Foodie netizens are being bogged by the emergence of Filipino food in the global scene. Several articles had heralded Filipino cuisine as the next big dining trend, which certainly have been gaining momentum, mostly in the US. Ironically, US chains of fast food and restaurants have annexed and had been luring our diners away from where we all started, good ole' home-cooked dishes, the Pinoy way.
Given that fusion and global cuisine are so hot and are such a direct reflection of our national experience, it's hard to understand how one of the most fundamentally melting pot of food traditions seems to keep eluding mainstream popularity.
Though several people are exerting efforts to make Filipino food stand out in the world scene, from young chefs creating a fusion between Filipino ingredients and Western techniques, to those who stick to heirloom cuisine, sad to say, there are still those who were slightly impressed, also, there are those who opined pessimistically.
I would be a hypocrite if I say I don't patronize foreign dishes. Frankly, like many Filipinos, I am slowly losing my true identity as a Filipino when it comes to consuming. From pasta, sylvan Italian dishes, to burgers, down to dim sums, I love them all. But then, I also love eating viands with rice, from fried, grilled to having rice swimming on tamarind soup, oh, I love them all, in fact I was first in love with this rich culinary.
Let's talk about our very own Filipino culinary being global. Filipino food is a truly global cuisine because of the Southeast Asian, Latin and even American influences that truly give Filipino food its vibrancy. Through out our country's history, food had majorly played a great topic. It would actually take me a very long post a concise write up about it.
Why don't we rather go directly to what matter's most. Where in Manila can we do a casual food hop to savor topping authentic Filipino fare?
Great thing The Bistro Group have thought of the putting the vibe back to our very own homegrown Filipino dishes. With the new restaurant which just opened at Greenbelt 3, Smokin' Hot BarBQ Global Filipino Cuisine will probably bring us back to our love for healthy and sumptuous food while observing a balance of good plating styles with the comforting flavors of authentic Filipino food.
Last Tuesday was a heck of night, as Smokin' Hot BarBQ was swamped by a wave of foodies and bloggers. It is very spacious with a 140-seater floor with the ding in L-shaped with the right corner comprising the kitchen area.Contrary to the popular demand of old white tables, theirs are in teal blue, which I find to be elegant yet with a bit of muskiness, together with the long padded chair in the same hue but darker. I particularly fancied the walls which I thought first was wall-papered with leaf patterns in clean beige, while realizing that it was simply a semi-finished wall painted with beige and drawn with leaves.We all began with ordering drinks. My seatmates had Basil Lemonade (calamasi juice with basil) and Apple Mojito (a cocktail drink with rum, apple juice and mint leaves). Careful on the cocktails if you are going to eat heavy, it was mixed a bit strong according to one of the bloggers. Mine was a tall glass of power drink with a name that goes by "Granny and the Greenstalk." Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish mine, I didn't realize how huge the size of the drink is. It was thirst-quenching indeed, except it was very intense in the vegetable taste. It is a mix of fresh juice from green apples, celery and cucumber. The taste from the celery is overpowering, we know how strong raw food is, it is rich in anti-oxidants yet rich in the leafy-bitter (icky for kids) taste. Maybe if the apples are heightened with the celery stalks lessened, the taste would be more appealing. A better suggestion on the Healthy Drink list would be the "Juice Almighty" which is more fruity with carrots, pineapple and lychee. But I would settle for a glass of their flavored water. Bottled waters are filled with cucumber, lemon slices, and mint leaves.
Interestingly, I noticed the shape of the plates, their leaves, which is the same pattern on the walls.
To tempt our appetite more is the Pork Sisig on a sizzling plate which is served with Tortilla wraps. As what Chef Josh Boutwood said that the new Bistro restaurant's concept is all about taking our favorite dishes then giving it the interesting tweak for the presentation but making sure that the authenticity of its taste remains. The sisig has taken a well-deserved twist with this. Chef Josh is Bistro's corporate chef. Yes, cholesterol on the loose and more...
If you can not spot the crunchy pieces of pig's ears on the sisig plate, why not have them whole. The Grilled Pig's Ears are marinated, then cooked till tender and grilled, with a baste that is made special.
Kuhol sa Gata (golden snails in coconut milk) is something revered long ago, or maybe till now but only in the rural. I am really fascinated at this dish, I'm sure many would also agree. Escargot to gourmands, the snails are not sauted though, they are simmered in coconut milk giving it the Filipino taste.
The joint would not be named as without barbeques on the menu. The notable street food, Pork BarBQ, should always fit in every Filipino menu, because every member of the society have their own liking of it. Though a question about its origin always comes up when eating a skewed meat, what really matters is when you sink your teeth into those savory meat, which is both salty and sweet.
What can be a meal without rice? A non-Filipino lunch or dinner.
Having rice as our staple makes us so distinct, and you would be surprised of the varieties we have. There's the red rice, the brown rice, Jasmine, and too many to mention and for me to memorize. There would be times when we would get tired of the usual plain steamed rice, or a garlic rice that is fried. In his brilliant state of mind, Chef Josh and the team have crafted seven kinds of rice dishes. The one on the picture are Aligue Rice (the yellow one), Dulong Rice and the controversial Black Rice. Aligue, dulong and squid ink are some of the ingredients that we can say regional. My personal fave is the exotic taste of the Black Rice. A bit sticky and with that subtle squid's ink coloring and adding flavor to it.
Banana Ice cream, for real? More so, to flare it up some more, the cone was handmade from sugar and grated pieces of rice paper. Now made playful and put on a hallow bamboo with holes fitting the cones, five cones to be exact.
I guess that would be more than enough to convince you of how how Smokin' Hot rich our food is, as dished up by Smokin' Hot BarBQ.
Smokin' Hot BarBQ Global Filipino Cuisine
Address: 3rd floor, Greenbelt 3, Makati City
Contact number: 632 729 7431