Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40

Sunday, August 23, 2015

     Home is where the heart is! When it comes to restaurant dishes and viands, Filipino cuisine will always be in my heart. Although I'm craving for international cuisines, no one can take the place of Filipino dishes in my heart. So when craving for authentic Filipino food arise, may it be for breakfast, lunch, merienda, or dinner, Via Mare is here to satisfy those hunger pangs anytime of the day!

     I was invited by Via Mare to an afternoon of Filipino food delights. It was an intimate event with lifestyle and food bloggers held in Via Mare TriNoma branch. The branch is inside Landmark so if you're planning to dine in there, be sure to go inside Landmark department store where Via Mare is located. Excited to see what treats we had at Via Mare? Scroll down please and get ready to see those mouth-watering merienda by the one and only Via Mare! 
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40
Via Mare's Brief History

     Unlike other cuisines’ penchant for presentation, Filipino cuisine is served in a more family-oriented manner–without the pomp and frills. And just as many islands there are in the country, so is the number of variations a single dish could possibly have.

     But things changed in September 1975 when Via Mare Seafood Specialty Restaurant opened its doors to the public. After the very first dish was served, Filipino cuisine was never the same again.

     The restaurant did not only change the Filipino’s perception of its own cuisine, it also brought global recognition to the sophistication and complex flavors of the Philippines. Via Mare’s chef Glenda Barretto, who has been at the helm of the restaurant since its inception, and her strong belief in the Filipino cuisine’s potential to be world class is what pushed the restaurant to keep outdoing its achievements.
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40
     While Barretto’s contemporaries would focus on intercontinental cuisine as their piece de rĂ©sistance, she opted to highlight and present well-loved Filipino dishes with modern touches that made it more palatable to foreign guests. If lumpia was known as a roll, the Via Mare version had the filling wrapped in pouches held together by spring onions. The tinola was also given a fresh take by serving the soup in a carved papaya or as a flan, inspired by the Chawanmushi of Japan.

     “The past 40 years is not only the story of a restaurant, it is a story of the Filipino people,” Barretto said. “Via Mare is our pride as we helped a lot of Filipinos enjoy and be proud of the cuisine that we have here, of recipes that we have enjoyed throughout our childhood, and of what Filipino fine cuisine truly tastes like.”

Filipino favorites loved for generations 

     True to its Filipino heritage, Via Mare serves Filipino cuisine that matches the eating pattern of Filipinos: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and merienda – a meal that is served in between the main meals of the day. 

     Merienda, or light snacks, are as important as main meals for Filipinos. At Via Mare, diners can choose from the following well-loved Filipino fare such as:


     One of the favorite deserts of the Filipinos during holiday season but at Via Mare, it's available all year round. You can choose the kind of cheese you want: cheddar cheese or queso de bola.
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40
Puto Bumbong
BIBINGKA (P160 | P130)

     Another well-loved dessert and my favorite too. I can eat bibingka anytime of the day and any day in 365 days of the year. I don't have to wait for Christmas because Via Mare serves this hot off the clay pot. 
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40

     This is my mom's favorite snack. I'll treat my mom on my next visit to Via Mare and she'll be surprised with this. Taro, purple yam and sweet potato stewed in rich coconut cream with rice dumpling, plantain banana and jack fruit- this comfort food gives energy with vitamins and minerals at the same time. Talk about go and glow foods!
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40
Guinataang Halo-Halo

     Oh, so this is puto maya. I was surprised to see the real puto maya. I thought it's just a puto (rice cake) prepared in a different way. It's my first time to see this Filipino dessert- glutinous rice steamed with coconut cream served with ripe mango. 
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40
Puto Maya

     Another Filipino dessert that I considered 'heavy' as a snack. It's very filling. Carbo loading? Then this is the dessert for you!
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40
Bibingka Cassava

     This Filipino merienda reminds me of my childhood. Every afternoon, my siblings will wait for the palitaw vendor to pass by our house. It's classic- poached rice patties with grated coconut and sesame seeds.
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40

     They also have comfort food like arroz caldo, tokwa’t baboy, pansit, fresh lumpia ubod to name a few that's also serve during merienda. 

ARROZ CALDO (P205 | P185)

     This rice porridge is served plain with egg or chicken for a savory meal. A comfort food perfect for cold weather. 
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40
Arroz Caldo

     Some foreigners call it 'chocolate beef', it's one of the favorite dishes among Filipinos. According to Wikipedia, dinuguan is a Filipino savory stew of meat and/or offal (typically lungs, kidneys, intestines, ears, heart and snout) simmered in a rich, spicy dark gravy of pig blood, garlic, chili (most often siling mahaba), and vinegar. Paired with puto for a happy tummy meal!

Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40
Dinuguan at Puto

     Rice porridge topped with adobo flakes, salted duck egg, crisp tofu, pork kilawin, fried wonton, garlic flakes and spring onions. Oh, super love this lugaw toppings because it's very filling and full of flavor! This bowl is good for sharing :)
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40
Lugaw Toppings
 LOMI (P190)

     Another noodle dish that's perfect during rainy season but of course you can have this any season you want!
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40

     This is just a small version of the lumpia ubod- a spring roll of ehart of palm with pork and shrimp. The wrapper is made from scratch and surprisingly it's good. The texture is soft and a little chewy.
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40
Fresh Lumpia Ubod

     Fried tofu and boiled pork in garlic-soy vinaigrette. One of my faves! I can have this anytime of the day.
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40
Tokwa't Baboy

     Via Mare's inimitable pasta delight of rice noodles with luscious shrimp sauce and savory toppings. Should I say more? The photo says it all!
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40
Pancit Luglog

     Ending scrumptious feasts on a sweet note are iced desserts such as halo-halo, mais con hielo, and guinomis. If you want to try these three cold desserts but you're already full, you can try the shooters.


     A small serving of halo-halo, mais con hielo, and guinomis served in a small glass. Satisfy your iced desserts cravings with these three. 
Filipino Merienda with Via Mare at 40
Shooters: halo-halo, mais con hielo, guinomis

     These offerings are good for sharing so fret not about the price. I was overwhelmed by the servings at first, o if I'll do the math, the price is okay. It's worth every peso you'll spend!

     “At 40 years, we have shown the world and most especially our fellow Filipinos, what Filipino cuisine is all about – it is about the freshest of ingredients cooked in influences of our ancestors and the rich heritage of the Filipino nation, sprinkled with the love and affection of a Filipino chef,” Barretto said. 

     Delight in the well-loved Filipino flavors and savor your classic family favorites at Via Mare. Truly, you can never go wrong with Filipino food. It's simple but full of flavor and inspiration. These classics what others would call will always have a special place in our hearts. I do hope you'll agree even though some of you may be craving for international cuisines, these food offerings from Via Mare have imprinted memories from childhood that you'll cherish for a lifetime! What's your favorite merienda in Via Mare?

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About Via Mare
     Via Mare Corporation is a duly registered company backed by 40 solid years of experience. It opened its very first Via Mare Seafood Specialty Restaurant on September 5, 1975 and has since grew and continue to be a frontrunner in the restaurant and catering industry. The brand has become synonymous to the phrase “of splendid cuisine and fond memories” as it has been part of the most historic moments in the country – from state visit of presidents to the Miss Universe pageant. It could very well be said that Via Mare is a part of this country's history and culture—a distinction solely enjoyed by the Philippine's premier restaurant and catering company.
     Via Mare’s corporate strength lies in its core product: the food. With its dynamic food offerings, Via Mare ensures that every dish served conforms to the highest standards of Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) to meet the discriminating taste and preference of its clientele.


  1. This is my first time to hear about them. The merienda looks really delicious though I'm not a fan of kakanin. I'm sure my mom would enjoy their offerings. I'm more into the shooters and the arroz caldo. :)

    ♥ Louise |

  2. nakakagutom naman yang mga food na yan..ang sasarap kaso medyo pricey yata,, hehe nag crave ako sa lugaw,

  3. Living in the US, I haven't had much of a chance to try Filipino cuisine. It sounds like there are so many dishes that I Would like though!


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