Filipino lutong

Filipino lutong

Featuring Lechon Republic, Kabayan Filipino Restaurant (Lucky Plaza), Kubo Woodfired Kitchen, Lechon Pinoy (Lucky Plaza)
Darren Teo
Darren Teo

Have been eyeing this place for a long time and wanted to try their elevated filipino cuisine, so my partner brought me here for my birthday dinner.

First of all the service staff were really friendly and helpful in recommending dishes to try. The ambience of the place was also immaculate - warm hues and cosy vibes, perfect for date nights or gathering with friends.

For the food, we had:
1) Chicharon ($12) - Great way to start off the meal. Loved the crunch and fattiness of the pork cheek slivers. The smoked plum ketchup tasted so similar to macdonald's curry sauce though, and that threw me off a little.

2) Pork Longanissa ($20) - Like an open-faced sandwich with a perfectly grilled patty complete with crispy edges, pickled cucumber for the tang and crunch, cheddar cheese and mustard sauce to give depth of flavour, atop a fluffy toasted potato bread with briney ikura and gooey cured egg on top. This was a flavour bomb. Full stop. This was my fave dish of the night.

3) Crab Fat Risotto ($22) - This was quite a disappoint as it was highly raved online but I could only taste sourness from the entire dish. Not sure if it was the fermented crab or the calamansi, but the sourness was overpowering in this plate.

4) Duck Fat BBQ Corn ($12) - Simply corn grilled with duck fat and smoked paprika sprinkled on top. Flavors were nice with the sweetness of the corn and savouriness of the paprika coming through, but $12 for what I think is half a corn? Wouldn't order this again.

5) Halo Halo ($14) - A scoop of purple yam ice cream with coconut jam and coconut corn custard. That's all. Thought I could eat the flesh of the coconut this was served in too, but it was too hard to scrape off. Overall, felt that this dessert leaned too heavily on theatrics instead of the food itself.

6) Barbie Potion ($20) - A gin-based aperitivo with raspberry, balsamic and egg white. Felt this was pretty diluted and tasted more like raspberry soda instead. Absolutely not worth the price.

Overall, had a nice meal but personally there were more misses than hits for the food. But I would say service is good; my partner told the staff that this was a birthday celebration and they took away the Halo-Halo (that they already served) while I went to the loo and when I returned they came back to serve it with a candle on top. Enjoyable experience, but would try the rest of the menu.

Rating this solely on the plate of Lechon w rice ($9.50). Don't scoff at the price; this is nothing like your run-of-the-mill $5 Roast Pork Rice from the local foodcourt. The Lechon is so much more meaty, crispy, aromatic, and fatty, and I guarantee you that you'll think that roast pork tastes so average after. Pair this with the sweet sauce and you're good to go. They also give a bowl of tangy soup to cut through the fattiness every few bites.

Also called Coconut Pudding, this is made from coconut milk, cornstarch, and sugar. Corn kernels are also added to give added sweetness and crunch. Thick and creamy, this was similar to the Nyonya kueh of my childhood. The toasted coconut flakes at the side also paired so well with the pudding. Delicious!

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Tosilog is actually a combination of the different components of the meal - Tocino (cured pork), Sinangang (garlic fried rice), and Itlog (egg). The cured pork was so thick and flavourful, almost like a version of charsiu with sweetness to it, but might be somewhat tough for some. The Sinangang was the star of the show though, so fragrant and aromatic and paired so well with the meat and egg. The soup was sour (in a good way) and helped to cut through the oiliness. Overall, enjoyed this meal.

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Small and unassuming joint at the corner of Novena Regency, I had my first taste of Filipino food here and boy oh boy did I enjoy every bite. We had the Chopped Lechon w/ rice and the Sizzling Lechon Sisig (both $10 each) - the Lechon was tender and meaty, reminiscent of the local Shao Rou, and I enjoyed every crunch of the skin and every glistening morsel of fat, made even better by the accompanying sauce. The Sisig, made from chopped Lechon offcuts mixed with a medley of chopped veges, topped with a runny egg, and brought together by an oily, sumptuous sauce, left me gasping for air - unsure if I was just taking a breather between shovelling mouthfuls of Sisig into my mouth or my arteries were immediately starting to clog from the grease (in a good way, of course). This meal brought me sheer joy and I can't wait to explore more of Filipino cuisine

Adventurous and always looking for new flavours on my tongue!

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