According to an article in Bites on Today, Andrew Zimmern predicts that come 2014 Filipino food is the next big thing in America. While we wait for this prediction to finally be realized let me inform all those who will have the chance to come across this blog that an authentic and heavenly set of Filipino cuisine does exist in Cavite City.
Last Wednesday I had the awesome opportunity to dine and try out a number of delightfully genuine Caviteño dishes served in Asiong’s Carinderia. Located at 719 P Paterno Street, Caridad, Cavite City, Asiong’s serves Filipino dishes that I have never seen nor tasted before.
I never claimed to be the last arbiter of Filipino food but the following notable Caviteño dishes can exclusively (I suppose) be found in Asiong’s:
- Pancit Pusit (vermicelli noodles cooked in squid ink and squid meat topped with crunchy chopped fresh kamias fruit),
- Asiong’s version of Kilawin (shredded fish meats with julienne cut green papaya and shredded cabbage soaked in strong vinegar sauce),
- Asiong’s version of Inihaw na Bangus Binusog (grilled stuffed boneless milkfish whose surprising stuffing includes salted eggs, chopped tomatoes, leeks and onions)
- Bagoong Na Itlog Ng Isda (fish roe in palm or olive oil which I suppose is Cavite’s answer to caviar cultivated in the Caspian Sea, which is best eaten when mixed into a bunch of hot cooked rice)
- Adobong Pula (a Filipino-style pork stew in reddish brown sauce – which I failed to ask what was placed to turn the sauce reddish)
- Tamarind Halaya (sioupy tamarind jam with milk, best eaten as a topping for vanilla ice cream),
- Leche Flan (a rich all egg yolk crème caramel, I think with fresh pandan extracts – a tropical plant’s leaves widely used in Southeast Asia as flavoring)
All these divine dishes were washed down into my tummy by drinking a refreshing Asiong’s version of lemonade (a mixed juice containing fresh lemon and Filipino tropical fruit called kamias with organic extracts of moringa and lemon grass).
After dining and while my tastes buds were still clapping and shouting “Bravo!” I had the rare opportunity to talk to the owner Sonny Lua. I asked him how he was able to concoct and formulate simple native ingredients into grand flavors of dishes. He simply told me that the recipes actually came from his mom and grandmother. He said that when he was still a child his “tambayan” (a usual place to hang and loiter around their house) was his grandmother’s kitchen. He was never thought how to cook but by merely observing and trying to recall how he witnessed his mom and grandmother’s way of cooking he was able to reconstruct all these beautiful Filipino dishes. He also professed that his grandmother was a great cook and frequently prepare these dishes for she was often invited to cook in various banquet functions (weddings, birthdays, fiesta celebrations, etc.) around Cavite City in the olden days.
Ang dila ko ay gustong tubuan ng kamay dahil gusto nitong pumalakpak sa sarap!