wait until my next payday to do just that.