Whisk Review: Mabuhay Oriental Food Store
Filipino food is fantastic. If you have never tasted it, you need to get out and try it as soon as possible. If you have been wondering what all the fuss is about, Mabuhay is the perfect place for you to go. Located just a two minutes’ drive away from campus in downtown Berrien Springs, Mabuhay can provide Filipino food fit for your cravings.
Food: Every single dish I tasted at Mabuhay was delicious. While the establishment mostly serves Filipino food, it also features some foods from other cultures. Every weekday, a variety of options is laid out at their buffet. Since I went after the buffet, I ordered the spring rolls, pancit and chicken adobo, and will have to admit that those vegetarian spring rolls are probably the best I have ever tasted. Whether you are a vegetarian or a meat eater, they have plenty of options that will satisfy your hunger.
In addition to their food, over 17 different flavours of bubble teas are served. For those unfamiliar with bubble tea, it’s a lot like a smoothie with the addition of flavorful tapioca pearls the size of marbles. It is the perfect addition to Filipino food—a great combination of dessert and drink, and the bubble tea at Mabuhay is really delicious. You can get one flavor, such as mango or coconut, or mix it up and make combinations like blueberry-banana or strawberry-passionfruit. As if that wasn’t enough, Mabuhay also sells Asian food products in their market. This makes it easy to stock up on food for your dorm room after your meal or to grab an extra snack on your way out the door.
Atmosphere and Service: Mabuhay is not your typical sit-down-and-relax restaurant. The seating area is quite small, as the restaurant is designed to be to-go. When you walk in, the owners are playing the radio, and seems like a lot like an Asian market. The owners are very friendly, offering their suggestions of what they think you might like, and are super willing to help you find what you need. While the store and restaurant is a little cramped, it has an authentic flair, and I think that makes it feel just right.
Price: Mabuhay’s prices are very affordable. $6.99 will pay for your choice of pancit or rice (or half and half) and two entrees. Add in a bubble tea for a few dollars more, and you can purchase a lot of food for under $10. Everything in their store seems reasonably priced (although I didn’t extensively research competitive prices on Pocky sticks), so the entirety Mabuhay makes a cheap place to get a tasty meal off campus.
Overall: I loved Mabuhay. It’s close, it’s delicious, and there is enough variety, especially within their bubble tea choices, that I feel as though I will never get tired no matter how much I go back. While the limited seating makes it hard to sit down and enjoy a meal, it is definitely worth checking out and grabbing something to-go.
4 whisks out of 5