I recently had the pleasure of dining at Mecha Uma, at the RCBC building in The Fort.
I had been hearing so much buzz about Mecha Uma from my extreme foodie and wine customers but I hadn’t had time to go until lately.
It was the endorsement of members of the IFWS that got me curious. I don’t normally take recommendations of restaurants from people unless I know they’re as obsessive as me. Members of IFWS are usually more obsessive than I am.
I called ahead and asked about corkage policies. No corkage being charged but you have to order a bottle from their list (whether wine or sake) and then you can order a bottle.
I brought my Weingut Von Prinz Hessen Dachsfilet Riesling just as a safe wine pairing bet.
I took my brother and we both sat at the bar so we could see the action in the kitchen.
I ordered a Junmai Daiginjo sake but they ran out so they gave me the next best available.
The night I went, they didn’t have the omakase option. They only had a la carte. The Chef Patron Bruce Ricketts was there and he explained that he offered a la carte that week because he missed cooking.
I did all the ordering (of course) and ordered a bunch of dishes to try.
All of the dishes were served in small portions, kind of tapas style, so it’s best to order a bunch and eat everything as the food comes.
I won’t be able to put the full descriptions because I didn’t take any. There was no space on the bar for me to write and I was too amused by the food to type into my phone.
I hope you can see the deliciousness through my photos.
Halibut – this was a ceviche type of dish. I normally don’t eat dishes with vinegar but the vinegar wasn’t overpowering. It was also quite refreshing and a good palate cleanser in between rich dishes.
Oyster – This was probably my favorite as it was the richest, with foie and mushroom. If you’re an umami fanatic, this is your dish. I liked it so muc, I ordered it twice.
Black Cod – This was my second favorite dish. Very rich flavors, perfectly cooked fish, great accompaniments, complimentary in flavor.
I also ordered Wagyu Rice because the server suggested it. I guess Filipinos look for rice when they go to that restaurant to eat but personally, you don’t need rice anymore. I didn’t bother to take a photo and my brother ate most of it anyway. The dishes are packed in flavor so you will be full without that gross “I’ve overeaten” feeling that a cup of rice will give you.My brother and I shared a dessert but we were so full already so he also ate most of it.
I highly recommend this restaurant if you want a different experience in food (in Manila).
I will definitely be back for the Omakase option.
All I need is…TIME.
I realize I haven’t raved about a local restaurant in year (or more) so it’s about time.
I’ve had a hankering for Thai food lately, and while Benjarong can fit the bill, a) it’s too far from my house, b) weighs quite hefty on the wallet.
I’ve been driving by Basil for quite a long time now as it’s near my house. I’ve noticed that it’s always packed so I started being curious about it and started asking the food circuit about it. Unfortunately, I only found the time to try it today, because the parking situation there is horrendous and I had to wait until I could drag someone who could park for me (and eat with me) as well. In this case, I successfully dragged my brother (who already ate there and confirmed it was good).
Outside it looks like a greenhouse, as the area surrounding it is known for selling plants for houses. Inside, the restaurant was gorgeous.
It felt like I was in Thailand, and not in Quezon City. Benjarong still feels like I’m in Manila, and it definitely feels like a hotel, so sorry, Basil wins in ambience.
They have a quite a selection on their menu. I was salivating just reading it. They didn’t have Khao Soi though. I really want Khao Soi.
I was extremely hungover today so my brother ordered a Tom Yum to start. The rest, I ordered with my eyes, knowing full well I wouldn’t be able to finish it. The server warned me that portions were for 2-3 people, but I figured my brother eats for 3 people and I eat for 2 people so it would be just right for both of us. I could always take the leftovers to work the next day.
Tom Yum kicked my pounding head to the curb. Especially with the spice!
I ordered my usual fish cakes and pad thai. Pad thai was amazing! It tasted like the pad thai I had in Bangkok which my tour guide said was “the best in Bangkok. I would have finished it except I had 4 other dishes to eat and I mixed in too much of the chile so it got too spicy for me to finish. If I brought my Schloss Lieser Kabinett, then I prob would have finished it.
I was going to get the Crispy Fish but I figured I had that already so I wanted to try something else. My eye caught the Squid in Salted Egg. I’m a sucker for anything with salted egg. So I was sold on it.
So glad I got it! It was so tasty. Would have been better if I ordered rice, but I already ordered too much to start. I ordered my brother not to eat it so I could take it to work tomorrow for my lunch. HAH!
I also got the beef curry, but I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the other dishes. I make a pretty mean curry so that’s probably why. HARDY HAR HAR. Next time I’ll order the green curry for future reference.
By this time, I was stuffed and felt like hurling so I decided to walk around the restaurant and take more photos.
I went to their outdoor seating and it was really nice. Would be awesome to eat there if only Katipunan Ave wasn’t so noisy with all the cars beeping and pollution.
My only complaint is the wine list…or lack thereof. They listed it just as house wine and premium wine. How is that supposed to tell me anything? But I guess I understand because the Quezon City neighborhood are not really wine drinkers, except for yours truly. Since it’s so near my house, I can just lug my stash from my house to the restaurant, and it would still be at proper temperature by the time my food arrives.
Guess I’m taking my Prinz Von Hessen Riesling Dachsfilet 2011 for my next visit!!!! AYEEE!!I Can’t wait!
I’m so glad I came and that this restaurant is so near me. I used to live by Fenway and this restaurant called Brown Sugar Cafe was so near me and I would go there to have some Khao Soi and Pad Thai.
This is definitely a refreshing breath of fresh air amidst all the restaurants opening which have shitty food.
Now if only they can have better parking.
Or maybe I should take my bike?
The other day, I had the privilege of attending the industry and press launch here in the Philippines of Mollydooker wines, held at Massetto.
The owners and winemakers, Spanky and Sarah Marquis themselves, came to the Philippines to introduce Mollydooker to the Philippine market. I was really glad to meet them and have the chance to sit down and talk about their wines in depth.
They were both really animated and excited to talk about their wines and got to ask a lot of questions about their winemaking philosophies and views.
Mollydooker means “left handed” in Australian slang terms, as both of them were left handed. All the labels have characters on them that were left handed or had stories about being left handed. The labels are so cute. They hired some artists to to do their labels for them.
We started off the meal with The Violinist Verdelho paired with chorizo puffs and calamari with onion marmalade.
The Verdelho was really different from the Portuguese Verdelhos I’ve had, as this one was high in alcohol and more weighty than the Verdelhos I’ve had. It also had some oak though the high acidity and minerality was there.
This is a modern interpretation of the Verdelho, and though one might not be able to pick this out at a blind tasting as Verdelho, was still quite good in itself.
Sarah and Sparky spoke about the Mollydooker shake and its purpose of releasing nitrogen and minimizing sulfites, making it ready-to-drink, especially for those allergic to sulfites. This is good information for me as a lot of my clients are allergic to the sulfites in wine. It’s quite difficult for me to track down sulfite-free wine in the tropical islands. After all, I doubt it’s going to make it this far from wine making regions without sulfites.
I then found out that Sparky Marquis was a professional photographer before he became a winemaker. I got a little insecure sitting beside him with my too awesome camera (Olympus OMD-EM5) which I’m sure he could tell I could barely use. He didn’t say a word though so I just kept using it.
I then asked him about fruit weight so both he and Sarah explained to us that fruit weight was the measure of quality in wines of the velvety, silky sensation of fruit in wines. In layman’s terms, I’m guessing this was equivalent to fruit concentration. This is a measure from the tip of your tongue for the velvet glove to the prickly structure (acid, tannin).
To further elaborate on fruit weight, we went on to the next wine, the Two Left Feet 2011 which is a shiraz/merlot/cabernet sauvignon blend. This wine was at 70% fruit weight and had ripe cherries, plums, oak and cedar as well as some wet basement aromas. The tannins were soft, and not too acidic but high in alcohol and had both a fruity and earthy finish. It was quite syrupy already and had quite a decent finish with mild oak on the palate.
This was paired with Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Tortellini.
I didn’t get to take a photo of the soup but it was a decent pairing with the pumpkin’s earthy but mildly sweet flavors.
We moved on to the Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz 2009, which I quite enjoyed, despite the high alcohol content. I could feel it running through my veins and this was lunch time, and I had to get back to work.
The wine was quite fragrant and had a lot of candy, licorice aromas combined with ripe red and black fruit and spices (all-spice, clove and cinnamon. I kept smelling it and smelling it in my glass. The tannins were soft and rounded.
This was paired with my most favorite thing in the world, a cheese souffle.
The Blue Eyed Boy combined with the cheese souffle actually gave off raspberry flavors. I actually thought I could taste a raspberry pie. I even texted my friend who sat across from me about it to double check if she got the same impression and she did.
On a sidenote, I probably like this wine because I have an affinity for blue eyed boys. HAHA!
The wine for the main course was the Carnival of Love Shiraz 2010 which obtained 99+ from Robert Parker. This wine had a heavy concentration and amazing depth and compared to the BLue Eyed Boy would appear to be a “more serious” wine versus the playful Blue Eyed Boy. This was much earthier and had less ripe fruit aromas and more secondary aromas. This was more black fruit like blackberry and black currant versus a combination of black and red fruit as in the Blue Eyed Boy. This wine, according to them, was at 90% fruit weight.
Together with the Enchanted Path Shiraz Cab blend, the labels combined formed a complete picture/told a story.
The wine was paired with Crispy Chicken, Jamon Serrano, Potato Puree and Mushroom Sauce. I loved this dish because the chicken was really crispy on the outside but really tender on the inside.
As you can see, I pretty much wiped out the contents of my glasses.
I actually wanted more (chicken) but I’m glad they didn’t give us a large portion or else I wouldn’t have walked out. The mushroom sauce completed the serious earthy flavors in the Carnival of Love. I think I asked for a refill, twice. Plus, refills of the Blue Eyed Boy. I’m glad I asked for refill for the Blue Eyed Boy because it went REALLY WELL with the dessert, a course I normally skip.
They served a chocolate hazelnut tart, which had the magic word hazelnut in it, so I ate it versus normally chucking it or giving it to my seatmate.
It went great with the Blue Eyed Boy shiraz so I told Sparky and he tried it and agreed with me.
I’m pretty sad I didn’t get to try the Velvet Glove as they didn’t serve it for that meal. They served it the night before at the wine dinner at Shangri-La but nobody wanted to go with me so I skipped it. It’s pretty sad attending a wine dinner by yourself.
Hopefully, I get to try it next time.
Thank you Erin and Premium Wine Exchange for the invite!
Finally managed to drag my buddies over at Brotzeit, at the Shang mall.
My friends and I hang out in makati so we rarely frequent the bars and restaurants everywhere else in the metro.
Brotzeit is a German beer bar, serving German grub.
Love the ambience of the place cause I don’t like hanging out in trendy clubs and bars anymore.
Plus, I love any place that serves schnitzel and spaetzle. Even though I’m not a beer person, I liked their draft lagers. I’d ask for Rieslings from Mosel and Rheingau, but that kind of defeats the purpose of going to a beer bar.
Ready for Oktoberfest this year!
It’s raining cats and dogs in Metro Manila so a lot of people are staying at home for safety reasons, instead of going to work, me included. Being stuck in a flood is NOT FUN.
So here I am, with enough idle time to post about another wine dinner I attended, this one sponsored by Banfi with Guillaumme, regional director for Asia for Banfi.
This wine dinner was held earlier in the year, and more casual than other wine dinners I’ve attended, which I liked.
I sat at the table with Guillamme and the rest of the industry people and brought along my friend Kate with me. Kate works for one of the biggest retail and land companies in the Philippines. She does marketing for them so I’ve been convincing her to learn wine so she can put together wine events for her upscale clients and the big honcho of the company.
Kate is a beer drinker so convincing her to turn over to the wine world is a slow but steady process. Right, Kate?! HAHA!
We had a salad which I ate so fast because I was starving followed by this fish course.
They served the salad and the soup with the Banfi Fumaio and Collepino.
I enjoyed this wine the most, and drank the most of it, and bought a bottle at the end of the dinner to keep at home.
They were joking at the table that I was a hard core wine drinker because that day was scorching and it was too hot to drink that kind of wine.
They said Filipina women fall into two extremes, one that doesn’t drink at all, and one that drinks too much. I fall in the 2nd category obviously.
The Castello Banfi Belnero Toscana 2010 is composed mostly of Sangiovese with some Cabernet and Merlot blended. The wine had a lot of earthy notes balanced with red fruit and vanilla.
They paired the wine with this course.
My friend Kate barely touched hers so I drank her share as well. HAH!
She did eat all of her dessert, and most of mine. The Filipinos’ weakness: sweets.
This one was a mousse cake I think.
I’m not a dessert eater, so I let her eat it, though it was really good.
The wine dinner ended early and we left together with most of the industry people.
Kate and I headed out to meet our other friends, so she can FINALLY have her beer.
This place is not new. It’s been around for a while.
I’m usually here with my friends at night drinking wine or at a wine function but I’m posting about it because I ate here for the first time while there’s sun out and it was a novelty for me.
I kind of liked the lunch ambience more as it was peaceful and kind of calm in the middle of Sunday Manila craziness. Being in this place for lunch on Sunday is kind of like coming in for late lunch at 3 pm in NYC, after nursing a severe hangover from the night before.
Nobody was there. Just three tables. I liked it but for a restaurant, that’s not good, although they were probably full the night before and that’s okay. Sunday is chill day for restaurant staff when it’s known for their nightlife.
I love the whole chalkboard decor and I’m going to have one in my surf shack someday.
They had the Weingut Meyer-Nakel Spatburgunder on the enomatic machine so I attacked that one as well as a Mito Soave Garganaga which I drank with my poached egg salad.
Mmmm, I love poached eggs.
This dish was Seared Diver Scallops with Squid Ink pasta. Honestly, I didn’t like this dish so much but it wasn’t their fault. It was due to the squid ink pasta and I’m always expecting it to taste like Conrad Calalang’s Squid Ink pasta (THE BEST EVER) so it fell short for me.
It was only a slight disappointment though.
I always have ice cream/gelato for dessert unless the restaurant has interesting choices and in Cav’s case, I was pulled towards their Nougat Semifreddo. I was supposed to “Share” this with my dad and my uncle but when I tasted it, I didn’t get to share anymore. They had one bite each and I hogged the rest.
TWO WORDS: CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT. COLD. CREAMY.
It only had two triangles on the plate, but seriously? I needed five.
Next time I go back, I will ask for FIVE.
CAV has pretty much consistent food so I’ll keep coming back.
So I finally found an alternative to Tivoli….and one that my father is willingly dragged to.
My father is not a very adventurous eater. He is what I call a minimalist and traditionalist. He doesn’t like fusion food. He doesn’t like foam, weird powder stuff on the plate or sous vide food. He also doesn’t like bad service. This limits the restaurants we can try in Manila. We usually go to tried and tested places but the problem is, I’ve been going to those places since I was a kid. I need a change of scenery.
When someone suggested to me to try La Girolle, I went…but I was nervous going in because I was bringing my dad and I don’t know how he’s going to react.
I finally secured a reservation and we ordered a la carte. Again, not much selection by the glass but their by the bottle list was pretty good. I can’t finish a bottle by sharing with my dad, otherwise I’d drink it all and he’d yell at me so I just order by the glass when I’m with him.
The good news is, they’ll let me bring wine without corkage although I probably won’t do that if there’s someone to share wine with me while dining there.
We started off with like a foie gras pate on toast. It was really creamy and tasty which we both liked. That set a good precedent.
They didn’t have the lamb shank anymore which my dad wanted to order so he got the sous vide salpicao as his main and I got the scallops. For starters, he got the soup (I forgot what kind) and I had the salmon assiette.
Here’s my salmon assiette. I chose a Chablis Brocard Aligote which was good on its own but too heavy for the salmon assiette. Really pretty colors on the plate.
For my main, I got the scallops. It was absolutely amazing. The scallops with buttery, velvety, tender with the accompaniment which was like a mushroom tart of some sort. Explosion of umami in the mouth. I didn’t leave a single drop on the plate.
Check out my dad’s sous vide salpicao. I didn’t yell when I saw the salpicao. I yelled at the perfectly poached egg. I hadn’t seen those in years. I myself can barely cook it that way. Guess who punched the egg yolk and bled it?! It was so perfect. It was solid but not too solid. Like it was held by gelatin or something. But when you poked it, it oozed slowly on the plate…but not like a mess.
For dessert, we shared a creme caramel. I’m not a big fan of custard desserts but I can’t really finish a pot de creme which was the other alternative. I always kind of test a chef’s capability with a custard based dessert and this one rocked. I didn’t eat most of it however, my dad got to it before I did. The sauce was made of caramel, rum and orange juice. For a while I thought it had Gran Marnier or Drambuie or something but it was too nutty to be an orange liquer so I had to ask.
Menus change every three months so we’ll definitely be back.
30 st cor 2nd Ave
2/F Blue Sapphire Building
Tel: (02) 478-4119
Don’t worry Tivoli! I’ll just alternate between you two for French food. HAHA. Chef Rene is too awesome to abandon.
My favorite condiment when I was growing up was A-1 sauce. Yes, that a-1 sauce. My family fed me a lot of steaks from the grill and we always had it in our pantry. I also liked Worcestershire sauce which I also put on my steaks.
Everything changed when I lived in China. My two best friends were a Taiwanese (A) and a Hong Konger (F) and since I couldn’t read the menus back then, I ate what they ate. They ate a lot of things but they always put this.
It’s called 辣油 layou in pinyin. It’s a chili oil made from fried dried chiles and some other stuff. I tried to make it myself when I came home using dried chiles but I failed. It tasted different so there must be other things in this jar that I don’t know about.
I flipped when I saw it yesterday at a restaurant near my house.
I ate it today with my fried rice （炒饭）chao fan and it was HEAVEN!!!!
When my friend L sent me a message about going to a restaurant called Bale Dutung, I didn’t even know what restaurant it was, what food they served or where it even was.
I asked L, “What’s that?”
She replied, “It’s Claude Tayag’s restaurant, in Pampanga. They serve lechon.”
As soon as she mentioned lechon, I was sold. “Count me In!”
For those of you that don’t know, lechon is a national dish in the Philippines. It may not be the official national dish (I think it’s adobo) but for me, it may as well be. In layman’s terms, lechon is whole spit-fire roasted pig. Yes, that’s right. A whole pig…with VERY CRISPY SKIN.
Anthony Bourdain wrote about it for The Travel Channel in an article called the Hierarchy of Pork. See article here: Anthony Bourdain put us on top of the Hierarchy of Pork because of this lechon. I fully agree with him on this one. I don’t really like Filipino food because I love the lechon.
So anyway, I was looking forward to going to Pampanga to eat at this famous chef’s restaurant and eat Lechon. I thought it was going to be an ordinary day, a road trip of sorts with high school classmates I have not seen for a while.
It was a 2 hour drive to the restaurant and met my friends near the start point, near my house. We were well on our way….and then we got into a car accident. A bus hit us from behind with a huge impact. It was so sudden, I didn’t even see it coming. I just heard a loud crash and then things flying at and over our heads. Thankfully, nobody was seriously hurt. My friend got shards of glass in her head. We had to rush her to the hospital and we came along to have x-rays done.
We stayed in some tiny hospital in a province called Bulacan from 10:30am to 3:00pm. That was over 5 hours of waiting in the hospital. I was beginning to lose hope that I wouldn’t be able to eat at Bale Dutung because the rain was pounding down so hard, we were also afraid of floods.
My friend L took me with her to the restaurant while the others went home. I refused to go home. There was no way I was going to go home starving after waiting 5 hours in a hospital. My father said I was crazy, but I’ve done crazy stuff because of my hunger and this was no exception.
I finally arrived at 4:30pm with L. Our companions had all already finished eating and all the other patrons were on their way out of the restaurant. It’s too bad that the sky was dark and rain was pouring down so hard because it was an outdoor restaurant and would have been a great ambience if the sun was out.
I’m sorry because most of the pictures are blurry. I had hurt my back and my arm from the impact so it affected how I held my camera. My hunger was also distracting me from taking decent pictures.
This is the restaurant. See how it’s so dark and empty!
This is the menu. We each had personalized menus but I didn’t get mine anymore because they thought we wouldn’t show up anymore because of our accident. =( I just grabbed one of the other girl’s menus and took a photo.
The owners, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, waited for us to arrive and let us eat after we told them about our accident. The wife of the owner, Mrs. Mary Ann Tayag, chatted with us while eating and asked about our accident. She also explained every dish that was coming to us which was great.
A lot of these dishes have local ingredients in them so I don’t know how to translate them in English. You will just have to come and visit and eat for yourself.
I brought two bottles of wine for this experience. I brought Taylor’s Promise Land Moscato from Australia, a light, low alcohol, with some sweetness and a Chianti Classico to enjoy with the pork. I chose a Moscato to start because I was under the impression that we would be enjoying the cold Moscato under the hot sun as it would refresh us but again, our plan didn’t work out so well. We were still able to enjoy the Moscato with the first few courses, however.
The first course was Ensaladang Pako. This is like a seaweed salad with citrus vinaigrette. The “pako” was like a chewy, seaweed fern like green. First time I’ve had it. I imagine they had to blanch it first as it may be tough to eat without par-cooking beforehand.
See how weird those things look! haha!
The next one is called Piniritong Lumpiang Ubod sa CLaude’s Oriental Sauce. This one I can translate. It is like a fried heart of palm spring rolls and oriental sauce made by Chef Claude Tayag. Heart of palm is kind of like eating lotus root, crunchy, and absorbs the flavors of everything else. I would say lotus root has a more distinct flavor though. I didn’t need the sauce anymore for this one because the spring roll itself was already good with the herb dressing on top.
The next one was Inasal na Manok at Claude’s Talangka Rice or can be translated as Chicken “Inasal” and Claude’s Crab Fat rice. “Inasal” is a regional grilled chicken dish, famous with the Ilonggos (also known as, “my peoples”). The marinade consists of annatto oil, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, among other things. It comes out orange cause of the annatto but it’s really juicy and flavorful when cooked.
It’s great even just on plain rice but of course, it was served with crab fat rice, which is another danger zone for me since I’m allergic to crab. After my accident though, I figured, I’m going to let lightning strike me twice, what the hell. HAHAHA! I didn’t get an allergy thankfully as I popped an antihistamine seconds before consuming it.
The next one was fresh sushi called Talangka Sushi, Hito at Balo Balo Sushi. I don’t know what Balo Balo is but Talangka is also crab fat and Hito is catfish.
This course is the best course for me because I had been anticipating this course ever since L told me we were going there. This is the “Balat ng Lechon at Liver Sauce”. In translation, it is LECHON SKIN AND LIVER SAUCE. It does not indicate in the description that it is CRISPY, which it is. It is crispy, crunchy, fatty and GLORIOUS!!!!!! The liver sauce (for reference: please buy Mang Tomas at your local Filipino store) is not like Foie gras in liquid form. It is something totally different and I would suggest that you do not ask how it is made and just eat it with the lechon because it is DELIGHTFUL.
The liver sauce adds a layer of umami and texture to the course because the lechon is crispy and fatty but the liver sauce is chunky with lots of earthy flavors. It’s kind of like wine. Well, the wine I brought which was a Chianti Classico that I had bought the day before, was sadly NOT a perfect match to the lechon. I didn’t have enough time to buy from my supplier the wine I wanted because I didn’t confirm my attendance to the restaurant until 2 days before. The Chianti Classico was too light for the lechon and for the liver sauce. Maybe a Barbera or a Nebbiolo based wine would have been a better match. Or actually, I think a Carmenere would have been a better match for this course, to jump the world to Chile. I just thought that since I drank a lot of Chianti while in Tuscany while eating porchetta, it would work but I was wrong. Lesson learned.
The “Fried Lechon flakes binalot sa tortilla at Claude’s Oriental Sauce” was my next favorite course. It is translated into Fried Lechon Flakes wrapped in tortilla. The pig meat was shredded and then fried and this is wrapped into a flour tortilla with cilantro and onion and dressed with the Oriental sauce. It was quite tasty with the crunchy texture of the lechon flakes and the soft tortilla and the kick of the cilantro and onion. I ate three pieces of this. They brought out extra portions for this course…as well as the lechon skin. =D
I don’t know what the next course is because I don’t know what “Tadyang” means. It is called “Inihaw na Tadyang na Lechon at Ensaladang Talong”. Ensaladang talong means Eggplant salad.
Oh now I remember, I think it was Grilled Pork ribs with Eggplant Salad. Now I remember because I liked it so much, I ate it so fast. I remember the ribs being really tender and flavorful and if I’m not mistaken, also had the inasal marinade.
Sinigang na Lechon is a native dish and is like a sour soup with a viand and vegetables. It is traditionally made with tamarind so it’s kind of like the Tom Yum Soup in Thailand. This had lechon in it and taro root which is my favorite! I ate this one pretty fast too. This dish is not really presented aesthetically because it is a comfort food kind of thing and is a one pot dish of some sorts. I have been eating this in a single bowl with rice floating in it since I was little. It doesn’t look good but it sure is tasty! Plus, it was perfect since it was raining and it was kind of chilly and it warmed us up.
How do I explain Sisig Ulo ng Lechon? Sisig is pork ears and face! We Filipinos do not like to waste our pork and we will use all parts of it. I have always known it to be crispy and sizzling as I eat in the local beer chain but traditionally it is marinated in a sour liquid such as vinegar and served. It is not traditionally sizzling so I was a bit apprehensive because I DO NOT LIKE VINEGAR. I had to try it though for my memory food bank and I was not turned off as expected. I did taste the vinegar but it was mild enough for me to tolerate. The texture also took some getting used to. The sizzling sisig took away all the elements that I did not like a) vinegar b) weird texture. I can’t say I like the traditional sisig but at least I’ve tried it.
Dessert was aptly named “Paradiso”. I normally skip dessert but because of events, my stomach was still 1/4 empty. I scarfed down the dessert. It was desserts made from rice in carabao’s milk! The purple one is ube or purple yam and the others, I’m not sure but I’m sure they’re made of rice. The carabao’s milk was so rich and creamy and together with the others really made it a luscious dish. They flambeed the dessert so the crusted sugar on the bottom gave it some texture otherwise it would all be one mushy dessert.
This was the first Filipino dessert I’ve had where I wished they gave a bigger portion. HAHA! I looked over at my friends to see if I could grab theirs but alas, they also scarfed it down fast.
We finished with coffee called “Kapeng Sinaunang Panahon”. This means “Coffee Once Upon a Time”. I think this was made from local beans. Better than Starbucks for sure!
Drop by Bale Dutung when you’re in the Philippines.
It’s located at Villa Gloria Subdivision, Angeles City, Pampanga
(02) 6684038, (02) 5024527
I’m willing to go back but right now, I’m still a little bit traumatized from the accident so I won’t be going on any long distance trips on the road soon. Flights yes, but not cars.
Next post will be international again!