The Jelly List: Fresh takes on Filipino food

The Philippine Independence Day is just around the corner and despite having a lot of restrictions on movements and dining out, there are still enough reasons to celebrate the flavors and ingenuity of Filipino cuisine.

Characterized by the interplay of sweet (tamis), sour (asim) and salty (alat) flavors, Pinoy food is rich in tradition and history, with many recipes passed down from one generation to the next.

Every once in a while, however, a kitchen maverick adds an unheard-of twist to an established Pinoy dish or adapts a foreign recipe by incorporating local ingredients or cooking styles which will result in an entirely new way to enjoy an old favorite.

In this edition of The Jelly List, let me share with you fresh takes on Filipino food from innovative restaurants. And since the community quarantine is still in effect in many areas in Metro Manila, I’ve chosen dishes from restaurants that are open for pickup or delivery.

Manam’s Caramelized Patis Wings (Php180)

Manam, Trinoma

Just when you thought that there couldn’t be another twist to fried chicken wings, Manam brings out this zesty appetizer flavored with patis (fish sauce). Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!

To order, visit MomentFood.com.

More on Manam here.

Lola Cafe’s Prawns in Aligue (Php420)

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

We Pinoys sure do love our seafood! And while pasta is not native to our country, Lola Cafe has made this dish Filipino with the use of crab fat (aligue) and carabao cheese (kesong puti).

To order, call +63 917 8176045 or course your order through FoodPanda or LalaFood.

More on Lola Cafe here.

Locavore’s Sugpo con Mayonesa (Php980)

Locavore, Kapitolyo

Locavore may be best known for its Sizzling Sinigang but its Sugpo con Mayonesa surely deserves a second (or third!) look. Made with jumbo black tiger prawns set on a rich sauce of crab fat, garlic, butter and Japanese mayo, this is truly a decadent dish.

To order, call +63 917 6842014 (Pasig), +63 917 5742017 (Taguig), +63 917 1782018 (Makati), +63 917 8472747 (Pasay) and +63 917 5120159 (Quezon City), or visit Locavore.ph.

More on Locavore here.

Ombu Kusina’s Sisig Pizza (Php560).

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

The Kapampangan delicacy pork sisig may be mainstay in many Filipino restos but here’s an exciting way to enjoy it: on top of a thin-crust pizza and drizzled with garlic sauce.

To order, call +63 2 84411789 or +63 922 8149086, or course your order through FoodPanda.

More on Ombu Kusina here.

Moonshine Pub’s Pizza Margerito (Php465)

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

A twist on the Italian classic Pizza Marherita, this is adapted to local taste with the inclusion of Moonshine Pub’s housemade longganisa.

To order, Viber +63 927 8000920 or send a message to Moonshine Pub on Facebook.

More on Moonshine Pub here.

ALTA by Relik’s Bagnet Sinigang (Php395).

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

The classic sinigang dish is deconstructed into pieces of bagnet and vegetables served with a broth made of fresh sampaloc dialed up to its asim-est level.

To order, call +63 917 3172582.

More on ALTA by Relik here.

Kusina Moderne’s Sans Rival (Php225)

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

What’s a Filipino meal without dessert? With Kusina Moderne’s version of the San Rival consisting of meringue balls studded with chopped walnuts and filled with buttercream, any meal will end on a sweet note.

To order, call +63 920 8178956 or course your order through GrabFood or FoodPanda.

More on Kusina Moderne here.

So if you’re planning a celebration for our Araw ng Kalayaan, have a couple of these dishes delivered to your home and appreciate the ingenuity and vibrancy of Pinoy cuisine.

Thanks for reading this Jelly List! Now, how about some perks?

  • Use this link to download the FoodPanda app and get Php100 off your first order.

Check out my other adventures compiled into Jelly Lists:

Not your ordinary Filipino food at Locavore, BGC

Hubby wanted to celebrate his birthday with me and his office buddies and so looked for a special place where we can all spend time together over good food.

Having eaten several times before at Locavore’s branch in Kapitolyo, we set upon the resto’s branch in Burgos Circle, BGC as the venue for his celebration.

Locavore is known for applying unique twists to classic Filipino dishes, influenced no doubt by Chef Mikel Zaguirre’s background in French cooking and his preference for fresh ingredients from around the country.

This branch has more of a “pub” kind of feel to it: dim lights, chill sounds and the smell of sizzling food wafting to your nose.

Locavore, BGC

Locavore, BGC

Hubby’s birthday feast consisted of several orders of the resto’s best sellers:

Boneless Lechon Belly (Php650). Prepared Cebu-lechon style, it is served with Pinakurat vinegar, bagoong dipping sauce, and pickled red onion and cucumber.

Locavore, BGC

Mac’s Boneless Fried Chicken (Php270). The resto’s own recipe of the glazed boneless fried chicken.

Locavore, BGC

Gising Gising (Php275). The traditional Pampanga dish made of finely chopped sigarilyas (winged beans), French beans, garlic and shallot confit, gata (coconut milk) and spring onions.

Locavore, BGC

Sizzling Sinigang (Php550). Usually the highlight of our meals at Locavore, this is made of beef short ribs, served with sauteed French beans in a sampaloc (tamarind) gravy with garlic confit. This time, however, it was initially served quite cold and, after several bites, I had to request for it to be reheated so that the full potential of the dish can be tasted.

Locavore, BGC

These viands were accompanied by Locavore’s Roasted Garlic Organic White Rice (Php70).

Locavore, BGC

Plus, since both Hubby and I unlocked our Zomato Gold Privilege, we got several free glasses of refreshing ice-blended mocktails for the ladies in the group: the Cucumber Lime Cooler (Php150) and the Apple Lime Cooler (Php150).

Locavore, BGC

I usually fully enjoy my meals at Locavore, but in this branch, some executions have gone awry such as serving the sinigang as anything less than sizzling hot.

Still, Hubby’s birthday celebration was an enjoyable time spent among his friends.

Locavore, BGC

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This Locavore branch is located at Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, open daily from 10am to 2am. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 917 5742017.

Other branches are located at:

  • Brixton Technology Center, 10 Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City, open Mondays to Saturdays from 11.30am to 1am and Sundays from 11am to 1am.
  • S Maison, Conrad Manila, Seaside Boulevard Corner Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City, open daily from 11am to 1am.
  • Ground Floor, Three Central Building, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City, open daily from 10am to 12 midnight
  • Ground Floor, 1880 Building, Eastwood Avenue, Libis, Quezon City

Locavore Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Classic Filipino dishes with a twist at Locavore, Kapitolyo

I’ve been hearing a lot about Locavore Kitchen & Drinks in Kapitolyo for the past few years since it opened but having moved offices from Ortigas to Quezon City, I just haven’t had too many opportunities to explore the Kapitolyo food scene anymore.

Luckily, the fam was invited to a lunch treat by the in-laws at this resto which also served as our welcome break from hibernating at home due to the non-stop rain.

The recipient of the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Filipino Restaurant in 2017, Locavore champions local cuisine by revitalizing classic dishes with a new twist, no doubt influenced by the French cooking background of chef and co-owner Mikel Zaguirre. Its name Locavore sums up the resto’s culinary philosophy: a person who eats and appreciates food that’s locally grown, raised and produced.

The place has a decidedly young and hip vibe to it, with a nice blend of wood and industrial-inspired interiors, designed by one the resto’s partners, Eric Matic.

Locavore, Kapitolyo

Locavore, Kapitolyo

Locavore, Kapitolyo

Locavore, Kapitolyo

While waiting for the rest of our party, we munched on Salted Egg Gabi Chips (Php350) and Kinilaw na Tanigue (Php320).  The gabi chips was a definite hit with me and my daughter #ExhibitA, both of us being fans of salted egg chips per se. Eating those kinds of chips made of a vegetable we don’t normally associate with snack food is actually an appetizing novelty.  Also, the chips are accompanied by kimchi, chopped white onion and kesong puti, a local cheese made from carabao’s milk, the combination of which that produced an explosion of flavors with each bite. As for the kinilaw (the Pinoy version of ceviche), I liked the texture of the raw fish that has been cured in cane vinegar and aromatics.  Hubby didn’t find it spicy enough for his taste, but I liked it just fine. 🙂

Locavore, Kapitolyo

Locavore Kapitolyo

Once our party was complete, we feasted on main dishes that exemplify the concept of classic Filipino dishes given unique cosmopolitan twists.  For example, the Boneless Lechon Belly (Php650) is a Cebu-style roasted pork belly that had a tender, mildly flavored meat with a crisp and crunchy skin.  The Mac’s Boneless Fried Chicken (Php270), has a thick yet crisp batter enveloping the juicy chicken (since this dish was intended for the little boys in our group, the wait staff served it separately from the spicy glaze).  The Sugpo con Mayonesa (Php980) was a decadent dish of huge tiger prawns served with a rich sauce of aligue (crab fat), garlic, butter and Japanese mayo.  The Ginataang Kalabasa (Php420) features the Pinoy version of the pumpkin cooked in gata (coconut milk) and accompanied by French beans, shrimp and sizeable pork chop slices; it’s definitely an upgraded version of the vegetable dish that Pinoy moms would force us kids to eat for our health.  Not being a fan of curry nor spicy food, I didn’t sample the Green Curry Bicol Express (Php480) anymore.

Locavore, Kapitolyo

Locavore, Kapitolyo

Locavore, Kapitolyo

Locavore, Kapitolyo

Of course, the piece de resistance of the meal is the Sizzling Sinigang (Php550), the classic Filipino soup dish transformed into a sizzling viand.  The sour sampaloc (tamarind) broth became a rich savory gravy that retained sinigang‘s characteristic sourness.  Together with the sauteed French beans and garlic confit, it complemented the beef short-ribs slow-cooked to melt-in-your-mouth tenderness.

All of these dishes were wonderfully set off by the various options of brown steamed rice, garlic white rice and steamed white rice that we ordered to accompany the viands.

Locavore, Kapitolyo

Locavore, Kapitolyo

To cap the meal, we were treated to a tall tower of the house special Leche Flan (Php190), the Pinoy version of Creme Caramel, a rich and creamy custard served with a creamy caramel sauce on the side.

Locavore, Kapitolyo

We experienced a minor panic when my son got some hives due to allergy to the shrimp and tiger prawns (which was unfortunate because shrimp is among his favorite food). Good thing sister-in-law came to the rescue with some antihistamine she happened to have handy.

Despite that, I’m happy to say that Locavore more than lived up to my expectations when it comes to food flavor and presentation, and I look forward to exploring more of its offerings.

This Locavore branch is located at 10 Brixton Street, Barrio Kapitolyo, Pasig City (Tel: +63 917 684 2014).  Other branches are located at:

  • Unit 5-7AB Forbeswood Parklane, Taguig City (Tel: +63 917 574 2017)
  • A1-A2 Three Central, Salcedo, Makati City (Tel: +63 917 178 2018)
  • Level 1 S Maison, Mall of Asia, Pasay City (Tel: +63 917 847 2747)

Locavore Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Want to learn more about Filipino cuisine? Check out these books on Amazon.com!

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