Continuing on... this time, with Chef Tatung's food...
In case you missed it, check out my post on Chef Tatung's beautiful new place in Taguig.
After taking a look at the whole place, we settled into one of the long tables, and thus began our Filipino feast that day. We started with the Chicken Sisig Lettuce Wraps (P330). I'm a fan of wraps, its origin of which was my fascination with Korean food, particularly their Bulgogi, Bibimbap and Ssangchu Ssam or lettuce wraps. This time though, it's chicken instead of beef, grilled and minced then topped with some taro chips. Deep purple blooms acts as a garnish in the center. There's a bit of an aftertaste, which I'm assuming is due to the grilling of chicken, albeit I find comfort in the zest of the mango dipping sauce.
Such a pretty little plate of Lumpiang Ubod in Flavored Crepes (P145), and I was surprised when upon taking a bite of the purple-colored one, a taste of ube suddenly hit my mouth. And to think I initially assumed that these were just some sort of food coloring to brighten up the dish. Strips of coconut pith, tofu and some veggies were uncovered with that bite, as crushed peanuts tumbled down slowly from atop, and a douse of the sweet garlic sauce completed everything beautifully.
With a melange of ingredients including peanuts, Tatung's Fried Rice (P210) was lovely. To pair it with such flavor-heavy dishes, though, is another thing. I enjoyed it alright, but there were times when I was munching on some protein and all I could think of was ordering some plain rice.
I don't think I've ever rejected a dish of Sugpo in Aligue Sauce (P580). Just imagining prawns drenched in crab fat makes me tingle all over and my mouth immediately starts to water. Yes, it's bad, I know, but admittedly very hard to resist. The mix of tomato sauce with the aligue enhanced the flavor and that tiny hint of spice was just perfect. I wish they had more of that sauce, though. I would have wanted every millimeter of my shrimp covered in it.
I like crispy tilapia, but I prefer them sliced without me having to work my way into cutting out a slightly hard piece just to capture a taste of this local fish. The Tamarind-Glazed Butterflied Tilapia (P350) was pretty decent, but again, more tamarind sauce please; on the side, preferably, so as not to alter the wonderful crisp of the fish.
If you can't decide which adobo to get, try the Adobo Sampler (P1,200). The Chicken-Pork Adobong Ilonggo was a bit spicy, while the Yellow Chicken Adobo was stewed with fresh ginger. The Adobo Bisaya, on the other hand, looked like Lechon Kawali, with some atchara to boot. What held my fancy among the four was the Lengua Adobo which consisted of some tender ox tongue cooked how I know and like my adobo -- with vinegar and soy sauce.
The Honey Glazed Slow-Roasted Lechon (P520) was truly scrumptious. Roasted in a brick oven for over 6 hours on a bed of garlic and lemongrass, each slice of this succulent pork belly is as sinful as it is opulent. The meat was so tender that it became a challenge to decipher where the pork ended and the fat began. And the sauce gave it that sweet epilogue that just made you want to take another bite.
My favorite dish was, hands down, the Pokipoki Gratin (P340). Don't ever leave Chef Tatung without trying this dish. Layers of grilled eggplant coalesced with egg, tomato and Vigan longganisa lay underneath a beautiful veneer of carabao mozzarella cheese. It was wonderful to look at with its light orange brown hue of burnt patches, dotted with greens. First bite, I just sighed, and savored, and sighed, and finally closed my eyes. Second bite, I was still mumbling some whispered expletives. Just thinking about it now is giving me the goosebumps. I wanna run back to Taguig and have a whole dish all to myself. Or two! I don't care how weird the name sounds, you'll definitely be sorry if you don't try this masterpiece!
I'm not a dessert person as you would probably now know if you've been reading my blog for a while. It's rare that I like some form of chocolate cake, especially the pure ones. This Warm Tsoknut Chocolate Cake (P100) was surprisingly well accepted by my savory palate. Warm and moist, this cake lay in a pool of bittersweet chocolate sauce that balanced the saccharinity. The mantle of ground Tsoknut was just swoon-worthy and made every single sweet, chocolate bite astonishingly enjoyable for me.
The Pichi-Pichi with Quezo de Bola (P100) dessert was pure genius. Round pillows of pandan-flavored cassava swimming in custard sauce and tenderly blanketed with quezo de bola brulee were simply irresistible and delectable at that. Each bite was pure heaven poked with some sharpness from that oozing cheese. My gosh, everyone was fighting over the last few bites and I had to stop myself from blurting out if we could have another round of this (actually, what I really wanted to say -- and I'm sure each of us wanted to say it, though not everyone would admit it -- was if we could EACH have another plate).
Every single one of these sumptuous Filipino dishes was washed down with some good, old Home Brewed Iced Tea (P70).
From the place to the ambiance, and all the way to the food, the marriage is such a treat. I recommend sitting at one of those majestic wooden tables and having the Pokipoki Gratin and Honey Glazed Slow-Roasted Lechon with a big plate of plain rice. Throw in some Sugpo with Aligue Sauce and finish it off with Iced Tea. Then go out into the veranda, nestle into one of the sofa beds, and enjoy a dish of the Pichi-Pichi with Quezo de Bola then end your meal with a good cup of coffee, all while enjoying the scenery. Ahhh... bliss!
Chef Tatung Taguig
Spot: Molave Lane, Acacia Ave. Acacia Estates, Taguig City
Contact No.: 0932.710.0010 or 466.5390