In the Philippines, there would be at least one or two convenience stores in every corner. A busy lifestyle means everything we do and consume are more or less instant. Before I went to college, I had worked part time for a real estate firm, and remember most of the meals I had were either fast food or convenience store meals. As I recall, many workers, white-collar men like me back then, who were saving precious time and pinching pennies, would frequent either 7-Eleven or Ministop, for the reason that the food was affordable, ready to be eaten on the go, and to be frank quite delicious.

One can say that convenience stores in Asia have evolved into food havens. In Japan, for instance, a konbini (convenience store) is home to culinary delights and snacks that people love to sink their teeth into. There are bento sets, yakisoba buns, assorted sandwiches, onigiris (riceballs), kaarages, mochifuwa pancakes, and of course instant ramen. 

In the Philippines, customers flock to corner shops for their fried dishes like chicken, siomai, and croquettes. And then, there are rice bowls and lutong ulam (home cooked meals).

Despite the pandemic, many Filipinos are still busy spending their time at home with work, hobbies, taking care of their families, and the like. With everyone having to balance work and life, more often than not, our energy and time are still not enough to prepare our own meals. For people who are living alone, cooking a meal for one can also be impractical.

Among the leading convenience store chains in the country, 7-Eleven continues to step up its menu by presenting new varieties of home cooked meals. The latest offering of HottaUlam, the store’s single-serve, ready-to-heat dishes come in eight variants. There is the Chicken Barbeque, skewered marinated chicken dipped in java sauce for a smoky-sweet flavor, as well as Pork Barbeque, with the same formula as the former but using a different meat, Ginataang Langka, a creamy-spicy vegetable dish made of jackfruit cooked in coconut milk, chili pepper, shrimp paste, and pork, Pinakbet, which is steamed ampalaya, sitaw, and kalabasa cooked in shrimp paste, and fish sauce, and Pork Laing, composed of taro leaves in coconut milk, chili pepper, shrimp paste, and pork. And then there are two Rico’s Lechon specials, the tangy-sweet-spicy Binagoongan with Cebu-style roasted pork, cooked in shrimp paste, tomato, and chili pepper, and the Lechon Sisig, Cebu-style pork spiced up with onions, calamansi juice, and chili pepper.

These viands are guaranteed to make each meal delicious without the hassle of cooking. 

As an extra treat for customers and to complete the everyday home meals experience, the convenience store is also launching its ComBusog promo. By availing of said promo, one can buy two HottaUlam viands and get a cup of free rice.

HottaUlam single-serve viands are now available in select Luzon stores only. The ComBusog promo runs until Dec. 15, 2020.

Source: Manila Bulletin (