Have a Taste of Peranakan Cuisine, one of the Oldest Southeast Asian Cuisines, at The Common Good Food Playground

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Known as a food playground which houses nine different dining concepts in a 5-star hotel that is I’M Hotel, The Common Good brings everyone together with a shared love of food. This is where the common denominator of all guest’s experience is simply good food, that’s what they say about themselves. However, what they don’t know is that their guests don’t just experience good food but great food, for that matter.

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Aforementioned, The Common Good offers 9 different dining concepts to its guests. Parilla (Mouthwatering grilled and roasted delights), Al Dente (Italian with a pan-asian twist), Paul & Ranuka (Healthy, honest eats), Empress Jade (The best of modern Chinese cuisine), Perfect Four (or in chinese完美 便当 – Economical Rice), Tiffin (Indian delights from breakfast to dinner and in between), Fountain (Modern Healthy Beverages), One Bowl Wonder (Japanese and Hong Kong “Donburi” rice topping concepts), and Sucre (The french word for sugar – For desserts like the instagrammable Shibuya Honey French Toast and ice cream). These nine concepts unite each and every individual to dine together under one roof while enjoying each of their own choice of delicious food.

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With that, the day was closing in, but the night was just about to start when we dined at The Common Good. Indeed, it was a dinner experience we won’t ever forget. We didn’t get to try food from each of those 9 different dining concepts, but what we got to try were some of what they are already offering and some of what they are to release still – which is so much more, if you ask us!

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Anyway, The Common Good is currently cooking up a lot of surprises for their patrons – one of which is one of the oldest Southeast Asian cuisines, the Peranakan. The cuisine that is Peranakan or Nonya came from who we know as Peranakans, descendants of early Chinese migrants who decided to settle in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The Malay word “Nonya” (also spelled as Nyonya or Nyonyah) is an honorific used to show respect to women of prominent social standing, which throughout the years, come to refer to the cuisine of the Peranakans. Proud with rich food traditions and distinct, mouthwatering flavors, these dishes give travelers a taste of the region’s renowned history, as no two Peranakan dishes are the same.

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The first Peranakan dish we got to have was The Common Good’s Buah Keluak. It’s a classic Peranakan dish; unique for its usage of the seed of the Kepayang, a tall tree native to the mangrove swamps of not only Malaysia, but Indonesia as well. The seed on its own is actually poisonous if uncooked because it contains hydrogen cyanide, but don’t worry because The Common Good requires themselves a great deal of prep before it can be ingested.

The Buah Keluak of The Common Good, in regards to taste, is a piquant dish oozing of spice, tang, and bitterness almost the same as good single origin dark chocolate.

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The other Peranakan dish we had was the Sambal Fish, a great favorite among longtime Peranakan and Nonya fans and newcomers alike. The mackerel was stuffed with sambal, a chili paste which typically is made with chilies of various kinds and sizes, along with shallots, garlic, tomatoes, shrimp paste, coconut oil, lime juice, pepper, salt, and a bit of honey or coconut palm sugar. With this, the Sambal Fish was aromatic and has the perfect balance of flavors, singing of spice from the sambal paste that is stuffed in and some spread on the fish itself.

This dish was a favorite of our table, and as Filipinos, we think it goes really well with our lovely staple food, the rice. We recommend you try it, because we are quite sure you won’t regret it.

After having some delectable Peranakan dishes, we tried a few dishes from some of the 9 dining concepts The Common Good is popular of – The Empress Jade and Al Dente.

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In our experience of the best of modern Chinese cuisine, we had the Taro Puffs from the Empress Jade dining concept. Taro puffs are fragrant taro and fresh scallops fried with a crispy golden shell. Lightly crisp on the outside, creamy underneath, and bursting with meat at its core; it was a delight to eat this dish. Enhance its flavor even more by dipping it on its sauce.

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Meanwhile, with Al Dente, the aim of The Common Good was to balance tradition with innovation, offering people their take on the classics alongside more unique Filipino flavor combinations. Their Lechon “Labyou” Rucolina is a pasta dish, with pork lechon shreds and crackling, sautéed in tomato, local vinegar, labuyo, and talbos ng camote.

Certainly, this was a classic Filipino dish with a twist – the pasta noodles with the fun crunch and tenderness of lechon crackling and shreds is a combination worth trying out.

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Speaking of noodles, we got to dig into another noodle dish that is a Pinoy Favorite, the Pancit Canton. Stir fried seafood, pork and chicken meat, tossed with vegetables in soy and sesame oil, this pampahaba-ng-buhay-dish is a tasty one you, too, will enjoy eating.

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Another Pinoy Favorite we had was the Sinigang na Hipon & Bangus – tamarind broth with kangkong and tomatoes, together with shrimps and fish. This is a dish loved by many, including us. You’ll really reach for more rice with this one!

Having to try a lot of cuisines was an amazing experience; especially we got to try a new one, the Peranakan. With almost full tummies and added knowledge from this food adventure of ours, The Common Good wasn’t done with us yet as we got to try some of their desserts as well.

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If we are not mistaken, this first one is what they call the Soya Jelly. With colorful gelatin, beans, and a lot of other yummy, fun ingredients, this one is like Halo-Halo without the ice, and we suggest you try it out as well!

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Another dessert we had was The Common Good’s Coconut Mille Crepe; we appreciate the subtlety of the taste of this one. With the blend of sweetness and the taste of coconut, it’s a soft and light delicacy one would take pleasure in eating.

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To wrap this amazing dinner we had, we just want to say, head out to The Common Good Food Playground at I’M Hotel if you are knees in too deep about thinking what food you want to get a taste of or what cuisine you want to try next, because we are quite sure you’ll find something you’ll like or even fall in love with anything, if not everything, that they have.

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Enjoy an elegant downtime with your family and/or friends here at The Common Good Food Playground, with a wide variety of dishes that would satisfy anyone’s craving. Order yourselves some drinks that would go really well with your small talks, heart-to-heart talks, or some casual conversations in Makati’s International Food Playground found in I’M Hotel.

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