When I was just starting blogging about my food journeys I had this wild and crazy idea of scouring the while of SM Mall of Asia and trying all the food establishments in the area. This was supported by my husband since we were trying to purge our kids from eating in the fast food they grew up with. He said "it's time to change our dining habits and I'm excited o try every restos here in MOA with you and the kids." Aww, I remembered how I melted with his uncanny sweetness. But then he blurted "I hope it's not going to be that expensive though."
But he promised and I guess I had to remind him that. However time went by so fast and seemed like four years have flew by so fast and we never really had the luxury of going to MOA to dine on each and every resto there, even though it's just 15 minutes drive from where we live. This also reminded me to keep track of the restos I've been too in MOA.
It's quite a lot already, you can check my ZOMATO account and see my reviews of MOA restaurants there.
Adding to my list is the new comer, Sarsa Kitchen.
Sarsa Kitchen + Bar is owned and operated by famed chef, JP Anglo I've been meaning to visit their first branch since it opened but never had the chance to. Then finally came date night with hubby a couple of months ago. After reading about a kinilaw bar that they had installed in this branch I was so thrilled and made sure to come by. The idea of the Kinilaw Bar was a collaboration between the said chef and his mentor Enting Lobaton, a fellow Ilongo.
Yes, the cuisine is inspired from Ilongo favorites with modern culinary takes. I was actually looking forward to try some kinilaw that night but alas, they ran out of it. I guess I have to come back on a lunch time to make sure they have it.
The menu was very interesting but make ready with your wallet for it's not for the average diners, menu is quite pricey.
So for dinner, we ordered Tortang Talong with Crispy Sardines and Kesong Puti It had me at Kesong puti, for me everything tastes better with cheese, so much more with local "kesong puti." It just adds a different texture and mouthful all-together.
P 165 (+ VAT and service charge), hubby just joked and said "it has your favorite vinegar dip though, pinakurat." And yes it also has banana catsup, not my favorite.
Each of us ordered Ginamos Fried Rice. I'm judging myself to be a bit matured now as I venture trying out what my parents used to eat when I was kid, something I never liked because of the pungent smell, till now. Ginamos is the Visayan version of bagoong, only they use small fish, like anchovies, and preserve them in brine. I like that though it's flavored with briny fish it's not that salty.
Now this next dish that we ordered had set the boundaries and may seem to be what I'll be coming back for and probably many diners who have tried this would agree with me. On a hot plate are chopped pieces of beef from the Bulalo mixed with lots of onions and leeks topped with a piece of bone marrow then what sets this apart from other kansi is the thickened sauce made from bulalo broth and a souring agent called "batwan". This was served separately and was sparingly poured over the hot plate by the serving staff. The thick rich sauce was so lovely showcasing a perfect balance of tang and savory. The serving can actually accommodate two persons already, so I guess P 350 for it is not bad after all.
Curated as a recent addition to Sarsa's menu is the Crispy Buko . My photo doesn't do justice to the actual look of it. It does look like an empanada however the pastry is more delicate compared to it and other buko pies, for that matter. On the side is scoop of vanilla ice cream. Slice through the pie and you can see how the thick strips of coconut meat are beautifully tucked inside .With the milky sauce plus the ice cream then the pie, it's indeed the perfect palate cleanser.
Address: 2F South Veranda
(by the cinema entrance),
SM Mall of Asia
Facebook (/sarsakitchen) and