Someone once told me of a restaurant in Manila that has a live pig tethered right outside its doorsteps. I thought that it just existed in her imagination, but one lazy Saturday afternoon last year, my friends and I stumbled upon Ambos Mundos. The restaurant is indeed real and yes, the pig is very much alive.
Ambos Mundos has been around since 1888 and is considered to be among the oldest food establishments in the Philippines. I’m not sure if our porcine fellow also shared the same history with the restaurant, because if you are a pig especially in this part of the world, you cannot exist that long. You either end up rotating over fiery charcoals during fiestas or find parts of yourself in all kinds of Filipino dishes.
"They all die a natural death," the waitstaff politely assured us. The pig and all its predecessors, we later learned, were good luck charms of the owners. It may have served its purpose well indeed. Although the restaurant is located near two train stations in Recto, it is also stuck in a district that may not be your ideal foodie destination. Yet it still survived to this day, thanks to the pig of course and the many loyal patrons of the Ambos Mundos.
|You browse through the restaurant menu in a plastic file folder, the kind that you would usually see in karaoke joints elsewhere.|
|The paella and the callos.|
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