Piniritong Galunggong The Dashing Version

While I was growing up, there was one fish that has politically been used as a benchmark in terms of determining my country’s economic inflation rate  and the people’s purchasing power.  It was a Filipino staple that resulted to having the first female president in Asia and the Time Magazine’s Woman of the Year awardee.  It was the increasing price of this measly poor-man’s fish that was used to ignite in toppling a dark authoritarian regime that resulted to the triumph of a peaceful people power revolution.

This fish was the mundane and inglorious Galunggong (known in the US as the Round Scad Fish).  This fish is so cheap, so common and so trivial you will never see this served as part of the menu in any grand or special Filipino banquet feast.  Some Filipino folks would not even eat it because they consider it as the fish of the poor and the low-class.

But the sordid, meek and lowly fish seem to have an ally in revamping its unfortunate and underprivileged image.  It is the 35-year old Filipino restaurant called Bistro Remedios. 

I think Bistro Remedios is the only prime-quality restaurant in the metro that carries a Galunggong dish in the menu.  I have yet to know or encounter an equally ingenious restaurant of the same caliber that serves this variety of fish.

Bistro Remedios serves Galunggong and they simply call it Piniritong Galunggong.   I recently got an interest of trying one and it was one surprisingly beautiful dish that was served on my table.

I consider Piniritong Galunggong to be the chic and dashing version of this common fried fish.  It is actually a complete meal.  It is served with a special rice cooked in coconut milk and also comes with the savory-flavored Filipino shrimp paste mixed with crispy tiny anchovies. 

The presentation, the plating and the big portion definitely exceeded my expectations.  Those fresh sliced tomatoes and banana leaf bedding definitely added beautiful colors to what could have been a plain looking dish.  The sautéed shrimp paste with anchovies was packed with flavors while the special coconut milk rice was a real big surprise to the palate. 

that’s jorge, the manager
chic and dashing version

The Galunggong fish was definitely the highlight of this dish.  It was crisp, meaty and flavorful.  And for those who hate eating bony fish, Bistro Remedios’ kitchen painstakingly got rid of the fish bones!  The fish served were boneless!

Bistro Remedios (who was the inventor/creator of the now-very-famous Binukadkad Na Plapla which almost all Filipino restaurants seem to serve now) definitely did a great job on introducing and carrying Galunggong in their menu. 

Chomping on the fish seem to brought back childhood memories and of living simple and joyous lives in the past.  This dish was a definite glorious gastronomic experience!  And after having my last bite, I was already planning on when to order it again. 

inside the dining area of bistro remedios

     Bistro Remedios branches are

are at Adriatico St, Remedios Circle, Malate

and at the Grond Floor, The Block, SM North EDSA

Pinasosyal na isda…

Keeping, Serving, Enjoying The Traditional Kare-Kare

kare-kare overload
kare-kare overload

The Filipino cuisine is at its renaissance in the present generation.  And because of this global upwelling, it is frustrating to note that there have been lots of Filipino restaurants popping up in the metro that has gone modifying and fusing the tasty traditional Filipino dishes with the western or other Asian cuisines.

The grassroots and nature of the Filipino cuisine is about being economical.  Ingredients were based on what the environment offers.  Filipino dish is not about just taking, using and eating the best part of an edible fruit, plant or animal.  It is about the development of dishes utilizing every edible part of an edible element present in the environment may it be a fruit, a plant or an animal.  That is why western world would often perceive Filipino dishes to be bizarre and outright disgusting.

Because of this perception, to tweak Filipino dishes in terms of plating and visual presentation so as to not scare people and achieve global marketability is okay for me.  But the complex taste and palatal balance of the traditional recipe that Filipinos of the past has concocted and developed must remain.

the chosen one!!! the authentic good old kare-kare
the chosen one!!! the good old traditional  kare-kare (i obviously erased the labels…)

It is good to know then that the LJC Restaurant Group, a leading group of restaurants in the country continues to serve traditional Filipino dishes.  Though I am not the final authority regarding the taste of traditional Filipino dishes, I have been fortunate to be chosen as one of the lucky Filipinos to taste and determine which among their Kare-Kare is the best!  Aside from adopting the chosen best Kare-Kare for all their outlets, this project by the LJC Group in way ensures that the good old Kare-Kare (stewed oxtail in peanut-based sauce) is available for the present generation to enjoy.

This project only shows how the LJC Restaurant Group is serious is keeping the traditional Filipino cuisine.  No wonder the LJC Restaurant Group operates the leading and best Filipino restaurants in the country, i.e. Abe (which now has 6 branches) and Bistro Remedios located in Malate, Manila.

With the rousing global interest about the Filipino cuisine nowadays, it would be sad to know and would be hard to imagine in case the best Kare-Kare would not be found in the Philippines.  So, good job LJC Group!  At least for now, the best Kare-Kare is still found in the Philippines!

Yami parang ako!

My Lunch Today Is About Dolphy

Today the whole Philippines observe the National Day of Remembrance in honor of Dolphy, The Comedy King of Philippine cinema.

In today’s national observance, my lunch is Munggo Bean Soup (a thick green mung bean bisque with smoked fish flakes topped with pork cracklings); Sinuteng Baby Pusit (young squids sauted in olive oil with chunks of sliced garlic); and, a cup of jasmine rice as ordered from Bistro Remedios in Malate, which happens to be one of Dolphy’s favorite restaurants in the metro.

Press this LINK, a news article in Manila Bulletin to support such claim. If you will try the dishes in Bistro Remedios, you will never wonder why the late Philippines’ King of Comedy often dined there.  It’s yummy! What about you, what’s the tiny yet trivial thing you did today to commemorate the day’s national observance?

Ang sarap parang ako…