Budget hostels, those usually preferred by budget-conscious backpackers, don’t usually equate to good food. At worst, they serve zero food, and at best, their servings are set to simply fill your stomach. But check in at Junction Hostels, one of the newest and trendiest hostels that have sprung up at Makati’s backpacker district and you’d be surprised how good their dishes are.
|JUNCTION HOSTELS’ FUNKY LOBBY IS WHERE THE ACTION’S AT|
|THE CHEF AND HIS BOYS BUSY PREPARING OUR FOOD|
Their dining hall is set at the ground level of the hostel. Here, an assortment of mix and matched tables and chairs rule the floor. On one side sits the Truck, a real-life container van hauled inside the lobby that serves as Junction Hostel’s open kitchen and food concessionaire.
|THE TRUCK IS A REAL CONTAINER VAN|
During our first stay at Junction Hostels, we were told how these guys put in a whole container van inside their lobby. The container, being too large, it was cut panel by panel before being hauled in and rebuilt inside the lobby. Let’s give these guys three slow claps and an A for effort.
|SOFTDRINKS, BEER AND CHEF FEENEY|
The Truck is helmed by chef Jason Feeney who has done stints all around the globe, even sharing the kitchen once with the renowned celebrity chef Boy Logro. Once we knew that there’s a chef orchestrating the Truck, we knew we won’t be getting your bland run-of-the-mill food that night.
|WRAPPED CHILI OR DYNAMITE (PHP120.00)|
|CHICKEN WINGS (PHP180.00)|
One bottle of beer later and we were treated to a barrage of familiar pica-picas with unfamiliar twists. Mini-buckets of quesadillas, dynamite, chicken wings, nachos, beef salpicao and pork barbecues smoothly made its way to our tables.
|BEEF SALPICAO (P195.00), BBQ (P140.00) AND NACHOS W/ MEXICAN GROUND BEEF (P100.00)|
So what’s so different about these, you might ask?
The quesadilla is set with salted egg, spicy tinapa flakes and kasilyo or kesong puti while their dynamite has pork chicharon instead of the usual cheese and ground meat. The chicken wings are seasoned with special salt while their nachos are mixed in with pork sisig. The pork barbecue and the skewered beef salpicao were, uhmm well, they’re just their yummy selves. I guess there’s no need to change what already works.
|CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE|
As a bonus, the Truck also provided us a mix of dips for our pica-picas; mini cups of spicy jalapeno, yogurt cilantro dressing, mornay cheese dressing, spicy garlic vinegar and creamy garlic sauce. These complement every dish set on our table quite well, but I specially love the jalapeno.
|CRAB MEAT (PHP95.00) AND CLAW (PHP115.00) + SQUID (PHP75.00) AND LOBSTER BALLS (PHP85.00)|
After we’ve wiped everything clean, an encore of Filipino street food favorites soon landed on our table; lobster balls, crab meat, crab claw and squid balls; each having its own special dip.
I personally find the prices of this second set to be on the high side, with their lowest—two sticks of squid balls—going for Php75.00. Their main offerings though we’re just right for me, the lowest of the bunch—the nachos pork sisig—set at Php100.00
|NACHOS WITH PORK SISIG (PHP100.00) VERSUS BEERS|
The clear favorite for the group for the first set was the Truck’s chicken wings and skewered beef salpicao, but my personal picks would be their quesadilla and their pork sisig nachos. I love how Filipino it was without sacrificing flavor. For the second set, we were unanimous that it’s the lobster balls and crab claw that made its way to the top, the other two were quite ordinary.
Now the question burning on everyone’s mind, what do we order to complement all these? Rice or beer?
How about both? Both it is!
Address: Annex Matheus bldg. General Luna St. cor.,
Don Pedro, Makati City, Metro Manila
Contact Number: (02) 501-6575 | (02) 501-6578
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Rates and Online Booking: Click Here
GPS Coordinates Map: 14°33'53.0"N 121°01'55.2"E