This is probably one of various ways how you can not let me eat! I maybe a food lover, and I may not be that finicky as many people, BUT some things do sometimes tickle my usually imaginative hypothalamus that in turn somehow shuts the otherwise glutton of a mouth and stomach combination I have! Look at that picture:
This is at CJK – my favourite haunt when I want to eat delectable and affordable food at/near the Mactan Cebu International Airport. How can you eat with gusto if your supposedly “delectable specialty” seems to be sternly staring at you?! No, I did not return it, or made a scene of any sort. I think I just lost the appetite, and something in me told me to stare back at it – with my digicam, that is! Oh boy…
To tell you the truth, I did sip the perspiringly savory soup of the very same dish – that after I placed the bird on my plate and brought the bowl directly to my mouth! It is really good! The soup, I mean. The herbs and other green whatevers in the broth leaves a wonderful aftertaste, plus, something in the broth also seem to scrape off any impurities in the throat!
But I was hungry… So I flipped the bird over, thinking and hoping it might at least look a bit more like something sumptuous from that side. Voila, this is what I saw!
Argh! I felt like another creature, this time a cross between a baby swan and a baby camel, looked as if begging me to spare it from the wrath of my teeth! Awrrrr!!!
Solution? I left this Manok Bisays untouched on the plate and went back to the counter for my usual favourite - “tinowa” (fish). Ah, that made my day! And did a little trick on social graces… Lest I attract some inquisitive looks, or even a direct query from the staff as to what was wrong with their manok bisaya that I did not quite touch, I attempted to pick portions of it (to no avail) and mangled the body part into pieces, just so it would look like I did eat it! Since when have I eaten the neck of a bird anyway? Hehehe, I don’t like it, its bony!
CJK btw has been my favourite eatery at the Cebu airport for decades now. Long before I even dreamed of packing up and migrating to the city. PAL employees introduced me to it sometime in 1990 or 1991. My favourite then, until now has been the tinowa – which automatically means fish. (In Manila, tinola automatically means chicken). You say tinowang manok, or in this case tinowang bisayang manok, to differentiate it from the usual default meaning of “tinowa” which is fish (tanguigue and/or tuna are the best for me)!
Where is it? Ah, its somewhere over at the parking lot behind Waterfront Hotel (if you were at the airport, that is) and just about across the dear old Silangan Inn.
Oh, for the uninitiated, bisayang manok is usually leaner (a.k.a thinner) than the usual chicken that you and I buy from any supermarket. Just like Pinoys, we are usually smaller than Americans (where those chicken with white feathers came from anyway)! And the meat of the bisayang manok is actually more rubbery to the bite. So, if you are used to chickenjoy, you might not appreciate bisayang manok that well.
Anyway, since I am familiar with this turo-turo’s staff, and they’re alredy familiar with my ubiquitous face, I dared tell them to please cut-off the neck next time they cook bisayang manok. The reply was “many patrons prefer it that way since they like sipping and sucking the head part”! Ahhhrrrk!