Buendia Food by the Court: Top 10 Stalls you Need to Try

Okay, this is going to be a long post so please, bear with me. I promise it will be worth it. First of all, kudos to the people of SUDECO for creating such a thoughtfully curated food park called BUENDIA FOOD BY THE COURT. 

As the name suggests, the food stalls are situated right next to a basketball court along Buendia (Gil Puyat Ave.) in Makati City, Philippines. Barkadas coming straight off a game could enjoy the numerous food options after working up an appetite.

However, the place isn’t restricted to patrons of the sports facilities. As mentioned during the media launch, the food park was built for “Makatizens” and foodies from all over the Metro. Here, one can find a wide array of reasonably priced food and beverages.

I say curated because the food stalls (now 27 in total) offer a diverse selection of cuisines that were obviously screened before being included into the fold. There are some Filipino favorites alongside some hard-to-find local delicacies. Likewise, there are stalls that offer foreign food items that I discovered through my travels and am pleased to rediscover here. Without further adieu, here are my 10 favorite food stalls (in no particular order) in BUENDIA FOOD BY THE COURT (BFBTC):

1.  J&V Lechon Belly (Filipino): LECHON BELLY. Really, need I say more? This corner stall is tucked away in the far end of the food park but you should really make a beeline for it when you come here. I particularly liked their dinakdakan, a creamy Ilocano version of the sisig, which they made out of chopped belly instead of the traditional pig’s face. I liked this so much that I ended up ordering a kilo for take-out when I was here for the media launch!

The J&V Pork Belly Dinakdakan

J&V Lechon Belly Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
2. Doss Pares (Filipino): I often have visitors from out of the country. After making friends from all over the world through my travels, I really enjoy it when it’s my turn to get a quick visit. One of the things I like most about having visitors is introducing Filipino food to my foreign friends. On one of my trips to BFBTC, I invited my friend Leah and we were joined by my Italian visitor, Alessandro. Likewise, my friend Cristina came along with her Argentine husband, Fernando. Doss Pares offered a wide selection of Filipino favorites and sizzling specialties. What really caught my eye here, was their Sizzling BALUT(fertilized duck eggs)! What a treat! It looked as scary as the foreigners imagined but it sure tasted great! Highly recommended!

Doss Pares offers a selection of Filipino specialties including the Rellenong Pusit (Stuffed Squid)
A close-up look at the Sizzling Balut (fertilized duck eggs)
Here’s Alessa enjoying a macho mug of San Miguel Beer and a plate of sizzling balut!


3. Sisig MNL (Filipino): I love sisig so much so that it had to make an appearance here even though I already mentioned the pork belly dinakdakan. I have to agree with Celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain, when he said that Filipinos should push sisig as the flag bearer of Filipino cuisine. Sisig MNL offers versions made out of various meats including wagyu, crocodile and ostrich. I haven’t tried the exotic meats but their traditional pork version is spot on.


4. Rojak Salad (Indonesian): While this might be the most humble food offering here, it’s definitely a must try. The stall offers only traditional fruit and vegetable salads often found in Indonesia, Malaysia or Singapore. The mix of fresh produce and a sweet, sour and spicy peanut dressing is a great accompaniment to the rich meal you are likely to have if you are dining at BFBTC.


5. Bakmi Nyonya (Indonesian/Malay): Speaking of Indonesian cuisine, I literally jumped up and down when I spotted Bakmi Nyonya. I have travelled to Indonesia numerous times and I’m a huge fan of their food. It’s very hard to find Indonesian food and ingredients in Manila, so it was quite a delight to find a stall that serves authentic dishes that I have been missing. I had their Nasi Goreng and a pile of satays. Along with their peanut sauce, I drenched everything in Kecap Manis, a thick, sweet soy sauce that Filipinos should really start using! 

They even sold my fave Teh Botol, a bottled tea drink from Indonesia!


6. Barrel Smoker (Western): Well, we can’t keep it all exotic and Asian, right? Barrel Smoker offers a wide selection of smoky, barbecued meats.  The Riblets are bathed in a sweet and tangy hickory barbecue sauce and smoked to perfection. The Peri-Peri chicken is equally impressive, with a spicy kick to it. Everything just falls off the bone, thanks to the wonders of slow cooking with lots and lots of smoke!


7. Pappi Boy’s Spanish Cocina (Spanish): Spain is perhaps my favorite country outside of the Philippines. Spanish cuisine is also at the top of my list of favorites. Those who know me well also know that I make a mean paella. That’s why it’s a big deal that Pappi Boy’s Spanish Cocina is one of my recommended stalls in BFBTC. While they clearly don’t use the traditional Spanish bomba rice in their paella, I can forgive that because it probably means that we can get a bigger serving for a fraction of what it would cost in a fancy-shmancy place somewhere else. The flavors are spot-on and as you can see from the photo below, they don’t scrimp on the seafood!8. Isha’s Little Thai Kitchen (Thai): Moving back to Asia, the next stall that caught my attention was Isha’s. Firstly, the name is close to my own so my narcissistic self could not resist but to check it out. Next, there was a huge glass of Thai iced tea on display. Jackpot! My friends and I enjoyed numerous dishes from the food park but let me tell you, the pad thai from here was the only one that was practically inhaled by all of us. It didn’t last very long despite the large amount of food on the table. 

Some happy faces posing for a quick photo in between bites of that yummy pad thai


9. Jack’s Joint (Mediterranean): Here’s another place that offers one of my favorite snacks from abroad, the Doner Kebap/Kebab! They serve a version here that’s a shawarma hybrid…a clear effort to make it sound more familiar to the locals. Instead of the Turkish way of serving them on pita pockets, they are rolled into wraps, just the way we are used to seeing them in the Philippines. Watching the strips of meat being shaved off the giant upright rotisserie brought me right back to late (drunken)nights out in the Europe!!!


10. Little Kodo (Japanese): I’m always on the lookout for a takoyaki place that serves them with actual pieces of octopus inside. I’m wary of the mall versions where the balls are filled with cabbage and not much else huhu. Little Kodo’s version was mighty damn close to the ones in the streets of Osaka. Again, here’s another spot that prompted me to get some take away. They also serve some Japanese staples like ramen, maki, donburi and gyoza. I’ll definitely come back to try out their other offerings.

Well, that wraps up my top 10 stalls in Buendia Food by the Park. However, that doesn’t mean the others are not worth a try! To be honest, it was difficult to narrow the list down to ten. Here’s a list of the other stalls that you can come and enjoy:

  • RJ’s Bowl-Gogi (Korean)
  • Lamexa (Mexican)
  • Brother’s Blends (Beverages, Ice Cream)
  • Longga-Niche-Ah (Filipino)
  • Shang Kee (Chinese)
  • Burgers Meet Wings (Western)
  • Goto Pinoy (Filipino)
  • Rouche Grill (Americn, Asian)
  • Shrimper’s List (Asian Seafood)
  • Mad Subs (Western)
  • Joe’s Your Day & Night Longga (Filipino)
  • TapAddiction (Filipino)
  • Korvit’s Grill (Filipino)
  • Ice Cold (Beverages)
  • XOXO Waffles and Frosts (Desserts)
  • Sausage Party (German)
  • Fritoohhh (Street Food, Asian)

Overall, it’s a great place to hang out on your cheat day. The only drawback would be the number of people there. We found it a little bit difficult to find a table on a weekday evening. However, a few minutes of waiting didn’t dampen the mood. The monsoon season can’t be helping since most of the food park is open. Nevertheless, the cooler temperatures are certainly be better than hot and humid evenings.

My friends and I enjoyed out little food trip!

Buendia Food by the Court is located at 24 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. cor. Bautista St. Bgy. San Isidro, Makati City.

Operating Hours: Sun-Thurs 5:00pm-12mn, Fri-Sat 5:00pm-2:00am.