I went back to the motherland for the first time since I left three years ago. And because there were so many delicious things that I hadn't had in years, I threw all restraint out the window and just ate up a storm. When my aunt asked what I'd like to eat as soon as I got there, I shamelessly asked for lechon, pig roast on a spit and dubbed by Anthony Bourdain as the best roast pork he has ever had. You cannot imagine how much joy I got from eating this.
The next day, my dear friends Mica and Ria took me out to lunch at Fely J's in Greenbelt 5. We started off with some yummy sisig, which is chopped up parts of the pig's face seasoned with chili, liver, onion, calamansi and vinegar. If you're not Filipino, your mouth ceased watering at the words "pig's face", I would imagine, but this is some amazing stuff. So good Anthony Bourdain said it's worth coming back to the Philippines for.
For (one of) our main course(s), we ordered Crispy Pata, deep-fried pork's leg. Crispy Pata is one of the best things in the world. The skin is fried to a delicious crisp while the meat is just delectably tender and juicy. Dip in a sauce of vinegar, soy sauce, crushed red chili and garlic, and eat with garlic fried rice. Sweet Jesus.
On a dinner with my girlfriends (+ boyfriends and hubbies) at Cafe Juanita, three of us shared the guilt on this utterly sinful dish. This, my friends, is aligue pasta. Aligue is crab fat. This was SO good. It took every ounce of self-control to keep myself from ordering a plate just for myself. The sauce was rich, buttery and creamy .... so delicious.
Another guilty pleasure was some inihaw na liempo from the Dampa near Mall of Asia. Long before pork belly became all the rage, Filipinos were already enjoying grilled pork belly. Slabs of pork belly are marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, ground black pepper, crushed garlic, and a bit of sugar or a splash of 7-up, then grilled over charcoal. SO GOOD.
The last evil thing I consumed led me straight to bed at 1oPM on a Saturday night. I had my aunts clucking their tongues and shaking their heads at me for this. See, high cholesterol runs in our family so I was really tempting fate here. But I couldn't help it. I had to order the bulalo when we had dinner at Lorenzo's Way in Greenbelt 5. Bulalo means bone marrow, and the dish consists of a comforting soup with beef, bone marrow, and vegetables. I had all the bone marrow to myself. I scraped it all out and mixed it with my rice, which I then ate with the beef. Ohmygoodness.
Sometimes being bad is just so, so, so good.