Carnevore Food Trip at Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse, UP Town Center

There’s something so primal about grilling food, particularly meat. Harking back to cavemen days when it was discovered that cooking food in an open flame makes it more tender and taste better, grilling has now become an advanced study in itself, with specialized tools and techniques to satisfy the most discriminating tastes among grilled food fanatics.

Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse began as a venture among siblings – right in the backyard of their house in Marikina. Having discovered the unique flavors and distinct styles of the American southwest when it comes to grilling, smoking meats in particular, they determined to bring that kind of cooking back home with them.

From its flagship store in Marikina, to this bigger store in UP Town Center in Quezon City, the Fat Daddy’s has certainly come a long way. This newer branch boasts of a spacious seating area, fun and playful decor as well as a showcase of meat rubs, condiments and sauces that the restaurant owners developed while perfecting their barbecue techniques. It is an ideal place for fun family dinners and boisterous barkada get-togethers.

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town

Together with fellow bloggers, I was invited to attend a foodie meetup held here where I was able to sample many of Fat Daddy’s signature dishes.

Buttermilk Fried Livers (Php210)

Who would have thought that I will be munching on – of all things – chicken liver! But this is not your ordinary fried animal innard dish; the chicken livers are marinated in buttermilk, deep-fried, coated with Fat Daddy’s home-made barbecue rub and served with piedmont and Alabama sauces.

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town

Jera’s Ultimate Pulled Pork and Bacon Nachos (Php330 for half serving/Php600 for whole)

A humungous pile of nachos, pulled pork barbecue, smoked bacon, salsa and sliced jalapenos, drizzled with oodles of homemade cheese sauce and Alabama barbecue sauce.

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town

Hot Pork Poppers (Php175)

Imagine biting into thinly sliced pork belly dried to a yummy crisp and coated with homemade piedmont sauce.

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town

Chef Pat’s Ultimate Cheese Dip (Php250)

Bless Chef Pat’s heart for this! Melted cheddar and mozzarella mixed with beef and onion make for a great dip for toasted bread and tortilla chips.

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town

Crispy Fried Pickles (Php185)

Panko- and corn crust-coated dill pickles are deep-fried and served with Alabama-style barbecue sauce.

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town

All those appetizers sure did their job: whet our appetites for more… because more certainly came.

The star of the show is undoubtedly the Holiday Feast Platter (Php2,699, good for 4 persons). The family’s holiday dinner will no doubt even be more festive with all its hearty inclusions:
Smoked Ham
Smoked Pork Ribs
Roasted Chicken
Barbecue Pulled Pork Salad
6 Pieces Salted Egg Chicken Wings
2 Slices of Chocolate Cake
Plain Rice
4 Glasses of Iced Tea
2 Extra Sides: choose from Southern Potato Salad, Buttered Veggies, Coleslaw, Sauteed Beans and Bacon and Chicken Macaroni Salad

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town

I would have let this story end right here, being so full from the carnevore feast laid out for us, I was approaching food coma.

But, no, they just had to bring out dessert.

O. M. G.

Sweet saints above! Whatever good I ever did to deserve a taste of the Cajeta Cheesecake (Php155/slice) – a sinful variation of the dulce de leche – and the Caramel Drizzled Banana Pudding (Php170/slice) – moist butter bread drizzled with caramel and topped with home-made vanilla ice cream – I’m just glad the powers-that-be were around to see it.

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town Center

The other delectable dessert treats we were able to gorge ourselves on include:

Pecan Pie (Php250)

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town Center

Bacon and S’Mores Dip (Php250)

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town Center

Spicy Chocolate Cake (Php125)

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town Center

Pineapple Carrot Cake (Php125)

Fat Daddy’s, UP Town Center

My foodie adventure at Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse was a feast for carnevores capped off with treats for sweet-tooths like me.

This Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse branch is located at the Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City. It is open open daily from 9am to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 7174482.

Fat Daddy’s original store is located at 171 Dao Street, Marikina Heights, Marikina City, open weekdays from 12 noon to 9pm and weekends from 11am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 995 5832237.

Fat Daddy's Smokehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I was invited to attend a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Delectable Degustation at Ilustrado, Intramuros

Degustation is the careful and deliberate tasting of various food with an eye towards appreciation of the science and artistry that goes into their preparation as well as their effect to the senses.

To mark its 29th anniversary, Ilustrado Restaurant introduces an 8-course degustation menu which will be available to its patrons throughout the month of October.

The menu was conceptualized by Ilustrado Restaurant’s Chef de Patron Bernice Pimentel, inspired by, of all things, a classic Pinoy song.

“My almost three year old nephew is in a “bahay kubo” sing-song stage and I can say that the vegetables in the song followed me everywhere making its way into our degustation menu.” shares Chef Bernice.

The influence of “bahay kubo” is apparent in the menu’s deliberate use of homegrown ingredients and incorporating them into continental dishes.

In fact, Chef Bernice’s plan for the restaurant’s own farm to table concept is already in the works. Among these initiatives are a partnership with Luntian Farms and growing the edible flowers that serve as garnishes for her dishes right at home.

Together with fellow foodies and food bloggers, I was able to sample this innovative degustation menu, which is priced at Php1,250 (plus 10% service charge). The menu included items that may also be availed of ala carte, such as:

Kangkong Pesto Brioche served with Boursin Cheese. The freshly baked brioche is amazingly light and fluffy, wonderfully accented by the herby cream cheese.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Kesong Puti Croquettes at Lato (Php175+). These are croquettes made with local white cheese, sea grapes (or locally called lato, which gives a burst of flavor from the sea with each bite), baby mesclun and Salsa Verde Aoili.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Oyster Laing Rockefeller (Php195+). Seafood dish made of Aklan oyster topped by the classic Bicolano laing made of coconut, chili and dried taro, with added parmigiano reggiano, lemon juice and panko. These add a rich creaminess and a spicy kick to the oyster.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Sayote Egg Drop Soup (Php125+). Chayote soup with a quail egg dropped in for added richness that warms the tummy, served with crunchy crostini.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Burong Mangga Sorbet. Pureed green mango churned and cooled into a sorbet to cleanse the palate in preparation for the main dishes.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

BBQ Pulled Pork Tostadas (Php215+). Tender slow-cooked pork marinated in Pinoy-style barbecue sauce, served with refried mungo beans, papaya slaw on top of fried tortillas.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Sea Bass Sinantol (Php350+). Buttery Chilean sea bass fillet pan-seared then oven-broiled and served with fried rice sauteed in the Bicolano dish sinantol, as well as arugula.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Egg Pie Brulee (Php175+). Bruleed egg tart with dots of rose creme chantilly, slices of fresh strawberry, green grapes, and ripe mango. Accompanied by edible flowers, this dessert provides a sweet ending to the meal.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

The degustation menu modernizes and localizes the continental viands it includes. It brings somewhat-forgotten local produce such as lato, sayote and santol back to the forefront of modern Philippine cuisine. The portions are well-calculated such that diners are able to appreciate each dish in its entirety but are not overwhelmed by flavor or quantity.

In keeping with a degustation’s aim to satisfy as many of the senses as possible, the menu features visually appealing and colorful food presentation, appetizing herby, fruity and earthy smells, and interesting interplays of various textures and flavors with each dish served.

This wonderful menu is best enjoyed inside Ilustrado Restaurant’s well-appointed premises. The converted Spanish era seminary, its aged wood furniture and antique bric-a-bracs all give the resto an old world appeal.

But do hurry: this delectable degustation menu will only be available within October.

Ilustrado is located at 5440 General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila, open daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm and from 6pm to 9pm.  For queries and reservations, call +63 2 5273674 or +63 939 9206822, or email catering@ilustradorestaurant.com.ph.  For more details and updates, check out Ilustrado Restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Ilustrado Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I was invited to attend a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants: