In one of those rare times this southern belle found herself north of Manila – the campus-lined Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, to be exact – I made sure to drop by Chef Sandy’s Wooden Spoon which is one of the restos on my must-try list for 2012.
As the photo shows, there’s nothing fancy about this resto (although I like the carved spoon accents by the couch). The chef/owner was by the cash register on the day of our visit and the place was almost packed for lunch. Looking at the menu, I liked how Chef Sandy made notes in the first person to explain the dish to the diner and add some history -
We had the Boneless Crispy Chicken at P205 (aka CFS or chicken/country fried steak to the West) and this was his note: ” This was one of the first dishes I learned to cook. It is fried chicken steak with corn and buttered mashed potatoes drizzled with a rich mushroom gravy.” This was one well-made plate of comfort food that could be an alternative to good ol’ fried chicken, if you want less guilt by just having an ample-sized fillet instead of having the skin
Truth to tell, I’ve been dreaming of Wooden Spoon’s stuffed pechay (P155) ever since I saw it in one magazine feature. So here, this was it! I love that it had everything I liked – greens, fish (smoked tinapa) and coconut sauce. End result: bitin….I couldn’t have enough. Am definitely ordering this savory dish on my next visit.
Deep-fried (or roasted!) pork belly is my guilty indulgence and I found my mate in the Dinakdak na Lechon (P205). Dinakdakan is a Filipino dish from the Ilocos region usually made of pork innards, Wooden Spoon made this a little more wholesome by using lechon kawali – hence, the name. Am glad this one didn’t disappoint. The pork (with skin) had the perfect crunch and the right melding of tangy-savory flavors.I just wished the serving was a little more generous
I had the Binagoongang Baboy for takeout and this was the only dish that didn’t come to par with my taste. Maybe because they only used lean meat and and I like my binagoongan with a little more fat and crunch. Preferably with sliced eggplants too
We ended our meal with the Sago Cake (P65). This dessert was simple yet so Pinoy and floored me over. The pleasant chewiness of the tapioca combined with just the right sweetness of the caramelized palm sugar was enough to send me to heady heights, more so if you add more coco cream and crispy pinipig on top. This simple dessert is definitely one of the best I tasted in 2012.
Wooden Spoon by Chef Sandy Daza
329 Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights QC
Tel. No. 426-0044