manila: shopping at DEC.

fishy gelatin

one of the reasons we usually went to greenhills is because of the chinese drugstore and the chinese deli/supermarket within the complex. unfortunately, the drugstore moved out, and the chinese deli burned down. sheeeeee--p. luckily, we found the new location for the deli, named DEC (pronounced as a word, but an acronym for "diao eng chay"), which is not too far away from greenhills.

steamed pandan cake

DEC is a family run commercial bakery that specializes in chinese and filipino steamed and baked pastries, and is fairly well known for their hopia and moon cakes (both are essentially flaky pastries with a mashed bean filling). however, the family also has a couple small but popular deli/markets that have fresh and frozen dumplings, siopao and baos (filled buns), barbecued meats, a vast variety of cooked chinese dishes, and a vast array of pastries and sweets, from gulaman-based treats and sago-based ones (gelatin and tapioca), to flans and cheesecakes. and of course, their own bakery goods.

steamed bunsrice cakes

there are several things that set DEC apart from other delis for me, the main thing being that they have a large variety of fresh juices bottled daily, including fresh buko juice--the water from young coconuts--which has an incredibly short shelf life (2 days max). most commercial produced buko juices are stabilized with...something...somehow, and taste nothing like the real thing. the DEC kind (bottled by a company called lipa), is as close to a freshly cracked coconut as you are going to get in a bottle.

buko juice

i buy this stuff by the dozens, as not only is it quite tasty, but it is a natural form of gatorade, or any sports-type drink; since manila is so humid and warm, and i am constantly on the move, i find that sometimes water cannot quite quench my thirst, nor hydrate me the same way that buko juice can. it's also a very good way of cleansing out toxins from your body, and helps in digestion. very handy. DEC also bottles fresh watermelon, avocado, citrus, and kiwi juice, their latest offering being a lovely citron "tea", which is made from the rind and pulp of fresh citron, and local honey. they also manufacture their own soy milk and have a very popular boba tapioca pearl shake counter.

ala  king counter

they also make little pot pies daily, with everything from a delicious taro and mushroom filling, seafood thermidors, to a very popular chicken a la king topped with a flaky, delicate crust. i would eat one of these every day if i lived nearby. i'd be the buddha sitting at the front door. rub my belly at your own risk.

they stock a variety of packaged asian snacks, candies, and condiments, preserved fruit and vegetables (they have a really good sweet and spicy sampalok or tamarind, btw), frozen meats and seafoods, and fresh fruits. pretty much one stop shopping, as far as i'm concerned.

203 wilson street
greenhills, san juan


everything here looks so good.

Oooh! Love DEC but haven't been for a while...thanks for the update :-)

Santos, you're mentioned in my latest blog entry!

Good to have you back, Santos! So that's what you've been up to, jetsetting in Manila :-) Oh I wish I could taste your photos! Like you I would have tried the exotic dishes in Little Asia! But then, even your "safe" order sounds very exotic and delicious!

Cool. I loved the bakery tour!

ps. Buddha bellies are kinda sexy. Or at least, I'm hoping that's what I have going for me =)

hi gc--everything i've tried so far is really good--i love their scallop dumplings and pistachio sans rival.

hi joey--lucky you, you are much closer to one than i am!

thanks evil prince of the desert jungle! :)

hi jmom--it was pretty good, and cheeeeap too. if there weren't so many restaurants in manila to try, i'd probably buy more things from DEC to eat, though. i really like this place. they have a great calamansi and dalandan juice, too.

hi gloop! sexy, huh? that works for me!

hi santos, hmmm, i really like the sounds of those pot pies, particularly the seafood thermidor one...and they look so generously pot-bellied too...

ooh yes, i have yet to try them myself (apparently they sell out quickly).

Hi I would like to order the buko juice -- how can I go about it and what will the cost be?

hi christina, i've no idea, sorry!