For the past month, every time I would go out for a dinner with friends I suddenly find myslef ordering for a Tortang Talong (translation: Eggplant Omelet for the regular folks, Eggplant Frittata for the affluent mortals). These dining experiences from various restaurants in the metro enabled me to compare the tortang talongs I have binged. At the end of each scrutiny I rated each omelet, five spoons being the highest.
Gilligan’s Island (location: Nakpil corner Orosa, Malate) – it is nothing but eggplant and egg. It is the cheapest among the bunch. Tomato catsup is needed to appreciate it. Its small portion is good enough for the peso that you will pay for. A typical cafeteria-like dish… Rating: 2 spoons
Bistro Remedios (location: M. Adriatico corner Remedios, Malate) – the biggest tortang talong! It is made of 2 eggplants cooked into one big serving with ground pork filling and finely chopped tomatoes. Too bad, it looks like the eggplant was not grilled when getting rid of the skin. This is obvious because the eggplant does not have any burnt or charred portion and the smoky flavor is barely present. It was so spotless you would think that the eggplant was boiled to peel off the skin. Due to this, Bistro Remedios’ tortang talong is best dipped in toyo (soy sauce) with calamansi instead of the usual catsup. Rating: 4 spoons
Mario’s Kitchen (location: SM Mall of Asia and Robinson’s Ermita branches) – the tastiest among all the other tortang talongs! It is so scrumptious you need not add catsup. The dish was perfectly cooked. Also stuffed with ground pork, you would feel that the eggplant was actually grilled from direct fire or charcoal to get rid of the skin. This charbroiling technique enabled the eggplant to gush out its natural oil which added more to the tasty flavor. Grilling also added the smoky taste. I didn’t notice the portioning if it is small or just enough since after finishing I was still craving for more. Rating: 5 spoons
La Mesa (location: SM Mall of Asia) – the gaffe among the identified tortang talongs in this writing. Aside from the snail-like speed in serving the food items in La Mesa, the limp goopy eggplant was disintegrating from its egg covering layer. The chef obviously did not bothered to dunk the skinned eggplant into the beaten egg prior to frying. There’s nothing amazing in this stuff. It’s like prepared and cooked by a person who was just starting to learn. You need a lot of catsup mixed with Knorr seasoing (MSG sauce) to appreciate it. Rating: I’d rather have another dish! No spoons! Grrrr!