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Bistro de Manila AYCE $7.99 buffet – The best Filipino food in Oakland … chicharon on Friday

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It is not only the best Filipino food, it is also the worst since it is the only Filipino food in Oakland.

The steam table food is fine. There was nothing that will blow you away, but it was respectable.

There is an option for take-out. They weigh the takeout container and the price depends on what is selected. All meat, all veggie and combo take-out has different prices.

The daily menus are taped to the wall. Since there is so much talk about chicharrones lately, I thought I’d mention it is served on Friday. Don’t know what prep though.

From reading yelp, it seems the best day to go is Friday. Sometimes they have ‘make your own’ halo halo.

Every day they have ginitaan for dessert plus a dessert of the day. Maybe someone who is Filipino can help me out. What exactly is the ginituan here? Was it the hot tapioca porridge with mung beans or the cold fruit cocktail mixed in a thin custard-like sauce?

The menu on Tuesday is

Pancit canton
Kare kare
Pork adobo
Chicken bbq
Green beans, chayote, pinakbet
Paksiw na tlapia
Lumpia Shanghai
Pork Sinigang
Another soup (didn’t try it)
White rice

They have a lot of condiment bottles on the side such as sriracha, soy sauce, white soy sauce (or was that vinegar in a soy sauce bottle), etc

They also has a bowl of sweet and sour sauce for the lumpia and a bowl of fish paste to mix in the kare kare. I thought the kare kare was good.

I also liked the sinigang which was a nicely sour soup and had large tender pieces of bone-on pork with lots of veggies such as sliced root veggies, greens and what I mistook as okra … I think it was a jalapeno because when I bit into it … yow!

There were a few dishes in addition to those posted. There was some sort of squash-like veggie with ground pork. There were two chicken dishes. I’m guessing the chicken bbq was the chicken in teriyaki sauce. Didn’t seem very bbq to me though. There were also large pieces of bone-on chopped up stewed chicken.

I really wonder if those were tlapia steaks or pompano. Until I read the menu I was thinking they were herring. The white flesh was good, but the speckled skin had a muddy taste.

This is a large room that somehow reminded me ambiance-wise of B&M in SF.

There is a karaoke stage and they were playing videos of people singing karaoke. At one time they had karaoke nights, but now they are only open for lunch and the karaoke is only available for private events.

Not much in the way of beverages other than bottled beer, canned sodas and pitchers of iced tap water. Pay before you sit down and grab a plate.

It is not amazing food but I thought it was decent and better than some of the other Filipino steam table food I’ve tried. IMO it was a good value for the price.

I’ll put the other menus posted for the other days of the week in the first reply.

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Bistro de Manila
365 19th St, Oakland, CA 94612

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  1. MONDAY

    Pancit bihon
    Dinuguan
    Pork menudo
    Lechon kawali
    Chicken adobo
    Ginisang mungo, chayote, pinakbet
    Fried tlapia
    Lumpia
    Pork Sinigang
    Ginataan
    Dessert of the day

    TUESDAY (listed in OP)

    WEDNESDAY

    Pancit malabon
    Pork afritada
    Pork bbq
    Dinuguan
    Chicken adobo
    Ginisang mungo, sitwa, kalabasa
    Fried tlapia
    Chicken tinola
    Ginataan
    Dessert of the day

    THURSDAY

    Pancit bilton/canton
    Beef kadereta
    Chicken adobo
    Pork bbq
    Green beans, chayote, pinakbet
    sarciado na tlapia or pompano
    Pork Sinigang
    Ginataan
    Dessert of the day

    FRIDAY

    Pancit malabon
    Kare kare
    Lechon kiwali
    Dinuguan
    Chicharon
    Chicken adobo
    Crispy chicken
    Beef with broccoli, pinakbet
    Fried tlapia
    Pork Sinigang
    Ginataan
    Dessert of the day

    1. Thanks for the report!

      I'm guessing their ginataan includes taro/purple yam/sweet potato along with some jackfruit, tapioca/sago pearls, and plantains. It's cooked in coconut milk and glutinous rice is used for the consistency. It can be served either warm or cold.

      2 Replies
      1. re: westcoaststyle

        That's why I was confused about what they considered ginataan. I had the version you mentioned, served warm, at both a Rodeo Filipino restaurant and a church pot luck. It looked very much like the dish in this wiki
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginataan

        This is a tasty dish and I'm finally glad to have a name to attach to it. Is it pronounced like it looks?

        However, if it is the canned fruit cocktail in sauce ... tasty as that was ... it is a lousy version of ginataan.

        I did find a reference on the web that mentions mung beans which looked like the hot 'porridge'. at the restaurant
        http://inourkitchen.blogspot.com/2007...

      2. Looks like Bistro de Manila is history. Passed by today hoping for lunch and it turns out work is being done inside and a piece of paper taped on the window says "Vietnamese Restaurant Coming Soon."