Street foods will always be a common sight in Quiapo, Manila. Every where you look there’s someone with a push cart selling all sorts of colorful foods and beverages. Fishballs, kwek-kweks, fruits, and mami are some of what we know and grown to love. But right around a block near Quiapo Church is a small open-air eatery that specializes in cheap but delicious sotanghon.
Famous Sotanghon ni Nanay Rosa is a street-side eatery along the buzzing street of Hidalgo. Pilgrims of the church or just visitors flock this venue looking for a unique merienda experience. Ironically, these people fall in line under the heat of the afternoon sun just to eat hot sotanghon soup. For them, it’s that worth it.
It wouldn’t be hard to spot the place amidst the heavy congestion of passers-by. Big cooking pots of orange colored soup noodles welcomes the eyes of the curious. Seeing the eager waiting customers adds to the intrigue of the one who wishes to try it out. There’s usually a line of other customers waiting for a seat to be vacated, so everyone has to be patient since the eatery is quite popular. But it shouldn’t be a problem as most finish their meals quickly.
They serve sotanghon with a side of boiled egg for only P50. If you wish to go with a side of pork belly, that’ll only be for P60. But if you’d like to have both boiled egg and pork belly, ask for their “Overload’ special for only P70.
I ordered the Overload special when I came here. I’m assuming that their recipe is a secret. But I’d say the broth of the soup tasted beefy. The pork belly was also meaty and had the right mild measurement of sweetness. Almost tasting like an asado. And the boiled egg adds cheap protein to the meal but definitely makes it more appetizing.
The sotanghon has the right firmness. It’s not overcooked as the cook replenishes the pot with new batches of sotanghin noodles frequently to keep up with the demand.
The only beverage I saw was the Filipino favorite sweet drink, the gulaman which was only for P10 a cup.
For dessert, they have tikoy peanut rolls which is quite popular amongst the Chinese-Filipinos living in Manila. It’s made of glutinous rice flour mixed with vanilla and sugar, steamed until soft and chewy. Their tikoy is rolled with peanut butter in the center as its filling then rolled with crushed roasted peanuts for its coating. The peanut taste is just mild and sweet, not overpowering. They sell it for P15 each but they also offer it for only P25 if you decide to get two.
Now for some people, eating hot soup during the afternoon when the temperature is hot isn’t a good idea. So they also offer pancit palabok (Malabon) for P50.
All-in-all, eating here is a great encounter. Just remember to be courteous to your servers and other waiting customers. This is still considered as street food, not fancy dining. But what it can offer other than good food is a sense of pakikisama, or togetherness, which is the height of the Filipino dining experience.