Blame it on the unconventional kick of the appetite to try something beyond the favorite fast food joint and usual home cooking. I found myself with my wife, Tina and our 6-year-old son, Gabby seated in front of a food stall in the hawkers’ center of Gurney Drive, ordering a spiky horny shells called Siput Duri

In the country where I came from, the Philippines, edible snails are commonly cooked on coconut milk and eaten as an appetizer or usually served as a perfect partner to a bottle of cold beer. In French, they called it escargot, in our very own Tagalog, suso’ or kuhol.

Trust me, when I was studying Biology as my pre-Med course almost 2 decades ago, I knew its Scientific Name. All it gave me then, was a specimen to memorize. I never thought that it would take me 8 months of being an expat, living 1,541 miles away from Manila to first try to eat a snail-like seashell like this.

Toothpicks were given to pierce and dip this steamed snails to either soy sauce and/or chili sauce. Did my family enjoyed it?

I only asked Gabby to pick up a stick and pose with it but he didn’t care to eat even one. Tina tasted it but didn’t like it and found its price of RM 10 (PhP 140) expensive. I cannot agree more. It tasted bland compared to the usual mussels (New Zealand mussels) or clams. I didn’t finish the plate. 

Tina bought some steamed dim sums (on the table on the photo above) that we also didn’t like for too much extenders on its fillings.

Apparently, our taste buds were looking for something else so we transferred table and ordered street foods from other stalls.

From a Chinese food stall, these cured pork delights winked at me.


I ordered some for us to sample. I like it! For only RM 6 (PhP 84), my choices included some bacon strips, Chinese sausages and other meaty tastefuls. Sarap! 😀

From this stall we bought…

a fresh Bj (buco juice) and its pulp to scoop (RM 4 = PhP 56) and a cup of sugar cane juice (RM 1 =PhP 14); refreshing enough to wash down everything.

Oops, there more. Since we’re having an early rice-less-light dinner before attending to a 6:45PM-Anticipated Mass, I decided to get another plateful of yummies -Assorted fried seafoods…

some shrimp tempura and shrimp balls, fried squid cutlets, fish balls and more. Burp!

This affirms that my family and I are really not that risky when it comes to food. It may take perhaps, a great amount of money (haha! :D) for me to be convinced to try an exotic food (insects, reptiles, amphibians, even the chick in balut or duck egg; I only eat its yolk and amniotic fluid). When you’re abroad, it’s always best to stick on the safe side and chow down the things you’re familiar with.



  1. i have seen those spiny conch shells sa Mindoro. I have seen my late lolo eat that, he just steam them with a little ginger juice and dip it in suka with shallots and red chillies. 🙂

    buti pa kayo adventurous kumain, etong mga kasama ko kailangan ko pang dramahan para mag try ng ibang restos. 😦

  2. .. i tried ‘ginataang kuhol’ before, for the sake of knowing how it tastes like. i’m not really into ‘exotic’ food but your post just reminded me that i have to eat an insect delicacy before the year ends to accomplish one of my 10 things i have not done before list!

  3. i’ve never eaten snail (or, to be more sosyal about it, escargot). i wonder what it tastes like?

    it’s nice to try something new every now and then….

  4. that kind of shells ung napulot ko ng mag beachcombing ako sa cancun. never tasted them. but my brother cooks suso very well. saute nya lang sa garlic, butter, a little tomato and white wine – ang sarap with fresh cooked rice.

  5. i don’t eat suso, kuhol or even mussels but I really want to try some baked mussles since everyone is telling me it’s good the thing is it is scarce in the UAE, mostly you will find it frozen.

    Hahaha, doc talaga hindi ka kumakain ng sisiw ng balut? ako rin hehehe joke lng, I love balut pero I don’t look at it after the first bite. the second also is the last…imagine 🙂

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