Manila Food and Beverage Expo: I came, I saw, I ate. Lots.

I love Food Expos. Telling me that there’s a food expo is like telling a fashion fiend that Fashion Week is on. So last weekend, we found ourselves at the Manila Food and Beverage Expo, purses full, stomachs empty and senses all ready to take in the sights, scents, and flavors.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been to a food expo, we’re regular visitors of the World Food Expo (WOFEX) so I had vague expectations about what the event would be like. At a glance, it seemed smaller than the World Food Expo. Still, there was a lot to be seen, tasted, and purchased.

Mafbex 2007

Going through the schedules, I became painfully aware of all that I was missing. The schedules were loaded with a lot of seminars, demonstrations, and contests that I would’ve loved to participate in or watch. But we were there to shop, and focusing on the events would’ve eaten up our precious shopping time.

Mafbex 2007

On to the shopping. It was definitely geared more towards people in the food business, rather than the casual foodie. Suppliers, whether for food or restaurant paraphernalia where there in full force. Serving dishes and warmers, heavy-duty kitchen fixtures, even restaurant tables and chairs.

Mafbex 2007

One of the first booths visited was Gourdos. While they usually stock a lot of interesting kitchenware in their stores, their Expo booth was bedecked with baking supplies. Cake decorating sets and silicon bakeware dominated their display. They set aside a table for microplanes (I WANT ONE!) but overall, it was more bake-centric. I loved the Silly Feet silicon cupcake molds. It’s a cupcake! With feet!

Mafbex 2007

My first purchase of the day was a bunch of Takoyaki! There was a takoyaki booth there, called Kuya Chito’s Takuyaki which was selling some freshly made ones. Now, I’ve never been to Japan, so I don’t know what real takoyaki’s like.

Mafbex 2007

Kuya Chito’s Takuyaki had a thin layer of light batter around a veggie-filled center. Unlike Hatchin’s Takoyaki which is bready with large chunks of Octopus ♥, Kuya Chito’s reminded me more of Okonomiyaki, rather than Takoyaki. Not that it’s a bad thing, I enjoyed eating mine. The veggies added a nice crunch and the sauce never overpowered the takoyaki. Plus having a choice between pork, chicken, and fish toppings (I assume it’s some sort of mahu / floss) was nice.

Mafbex 2007

A food booth that piqued my interest was the one with the Smoked Tea Ducks. I wanted to taste it but missed out, what with all the booth hopping we were doing. Wondering though, do Tea Ducks grow from Tea Eggs? 😛

Mafbex 2007

Oishi, a local manufacturer of snack food and drinks had a booth as always. Because they’re launching a new powdered Iced Tea drink, they had a bigger booth than usual, all for sampling. While there wasn’t anything new, I can’t help but love their booth with the spinning snack boxes. It definitely appealed to my imagination. Imagine, having that at home!

Mafbex 2007

One thing that got me squealing was a box of tattooed Fuji apples! According to the seller, these apples were made with a special light that not only imprinted the fruit, it also sterilized it. He added that these characters were lucky ones and that these apples were intended for gift-giving. Imagine, using the same technology for corporate giveaways! Intel logos on Macintosh apples, anyone?

Mafbex 2007

A lot of retailers / importers also had booths which were fashioned like a mini-grocery. I was jumping with joy at a Chinese goods booth because they had my favorite Mine Shine Milk Tea in bulk! They’re the blue bottles to the left.

Mafbex 2007

Proof that Filipinos love rice is this booth. They sold the most delicious Jasponica rice which was like a cross between Jasmine and Japanese Koshihikari. It was so fragrant, with a nice texture that was slightly sticky, yet wasn’t mushy. Aside from white, it was also available as brown rice. It was interesting to note that this booth was infront of the Guyong booth which was sampling their canned goods. People would get a small cup of Jasponica rice then get some of the fried luncheon meat from Guyong. Now that’s mutualistic positioning!

Mafbex 2007

And what’s a food expo without food tasting? Here’s the Eng Bee Tin booth with the looping jingle which will stick to brain like sticky buchi (Chinese sesame balls).

Mafbex 2007

There was also an assortment of contests: a wedding cake designing contest, an artistic bread competition, and a fruit carving contest.

Was I satisfied? Yes. I loved the competitions, we spent some time gawking at the artistic cakes, bread and fruit. And I enjoyed poking through the booths, trying to uncover new food gems. Plus, I did get my token “Kao with a giant Mascot Shot (which I shall not be posting here. HA!)”

Mafbex 2007

Was I deliriously happy? Not quite. Judging by our combined haul, we didn’t spend as much as we usually do at the WOFEX. Most of our haul was made up of stuff you can get at retail outlets, albeit at higher prices. Pretty drab compared to our haul from other fairs when we’d come home with new products and old expo-only favorites. However, I think it’s probably unfair to compare MAFBEX with WOFEX since the later has been around for years already and is probably THE food expo of the year.

But, will I be going to the next MAFBEX? Of course, and gladly! Wild horses won’t keep me away.

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29 Responses to Manila Food and Beverage Expo: I came, I saw, I ate. Lots.

  1. Leki says:

    i wanted to goooo but i felt so beaten up (playing too much air hockey tends to do that) so i skipped it. when’s the next food expo? 😀

    • kaoko says:

      I think the WOFEX is scheduled for August. I’ll let you know. 😀

    • matt uy says:

      MAFBEX is slated on June 18-22, 2008 at World Trade Center.. : )

    • chester says:

      The 2nd Manila Food and Beverages Exposition is scheduled on June 18-22, 2008 @ the World Trade Center to be presented by WORLDBEX in coordination with the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB), DLS-CSB School of Hotel Restaurant and Institution Management (DLS-CSB SHRIM) and 22nd DLS-CSB SHRIM Young Hoteliers’ Exposition (22nd YHE)

  2. bea says:

    omgawd! who did those cakes!!!! i want them for…um, if ever i get married again…prolly in 20 years? sama sama tayo punta please????? ^_^

    • matt says:

      Here are the winners of the cake decorating competition:

      Cake Decorating Competition- Invitational
      1st Place – Lucky in Love (University of Sto. Tomas)
      • Frances Casey B. Santos
      • Gwen Anais O. Gatchalian
      • Maria Elena C. Dumalaog

      2nd Place – Paradise (Lyceum)
      • David Socrates Jr.
      • Flordeliza C. Medalla
      • Analyn Marinas
      3rd Place – Pillow Cake (Emilio Aguinaldo College)
      • Connie C. Macapugas
      • Aldreen F. Barron
      • Jerlou D. Gatdula

  3. Drew says:

    What happened to the pictures? :(

  4. kaoko says:

    You’re such a sucker for pretty wedding cakes talaga, *rofl* Whoever said you had to get married for a pretty cake? Why not just splurge on a mini-version for a birthday or something?

    Did the pictures disappear? Durn, prolly a bug with my webhost. -_-;;

  5. aoitenshi says:

    Waaah darn I should go to one of these things some time. I love the cupcake holders with feet, awww. I can’t believe you were able to resist buying them hehe.

    • kaoko says:

      Ish expensive e. Most silicon bakeware are :( That’s why I love my silicon spatula. Especially since it has little green froggies embedded in the clear silicon part. 😛

      Plus, I don’t bake as much as I used to :(

  6. stephania says:

    well…it seems that we both have experienced being in the WOFEX and MAFBEX…its enjoyable…right?especially the flair factor and the food tasting…i’ll be looking forward to the next event at wtc like this..

    • kaoko says:

      I agree. Food expos are fun. 😀 The 2007 WOFEX is on August 1-4, I bet you’ll be there too? 😛

    • matt says:

      Thank’s a lot… Uhmm, what can i say… : )

      More surprises with regards to the competition? hehehe…

      Please visit us on June 18-22, 2008 at World Trade Center…

      -the organizer : )

  7. Pingback: Ham Sandwich & Tattooed Apples Bento | bento, restos & recipes at

  8. darra says:

    MINESHINE MILK TEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Biggie says:

    Woah, those tattooed apples are extremely cool! Great info, Kaoko!

    • kaoko says:

      Yeah, totally blew my mind. I think me squealing at the booth, talking to the owner, and snapping pics like mad was good though, it drew a couple more people over who bought apples and lychees as well 😀

  10. jons says:

    CSB was there right?

    • kaoko says:

      Yeah, not sure if they were co-sponsors of the event of what, but there was a lot of CSB going around 😀

      • matt says:

        CSB is our partner organization with regards to the competition…

        They are the ones who help us… galing diba? : )

  11. Pingback: WOFEX 2007: Disappointed with Day 4 | bento, restos & recipes at

  12. expo's says:

    MAFBEX is in cooperation with
    The 19th Young Hoteliers’ Exposition(YHE)
    of De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde
    School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management

    YHE handled all competitions and almost all of the seminars

    FYI:Every trimester, the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management of DLS- CSB takes pride in showcasing the talents of its students through an exposition. The event serves as a venue wherein students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and their unparalleled professionalism through healthy competitions.
    The Young Hoteliers’ Exposition is a week-long event that is held every term. It gives students a chance to showcase their talents through different competitions focusing on culinary arts, hospitality management, and travel and tourism

  13. donnie says:

    from what time to what time is the event?

    • kaoko says:

      Hi Donnie! My apologies but this post was for last year’s Mafbex. I have no idea what about the schedules for this year are. Perhaps giving CSB a call might be helpful?

  14. ketch lazo says:

    hey i was wondering where i can get mine shine?i looooove them…sadly 711 doesnt sell them anymore!!please help..i drink it everyday..and now its gone :(

    • kaoko says:

      Sorry ketch! Other than that time at the fair, I’ve never spotted Mine Shine at a place other than 7-11 and Ministop. Have you tried preparing cold milk tea from those instant packets like Lipton Milk Tea and Nai Cha? It might be worth a shot. I know Japanese Royal Milk tea powder tastes very similar to Mine Shine but I bought my most recent stash from Muji in HK so that’s not much help. *facepalm* You may want to try Japanese branded Royal Milk Tea (I remember buying Meito brand at the old Co-op, now Choto Stop) and preparing it, first with a small amount of hot water then mixing it with lots of ice and cold water.

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