The popularity of everything sweet in the Philippines makes it very hard to believe that McDonalds do not sell Thickshakes in their local stores. This thick, creamy, chocolate awesomeness has been my go to hangover cure for many years. It is so soothing on the stomach and makes it much easier to rehydrate afterwards.
My search to find a viable substitute have led me down a very different path. To rehydrate and rejuvenate I have found nothing better than some of the locally available soups to do the trick.
I am yet to have a Sinigang that really hits the spot when hungover from a restaurant. If you can find the right home cook then you will be on to a real winner here. I was privileged enough to spend a lot of time with a very special lady who made very special Sinigang.
There is little more comforting than sipping away at this sour and salty tamarind concoction, with lots of soft and juicy tomatoes and slimy okra. You feel instantly better after that first sip.
The risk here is that you can feel a bit acidic afterwards. I found that most restaurant sinigang had this effect on me and I would have killer indigestion the rest of the day. Not unusual for my hungover self anyway so probably not the Sinigang’s fault.
You need to be in the right mood for Tinola sometimes. When you have a taste for it there is not much else that will satisfy you. This is equally as rejuvenating as the Sinigang if it is done right.
The biggest risk to your soup is its level of saltiness. Too little and it is flat and flavourless, too much and all you taste is the salt. The choice of chicken will also make a big difference. The super boney version I find less satisfying than when chicken breast is used, preferably with some skin left on.
The chicken broth and ginger has that healing quality to it. Lots of soft sayote will help it all slide down and at least make you feel like you are getting hydrated again.
I didn’t even know what Pho was until I came to the Philippines. This Vietnamese specialty is now one of my favourite dishes. Loading up your Pho with chilli and lime keeps it refreshing, and will make you sweat out all the rubbish in your system from the night before.
The best Pho in town without a doubt comes from Ba Nois restaurant in Makati. Everywhere else does not really rate a mentioned. A spicy pho coupled with some greasy fried spring roles will have you feeling like your old self again. Unfortunately about a year ago they decided to cease all home deliveries. This all but removes it from the hangover cure list unless you live within walking distance. A great tragedy for the sad and sorry alcoholics on a Saturday morning, but a great feed nonetheless.
Despite all this soupy goodness I will always miss those Thickshakes… To the people at McDonalds Philippines – what’s the deal? You would sell a ton of these here! Nothing will top this for your hangover cure, but all of these comfort food options will at least help you through your day.