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Why are restaurants in the Philippines such a ripoff?!

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Postby Winston » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:29 pm

Terrence, is that you? Did you announce your screen name change in the Introduce Yourself board? If not, do you want me to?

Nice new screen name. Sounds very bold and daring. lol
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Postby Winston » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:32 pm

Check this out. I posted the same rant about ripoff restaurants in the Philippines in PinoyExchange, the largest Filipino forum in the world, and surprisingly, no one was offended by it. In fact, the posters agreed with me! Look!

http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/sho ... p?t=516681
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Restaurants

Postby robincolorado » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:13 pm

First of all Winston why are you going to American chain restaurants in the Philippines? I agree most of the chains do suck, but they suck in the US too. I have had mostly (about 90%) good luck with filling my gut in the Philippines. First of all my Filipina girlfriend can cook better than anyone I have ever known. We go to the market (where the fish are still alive when you buy them) and spend less than 1000 P and eat like royalty for several days. I have had only the finest food served at my table when I am there. I have an apartment in Laoag City now but am there only part time as I am still working in the US. I get over there about every 3 to 4 months now and stay for about a month each time. We have eaten out locally several times and I agree the chains that started in America are pretty disappointing there for various reasons. We ate at an Australian originated chain coffee shop( I think its called Mocha Stop) and had delicious food there. There was a Tuna sandwich that was to die for. We ate in Tuguegarao in April and instead of going to Chow King (which I hate) we had the Trike driver take us down the street to a local mom and pop place. By the way the mom and pop stands/carts are all over the place in Laoag City. We had more than I could possibly eat at the mom and pop place for well under 500P and it was all tasty. I try to make sure (but who really knows) of the meat that is actually being served. I guess you take a chance on that in the Phils. I would like to think I am not eating someone's dog. But that is another subject and pet (pun intended) peeve of mine via personal experience in the Phils. I will bring that back up in another discussion. I am guessing that things are a little different in Manila as opposed to living out in the sticks like Laoag City. I have eaten at a couple of places in the SM Mall of Asia and had good experiences there too. I got taken out to eat by a client when I was in Manila to a great Filipino restaurant. Everything I tasted there was wonderful. A little pricey but that is the kind of restaurant it was. (still cheap compared to an equivalent restaurant in the US) It was at Madre Ignacia and San Andres street in Malate. So other than the chain restaurants sucking there (like they do in the US), I have had rather good experiences eating when in the Philippines. I just stay away from the chain restaurants there and in the US. As far as other prices there, I still find most things you need to live are far cheaper than the US. Yes cars are about the same, motorcycles are cheaper, electronics are cheaper elsewhere, but isn't that the way it is all over the world. When I was in Moscow several years ago I was shocked to see what they were getting for a bath towel or for a meal for that matter. I was amazed to find out what some ExPats are paying to live in Manila. You might as well live in New York City, but some of them are getting pretty nice "Ex Pat" packages to live there too. Other Ex Pats are living on their retirement from the US and living quite comfortably out in the sticks somewhere in the Phils. So I guess its all about choice as to how you spend your money there as well as anywhere you live.
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Postby Winston » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:32 am

Robincolorado,
I'm not talking about American chains. I'm talking about Filipino chains. Some Filipino chains copy the names of American chains to try to piggyback off their fame too.

Can you separate your posts with paragraphs? It's hard to to read.
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Best Ways to Respond- BOYCOTT or Open Restaurant to Compete

Postby AsiaBill » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:16 am

Namaste from Nepal! Best Ways to Respond to such annoyances- BOYCOTT or Open Restaurant to Compete :wink:
Life is Short! Traveling and the people you meet and experiences you have "on the road" will enhance your life forever so GO FOR IT! Feel FREE to ask me Questions about living and traveling in Asia & the Philippines.
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Postby Winston » Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:25 pm

The_Adventurer wrote:You'll notice that I put "imported foreign foods" in quotes. The price tag is based on an illusion. The food in McDonald's or Burger King may not be imported, but the fast food stuff tastes exactly the same as the US version as far as I can remember. KFC uses smaller chicken parts is PH, but I heard that when they opened it was the same as the US, but legal issues forced them to change. Pizza Hut, though, was far from the same quality as in the US. Shakey's is not everywhere in the US like the big chains, and I think I was kid last time I ate at one, but it does look pretty much the same.

I might be remembering California prices more than anything else, but still $7 doesn't get much last time I was eating out.


Here you go Terrence. Olive Garden's $9 special with all you can eat pasta, salad/soup, and breadsticks. See below.

http://www.olivegarden.com/Menu/Specials/

Image

Here is the Pizza Hut menu. You can get a lot of things for $7.95. I think it used to be less.

http://www.pizzahutmhat.com/menu/lunch.html
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Bad Reviews of Filipino Restaurant Chains

Postby Winston » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:25 pm

Check out these bad reviews I wrote of several Filipino restaurant chains. They are anything but complimentary. But I've included photos and examples to back up my points. Anyone who is often disappointed with Filipino restaurant chains will love how truthful these reviews are. lol

Chow King Sucks - The WORST fast food chain in the world!
http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/view ... hp?t=11210

Shakeys Sucks - bland food, small portions, high prices!
http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/view ... hp?t=11209

Italiannis Sucks - Ripoff, Overpiced, Bland vs. Olive Garden
http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/view ... hp?t=11207

Margarita Station Sucks - Gloomy, Shoddy Food, Overpriced (expat hangout in Angeles City)
http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/view ... hp?t=11004

Basically, the typical Filipino restaurant chain consists of the following characteristics - greedy high prices, bland food, small portions, stupid staff who can't do anything but bring food and take money, and no improvement in any of that. Basically, stupidity and disappointment abound in Filipino restaurant chains.

What I was told on PinoyExchange Forums is that the reason why Filipinos do not care about taste and quality in food is because they are primarily concerned with NOT being hungry, so they will enjoy any cheap food with no nutrition, such as instant canton, as long as it fills them up and keeps them from being hungry. That's why they don't care about taste, quality or nutrition. Pretty sad isn't it?
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Postby Winston » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:08 pm

Here is a vegetarian chain in the food courts of many malls in Manila. One of them is called "Bodhi" and the other is "Evergreen". Here is a pic of Evergreen.

Image

You can see the cheap prices for combo meals posted above.
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Postby momopi » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:36 am

Winston wrote:
The_Adventurer wrote:You'll notice that I put "imported foreign foods" in quotes. The price tag is based on an illusion. The food in McDonald's or Burger King may not be imported, but the fast food stuff tastes exactly the same as the US version as far as I can remember. KFC uses smaller chicken parts is PH, but I heard that when they opened it was the same as the US, but legal issues forced them to change. Pizza Hut, though, was far from the same quality as in the US. Shakey's is not everywhere in the US like the big chains, and I think I was kid last time I ate at one, but it does look pretty much the same.

I might be remembering California prices more than anything else, but still $7 doesn't get much last time I was eating out.


Here you go Terrence. Olive Garden's $9 special with all you can eat pasta, salad/soup, and breadsticks. See below.
l


When you order an entree at Olive Garden, you also get unlimited soup on the side, and you can switch to a different soup at any time.

Olive Garden restaurants near university campus also tend to hire pretty college girls as waitresses. One method of getting #'s is to chat them up about school -> work -> pay/salary -> ask if she wants a better paying job elsewhere, then exchange contact info so she can call you and send her resume to you. She comes to you, not the other way around. Make sure you have good contacts with employment agencies and hiring managers ;p
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Postby Winston » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:34 pm

Look at restaurants. Korean restaurants give you 8 free appetizers before your meal. Chinese restaurants give you free unlimited tea, and fruit for your dessert. Japanese restaurants give you free unlimited green tea and sometimes free miso soup too. Mexican restaurants give you free unlimited chips and salsa. American fancy restaurants give you free bread. But Filipino owned restaurants give you NOTHING for free, NOTHING complimentary! What does that tell you?
Last edited by Winston on Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Repatriate » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:50 pm

The reason service is so bad is because usually the owners have some sort of monopoly over the industry. This is especially true in SE Asia when you start tracing the franchises and realize it's the same 5 corrupt families which own everything. They don't care about service because it doesn't effect their business that much. The second reason is the consumer is pig ignorant and lacks taste.

The difference in Thailand is that they are actually kind of finicky about food and I think that is why many Thai restaurant chains are actually decent. For example there's this one hot pot/suki place in Thailand called MK. They have fantastic duck. At least on par with some above average Chinese restaurants in the U.S. Not bad for a general chain.

I really do think Filipinos have the worst food culture in Asia. This is why they will eat swill..they just aren't raised on anything better.
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Postby OutWest » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:52 pm

What it tells you is this: the Philippines is a country
badly in need of adult supervision...LOL
One of the reasons it is cheap for a lot of things- it is a
chaotic third world circus run by robber barons.
It is also a place you can find your niche, keep a low
profile, and enjoy things as well...

Outwest


Winston wrote:Look at restaurants. Korean restaurants give you 8 free appetizers before your meal. Chinese restaurants give you free unlimited tea, and fruit for your dessert. Japanese restaurants give you free unlimited green tea and sometimes free miso soup too. Mexican restaurants give you free unlimited chips and salsa. American fancy restaurants give you free bread. But Filipino owned restaurants give you NOTHING for free, NOTHING complimentary! What does that tell you?
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Postby Outcaster » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:26 pm

I decided to google search "Philippines is a rip off", and I can not believe the first post game up was from Winston himself. I can not believe it because it was his recommendation why I decided to go to the Philippines.

The food is such a rip off it was the worst part of my trip. It is such bad quality etc. I am in Bangkok right now and the food is $1.00 for a sit down meal, even food courts in the malls are around a $1.00 for a good meal. You get so much better value, yet Bangkok is probably a more expensive city and the people make alot more money.

Winston, I also noticed the same as you. How do the locals afford to buy all that cheap garbage and why do they put up with it. All these restaurants are loaded with locals. I can not even afford it how the heck do they do it?

And the local food? yuck, the only thing that I can eat was plain rice, and basically plain chicken. All the rest of the food was disgusting. I am talking eggs where the chick is partly hatched, pig face, liver, basically all the most disgusting crap you would never want to touch.

I can not say enough about the ridiculous small portions. The only place that had OK portions was mcdonalds big mac meal. Jollibee was a rip off, based on the portion sizes, and it was always packed with people. How are there so many fat Filipinos when the food portions are so tiny I wonder. I'm a skinny guy and I lost lots of weight there.


Here is a recent post I made in another forum about my stay in Angeles and the food:

Title:
Crap, Overpriced, Low Selection Of Food Ruined My Trip And Was Driving Me Insane.




I was in philippines for about 6 weeks. I have been in Bangkok for over 3 weeks now and I came to realize the single most thing to really kill my trip in the philippines is the food, or lack of food.

Never in my life have I experienced hunger and towards the end of my stay it was driving me towards insanity. I was really losing it. I put it on a number of things while in Angeles, but now I realize it was simply the lack of food.

I am not even a picky eater. I normally eat the same thing every single day back home, which usually consists of rice and a salad. I am also not a very big eater and many times I only eat like one meal a day. So please do not think I am like your typical picky food eater.

However, in the philippines it was the food that was driving me to insanity.

I will try and explain best why I had issues with the food.

The main issues are that I do not like eating out, I rarely do so in America, and if I do its maximum one time per week. The other issue is I am thrifty, I do not like spending money on overpriced food. Another issue is I am somewhat a healthy eater, so I do not like eating shit greasy food or restaurant food.

Another problem was I had no kitchen to prepare anything, or access to a refrigerator. My hotel also had roaches which freaked me out so I did not like bringing food into my hotel room. I was also locked into my hotel for a month and could not get a refund if leaving early.

So now you are seeing how my nightmare was starting.

For my entire 6 week stay in the philippines I was simply f***ing hungry. The food portions are so small.
What I do not realize is why are there so many fat filiipinos when the portions are so f***ing small.
I mean, I was skinny when I arrived, and I lost almost all my body fat. My weight dropped down to about 120lbs / 56Kg at a height about 5'10 / 1.78 meters. I lost body fat in places I never even thought I had fat there.

I did not drink any milk, fruit juices, or eat any cerial, salads etc. Normally I pick on things throughout the day or eat candy when I am hungry, none of this could be done as there are hardly any candy or good candy and I could not bring in food into my hotel room because of roaches.

Basically I ate one main meal a day at those sit down food areas that the locals eat. This consisted of rice and chicken and a soda. Every few days I would try and eat at mcdonalds, the big mac meal was simply the only thing that would fill me up.

I tried to supplement my diet with fruit that I would buy daily, this was bananas, apples or oranges. Usually I had two peices a day of either of those three.

Basically I was slowly starving myself, but not to the point where I was going to pay for overpriced unhealthy food.

The big thing was when I am hungry normally I will binge eat, like have a cup of milk, eat something small. I could not do this because I could not store any food in my hotel room. So when I was hungry, all I could do is sit there and starve.

Another thing was I was constipated for most of the six weeks. I shit rarely and it would be in small hard balls. I think part of this was being dehydrated most of my stay. I remember in clark airport hearing a guy taking a nice shit in the bathroom, I wanted to say to him I would kill to be able to take a shit like that.


With all this I was slowly going insane. I would day dream often about eating American food and how I would eat lots when I got back home. I was dying for American candy and salads with italian salad dressings.

I did try and get creative to eat. I would buy loafs of bread to try and get dietary fiber and put them in zip lock bags. Towards the last week I bought a can opener and would try and buy canned food and eat it out of the can in my hotel. I was just getting sick of eating rice and chicken everyday, so this was a nice change. It was never enough food to get me full though. I could have easily ate two to four times as much food as that.

Why do I realize all of this now? Well, I decided to get the hell out of philippines and come to bangkok for a month. This was the best thing I could have done. Food is cheap here, eating out is cheap and good.
I now stay in a place with no bugs and roaches. I have access to a refrigerator and free water. I also have an AC room. Simply I am in heaven here compared to how I was living in Angeles.

All I do is eat here, I have milk, cerial. I am shitting. I am pissing good. I have my American candy. I will not even get into how nice it is not being harrassed all the time and having those jeepneys blowing their pollution in your face. Or those f**k face trike drivers yelling at you on every block. Simply food is reasonably priced here and the selection is better, especially the milk selection. I always have binge food and I constantly am picking at food all day.

Many times tourists ask me in my hostel why am I not visiting cambodia, vietnam or other 3rd world cess pits down here in asia. I tell them, I just got out of the biggest shit hole ever and I'm not going to another one. I have access to good food and water. Also reasonably priced lettuce and brokoli!

When it really hit me about how important food is, was when I was over here in bangkok and there was one day which I did not get enough to eat and didn't have anything in my refrigerator. Also all places to eat out were closed where I lived. I quickly was getting those dreadful feelings of starving in the philippines. I got really frustrated quickly. This was only a single day here, to think I was living like this almost every single day in Angeles.

Well guys, I am sure some of you will say why didn't you just buy more food. As I have said I had no refrigerator and no place to store it. The food selection in Angeles is very shitty and expensive. Eating out where the locals eat is also very shitty, with the only thing edible being plain white rice and chicken, which I did eat daily. With my long stay in Angeles, over six weeks, I do not have the luxury like you rich guys on pensions to eat out at all the foriegn owned places that cater to tourists. I would also not want to do that even if I wanted to get ripped off, as that goes agianst my healthy eating style.
Simply stated I do not have any problems in bangkok and have more then enough food. It is simply a problem of not having a refrigerator and not having food options in Angeles.
Also binge eating with no refrigerator, having roaches around, and having shit overpriced selection of binge eating food and candy made it difficult.

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Postby Banano » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:21 pm

$1 for a good meal in BKK, 30 bhats that is

What exactly do you get for 30 bahts and where did you eat?Chicken feet or bugs cost more than that

small shawarmah is 60 bahts and i always need 2 or 3
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No way!

Postby publicduende » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:11 pm

Gosh guys I'm shocked - a thread dedicated to "Filipino food" that only talks about how good franchises that offer non-Filipino cuisine (and experiences thereof) are bad quality and a ripoff!!
I have only been to Davao and maybe that's an eating paradise compared to Manila or Cebu, that I'll never know, but in 2 weeks there I could find plenty of shops where you could eat genuine and delicious Filipino food at prices accessible to everyone, I mean less than 300 PHP!!

Dudes, how can you go on about Filipino food and never mention chicken/pork adobo and BBQ, liempo, kinilaw, tuna belly, bangus, grilled fish, those great seafood chowders (I forgot their names), even curry etc. You must have a very skewed idea of the food in the Philippines, to say the least! :)

Have you ever eaten at http://penongs.com.ph/ - you can literally stuff your face with high quality grilled seafood, chicken and pork for less than 350 pesos! Or if you want to go a bit upmarket there's also restaurants like Antonio's Grill who cook a great mix of Filipino and international dishes for a price that's never less than 500 pesos per person.

I have been to Italianni's in Abreeza mall - yes it's a very upmarket restaurant and overpriced, but the food isn't that bad at all. And having London prices in mind, spending £15 for two antipastis, one very decent stone-baked pizza, two beers and coffee is still at least 50% of what I would have paid in a comparable quality establishment here.
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