19 Jul2009


I just returned minutes ago from the Legazpi Sunday Market, which is celebrating it’s 4th Anniversary at their current location. Wow! They had the most fantastic outdoor, market, street style buffet I have seen and tasted in recent years! Really wonderful. I normally get to the weekend markets by 730 am at the latest, but this morning I got up after 9 am, and still wanted to go take a quick stroll around the market to see what was new. I haven’t been to the Legazpi market in months, due to travel, work and whatnot. What always struck me as a market a little in the shadow of the nearby Saturday Salcedo Market, I had always hoped Legazpi would get critical mass and have its own robust following. I think it’s safe to say recent efforts by market organizers have definitely yielded positive results. There are more vendors, more produce and prepared foods on offer, and though today was a special day, the place was truly crawling with customers despite the hot and muggy (though thankfully not rainy) weather. After saying hello to our suki Banj with the wonderful bone china items, I headed over to Mr. Tanco’s stall to buy some pink Himalayan salt, a gift for a friend. At PHP180 for several chunks of salt in a plastic container, I thought it was a much better deal than Himalayan salts I have purchased abroad in fancier packaging. I always find it great table conversation to discuss the origins of this salt from ancient deposits mined in the Himalayan mountains…


I swung by the buffet being set up and said hello to Tita Cely Kalaw, who had informed me about the 4th anniversary of the market, and quickly tried to make my exit, but not before running across Ding Perez’s interesting stall which featured bamboo trays, other native crafts, housewares and these ceramic bowls with coconut shell covers to keep one’s soup or rice warm. I bought a dozen bowls, sans the fancy packaging on offer, and will use them in a Pinoy themed dinner in the future. I also purchased this ceramic hot chocolate pot, which Ding claimed could be put directly on a low flame so I hope that works (NOTE: It cracked on the first use, so as I suspected it can’t take much if any direct heat. Useless. It’s in the garbage now. I can’t stand it when vendors sell you something that they probably have tried out themselves). I have several aluminum chocolate pots but it would be nice to make hot chocolate in a ceramic one that you can bring straight to the table…


Before I could leave the market, the indefatigable Ms. Kalaw had cornered me using the public address system(!) and insisted that I get a taste of the food on offer at the stunningly long and wonderfully groaning buffet. I couldn’t resist, many thanks Tita Cely for buying me a plate. I don’t often take a freebie, but in this case I couldn’t say no. And thank goodness I didn’t. The buffet was the combined effort of all of the prepared food vendors in the market. This is the second time they have done this during their anniversary celebration, and I have to say, it was unlike any buffet you have been to lately. For a very modest charge, you got to taste dozens, possibly hundreds of different dishes on offer. I hadn’t intended to go to the market to write a post today, so I had no camera or pen and notepad so I apologize for not being more accurate about who provided what… superb shrimp wrap with pungent sauce from the Wraps stall, great eggplant and eggs with sambal from the Indonesian stall, steamed spinach dumplings, pasta, dinuguan, daing, organic dishes, sinigangs, drinks, desserts, fruits and a nearly endless list of goodies. Wow! If I am around next year for their 5th anniversary, that is one buffet I do not intend to miss! Happy Anniversary Legazpi Market!

The following photos of the amazing buffet and patrons as well as Legazpi market organizers and volunteers were taken and sent by Mike Claparols, thanks Mike!




  1. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Wow!!! That is a great idea of combining all the prepared food purveyors into one buffet spread. I will keep that in mind, as we try to spearhead starting one (food market) in Cebu.

    Anyone interested to join me and help organize one?

    Jul 19, 2009 | 1:55 pm


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  3. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    MM, Sorry I hijacked your post on the Sunday Legaspi Market. I got excited on the idea….

    Anyway, I had to take a second look at your first picture before I realized it was the pink himalayan salt rather than what I thought was a badly frozen salmon!!! hehehe

    Jul 19, 2009 | 2:04 pm

  4. silly lolo says:

    Last time I was home (about 5 yrs. ago), I fell in love with Market Market! Not so much for the merchandise but for the “eats”. It got so the family would have to look for me at Market Market to say hello. It was perfect. I could always offer some hospitality by offering food or drink. I spent whole days hanging out with the buko vendor who always served me a perfect specimen! Looks like Legazpi Market will be the place this time. Look out Legazpi Market, Silly Lolo is coming to town! I hope you post about other Markets worth visiting soon.

    Jul 19, 2009 | 2:14 pm

  5. silly lolo says:

    A food market in Cebu? Artisan C, I hope you get it organized soon enough for us to enjoy. I could get to Cebu as early as Nov. if you get your market going!

    Jul 19, 2009 | 2:22 pm

  6. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Hey Silly Lolo!!! still up? Getting in shape to stay awake for our December eyeball?! hehehe

    Jul 19, 2009 | 2:28 pm

  7. betty q. says:

    OK, Artisan!…with all these things happening there or are in the works, I think I would like to retire now and head back there. Now I understand why my Ate ALWAYS goes back there like 4 x a year! Truly, I am envious…

    Jul 19, 2009 | 2:38 pm

  8. corrine says:

    haha! I also thought it was frozen fish fillet. Wow, MM, the Himalayan salt is truly wonderful. Does Mr. Tanco have a regular stall in the Saturday or Sunday market? How about Dizon farms with all those nice veggies! I am very interested and I am sure a lot of the foodies out there.

    Jul 19, 2009 | 3:22 pm

  9. Gerry says:

    I was looking at some foreign fine food purveyors and guess what I stumbled upon – Pangasinan gourmet salt! It’s a fleur de sel type salt and I think it’s great that it’s being done here. Check out this link http://www.atthemeadow.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_28_108&products_id=349&zenid=71ef818fffef4516a4580c7d29280d2e

    Jul 19, 2009 | 8:00 pm

  10. Kacy says:

    It certainly was a wonderful buffet! We’d been looking forward to it for weeks.

    My boyfriend & I were standing in line for the tickets just before the buffet opened, and I thought I saw you at the other end of the table (I recognised you from “No Reservations”) eating & talking with the organizers, but I was too shy to say hello.

    Since each person was only allowed one trip through the buffet, I wish they could have at least provided larger paper plates. Although the size of the plates certainly engendered some impressive food stacking skills that I’d never witnessed before. :)

    Jul 19, 2009 | 8:05 pm

  11. natie says:

    definitely a MUST-visit…all that food!

    astisan choc: that’s a brilliant idea! i’m positive it would rival other markets!

    Jul 19, 2009 | 8:09 pm

  12. joey says:

    I love that Legazpi market gets more customers and attention thatn before…I personally enjoy this market a lot. I love the laid back vibe they have and, of course, the goods they have on offer. Didn’t get to sample the buffet but we were there too! :) I did notice that smart looking ceramic hot chocolate pot though!

    Jul 19, 2009 | 8:33 pm

  13. adam says:

    Hi MM….we have been going to the Legazpi market for several years now (it’s just around the corner)and like yourself, and Joey above, we are really happy at the way it has grown. It looked a forlorn place about 18 – 20 months ago with only a few stalls but it has developed fantastically since it moved to the new location. It now gives Legazpi Village a special feel on Sundays. So all credit to the Organisers. Queue for the buffet looked a bit long this morning so we skipped it and had ‘take out’ from some of the other stalls instead. Will be be better prepared next year!

    Jul 19, 2009 | 9:12 pm

  14. Nel says:

    What does pink Himalayan salt taste like?

    Jul 20, 2009 | 1:56 am

  15. Nina says:

    We will be visiting late this year and making a list of things to do, buy, etc. Would someone please post the exact address of the Legaspi and Salcedo markets so we can visit them. Thanks.

    Jul 20, 2009 | 2:36 am

  16. maddie says:

    Nina, the Legazpi Market is held on the open parking lot of Legazpi corner V.A. Rufino Streets in Legazpi Village. It’s right across the Starbucks and near Union Church.

    Jul 20, 2009 | 2:59 am

  17. Nina says:

    Thanks, Maddie. What about the Salcedo market, anyone know the exact address. Thanks again.

    Jul 20, 2009 | 10:23 am

  18. Marketman says:

    Nina, Salcedo market on Saturdays is located at the Jaime Velazquez parking lot in Salcedo village, right in front of the One Salcedo apartment building and near the Makati Sports Club. On a Saturday, you can’t miss it…

    Jul 20, 2009 | 5:46 pm

  19. Ranza says:

    Cool photos from Mike Claparols!

    Jul 20, 2009 | 8:59 pm

  20. Gina says:

    Wow that’s a mighty fine spread right there. Ever since the Inquirer ran a feature on weekend markets, I’ve been meaning to visit the Legazpi one with a clear mission in mind. MM and other Legazpi regulars, is there a stall there that sells BEADED cake and salad servers (regular implements with handles adorned with beads or colorful stones)? I saw a photo in the Inquirer about a month ago but I am not sure if the stall owner is a regular.

    Jul 21, 2009 | 2:49 am

  21. Jessica says:

    Oh, that buffet looks amazing! I recently bought some Himalayan sea salt as a gift myself! I got mine from Sustainable Sourcing http://www.himalasalt.com and the recipient LOVED it!

    Jul 21, 2009 | 9:00 am

  22. Laura says:

    Those rice bowls with bao covers are so original ~ I like to collect unique Asian tableware & I will find it hard not to get a few of those. Looking fwd to see how you will incorporate them in your table setting ~ thanks for the ideas!

    Jul 21, 2009 | 11:37 am

  23. zaynee says:

    hi gina…yes you will find the cake servers and other utensils at the market. look for the stall Patika.

    Jul 21, 2009 | 2:32 pm

  24. Gina says:

    zaynee, thank you very much for the info.

    Jul 21, 2009 | 3:11 pm

  25. Mike says:

    Hi Gina… in Patika you may look for Mylene, she’s the stall owner.

    Jul 21, 2009 | 3:17 pm

  26. anne says:

    i go to both markets…love Legazpi soooo much more than the other…i find it friendly although there are lots of stalls found in both markets…i was not able to go to the buffet this year but i was there last year…it was great then too!!! i love legazpi market! love the relyenong bangus, the eggplant parmigiana from the mother and daughter team and i also love the ice cream from the lady with glasses…for those who are salcedo loyalists, try the sunday market too!!!

    Jul 21, 2009 | 5:55 pm

  27. Gina says:

    Hi Mike. Patika, got it. Thanks lots!

    Jul 21, 2009 | 7:26 pm

  28. izang says:

    Hi MM,

    I thought the picture was candied kundol….

    What is the nearest landmark to Legazpi Market?

    Jul 21, 2009 | 11:26 pm

  29. izang says:

    oops….missed the post by maddie….

    I know where union church is (is it the one at the corner of rada and legazpi streets?)…i will try and come around one sunday…


    Jul 21, 2009 | 11:30 pm

  30. joyce says:

    hehe, i thought the first picture was a frozen salmon as well and was i had wondered why there was no picture of the himalayan salt

    Jul 22, 2009 | 9:19 pm

  31. QueenB says:

    Mouth-watering! and I just had my lunch.

    Jul 24, 2009 | 10:54 am

  32. Paul Y. Shimada says:

    It’s such a shame that your ceramic chocolate pot cracked.

    Many ceramic containers could be safely placed over a flame if they were separated by a “flame spreader.” You might remember the wire screen under the beaker, suspended by a tripod above the bunsen burner flame in your chemistry lab class.

    When heated over a direct flame with NO flame spreader, the bottom-outside ceramic surface at the tip of the flame heats very rapidly and expands quickly, whereas the bottom-inside and bottom-mid portions of the container wall heat and expand more slowly. It is the differential expansion of the outside and inside surfaces that cause the container to crack.

    A wire mesh flame spreader (with or without an embedded asbestos mat) spreads the flame heat over a wider area, at least 10 times compared to directly heating a tiny hot spot above the flame tip. That means the heat at any point above the flame spreader is no more than 1/10 the heat at the tip of the naked flame. Thus, no point overheats suddenly and the entire area and thickness of the bottom wall gradually heat up without massive differential expansion and cracking.

    Notes: (1) Never heat empty glass or ceramic containers without some liquid inside because if might crack even with a flame spreader, and would most likely crack when you add a liquid to the heated container. (2) If the bottom wall of the container is very thick, even a flame spreader may not give adequate protection if the flame is big and hot. (3) Glass and ceramics may crack if heated directly on an electric stove; again, a flame spreader would help. (4) Your glass or ceramic containers have a better chance of survival with a flame spreader if you apply heat gently–start with a small-medium flame or start with a cold electric element! This is the principle of thick-walled ceramic slow cookers–increasing from low to medium heat.

    Nov 2, 2009 | 5:06 am

  33. cookwithmichael says:

    Can anyone please tell me where to buy a flame spreader?
    I plan to cook with clay pots and must avoid direct flame as the pots tend to crack. .
    No one on the internet so far has any. Please help.

    Dec 20, 2009 | 6:34 pm


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