What is the appeal of Filipino restaurants? We normally get to taste their offerings via our own lutong-bahay or during fiestas, anyway.
This is a thought I recently pondered as Hubby and I decided to venture out to the newly-finished Ayala Malls Feliz in Marikina for a pre-New Year wandering and we chanced upon a now-open branch of Cabalen. The resto’s regular buffet of classic Filipino dishes is quite a good deal at only Php298 (service charge not included).
Among the flavors we sampled are:
- Prichon Wraps. Lechon bits wrapped with carrot, cucumber and green onion strips in tortilla with 3 choices of sauce (hoisin, garlic and lechon sauce).
- Crispy Kangkong
- Fresh Lumpia (vegetable rolls with a peanut and garlic sauce)
- Pancit Puti. White noodles sauteed with meat and veggies and simmered in flavorful chicken stock.
- Kare Kare. A stew made of oxtail, beef offal or tripe with a thick sabory peanut sauce.
- Bico (sweet rice cake or kakanin with coconut milk) and Ginataang Mais (corn kernels in glutinous rice with coconut milk) for dessert.
We were able to get our fill of these dishes except for the Kare Kare which ran out of meat and was not refilled in time.
Now back to the question on the appeal of eating Filipino dishes when dining out: for me, it brings back childhood memories of what my mom used to make (particularly ginataang mais for merienda in the afternoon) or a way to enjoy childhood favorites without the hassle (the making of some Filipino delicacies are a bit labor-intensive).
Cabalen, in particular, has the added appeal of being a buffet restaurant. If you want to treat your balikbayan relatives to the flavors they have been missing, dining at Cabalen will allow them to load up on great flavors and great family memories.
Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:
- The Lechon Shop, Tomas Morato
- Angus Tapa Centrale, Tomas Morato
- Gerry’s Grill, Tomas Morato
- Luna J Filipino Gastropub, Tomas Morato
- Gerry’s Grill, SM Marikina
- Bacolod Chicken Parilla, Tomas Morato
- Classic Savory, SM East Ortigas
- Jaytee’s Tagaytay
- Buddy’s, Cubao
- Limbaga 77, Tomas Morato
- Victorino’s, Tomas Morato
Want to learn more about Filipino cuisine? Check out these books on Amazon.com!
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