Pinoy taste buds are getting so sophisticated these days, what with all the international restos in Manila offering genuine French croissants, ramen, tonkatsu, yakitori, IHOP pancakes and soon the venerable cheap dimsum joint Tim Ho Wan. But there are times when you just want to escape from the culinary clutter and go back to your roots. Read: savor down-home Pinoy comfort food. This is what I felt when I dined at Sarsa Kitchen + Bar in Bonifacio Global City.
The SARSA owner is thirty-something chef JP Anglo who gained fame as a judge of Junior Master Chef Philippines. I don’t know him personally though the bar staff pointed to him supervising the kitchen when we dined. I would have liked to ask him some questions but I did not want it to appear like I was a blogger wanting a meal discount. LOL.
Anyway, am such a sucker for a good chicken Inasal and the Sarsa version (P165 a stick) transported me right back to Bacolod. The flavors seeped right to the bone. My Ilonggo dinner mates had some words for it: “namit (delicious),” “panalupsop” or something like that 🙂
Already tasty, the inasal tastes even better when paired with the suggested trio of seasonings: soy sauce, sinamak vinegar and chicken oil. If you’ve heard of the phrase “the secret is in the sauce,” this is the concept behind Sarsa. The chef has concocted his own array of sauces to complement the dishes in the restaurant menu.
The Special Batchoy (P240) was heavenly. Sarsa’s version of the popular Ilonggo soup has egg, bone marrow and bacon-cut liempo. This must be one of the best batchoy in Manila right now with its perfectly-tasting broth.
The Bugtaw-Bugtaw (or Gising Gising) at P155 – green beans simmered in coconut milk – was generously topped with shrimps, ginamos or Negrense bagoong and some achuete oil.
The Roasted Kalabasa with Green Beans & Crispy Dilis (P175) was quite unexpected as I only saw two pieces of squash roasted and the rest was mush. Still, I love my yellow & green vegetables so no complaints 🙂
Isol! (or what we call barbecued chicken ass) was quite addicting.
Banana Tsokolate Turon (P80) for dessert. The chocolatey sauce had a hint of Tsok-Nut. I just wish the resto served coffee but there’s none at the moment. Instead, they have cocktails like mojitos and the like for the nighttime crowd.
Sarsa on a Sunday.
Sarsa Kitchen + Bar
Forum South Global
7th Ave. cor. 25th Street
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Mobile phone number 0927 706 0773