LEONARDO'S CARNIVORE LECHON
In his grandfather's namesake, this rising star in the foodie-dom, a carnivore in its own right, is making me want to have a family celebration every now and then or having some during fiestas. Who doesn't like lechon? I'm not a fiesta-loving person only because I couldn't find myself mingling in a crowded alley or squeezing in a tide of people under scorching heat only to get a glimpse of a parade. The only thing I like about fiestas is having to savor the unique take on the roast pigs.
Leonardo's Carnivore Lechon instantly won me over upon hearing the word "organic." according to Leonard Aquino, his grandfather started selling it in 1947 as a home-based business in San juan which eventually became famous and became a big business. In his story, shared at his cousins' newly opened restaurant - 49 B Heirloom Kitchen, Leonard added, "during the war my grandmother would sell in the palenge (market) and lolo would help, friends would request for them to cook lechon, that's how they started."
The pigs they use are sourced out in Pangasinanas as a social entreprenership for the community that grow pigs as backyard farming. There are certain breed of pigs hat are grown for them. Their choice are native pigs, the ones that are colored black, as they maintain a certain fat to meat ratio.
Do you know that the lechon's skin crispiness comes from the fat of the pig? Genetically modified pigs are grown to attain a thin layer of fat, for those who want their lechon not too fatty, but this doesn't guarantee a perfect lechon skin, that's crunchy in every bit of a bite. With Leonardo's the pigs are fed specifically with certain natural and organic feeds fattening the pigs just right, and what you get is a meat that's savory and tender whilst the skin is worth every pounds added to your weight because it's just that insanely crunchy-licious!
The Lechong Tagalog can weigh from 5 to w6 kgs when cooked and are priced from Php 5,000 to Php 10,000. Their Lechon de Leche howevet is priced at P 4500 and weighs 3 to 4 kgs.
Far more than making everyone's favorite lechon, the new generation of the family have come up with a brilliant idea of stuffing a "native" pig with serious good meaty stuff and called it Carnivore Lechon. I bet, these are some of the family's favorite. Aside from the choiced herbs and spices that replaced the innards of the pigs are three kinds of sausages, bacon and roasted garlics.
Carnivore lechon can weigh from 5 to 6 kgs. when cooked with prices that start from Php 5,800 to Php 10,800. They have it also in De Leche size with a weight of 3 to 4 kgs. at Php 5,300.
If you think that's about as special as it could get, think again, they've added extra miles by cooking the innards and blood for you. Together with your lechon, is a sizeable serving of Dinuguan.
I give them thumbs up for making this cursed black stew as an exotic comfort food and meticulously preparing it to be something I'd have for lunch over and over. While others would serve it with some sort of stinking odor or with bitter taste, theirs is just a right amount of tang, saltiness and a kick of spice. I love tasting the ginger in it too.
Of course how can a lechon be complete without its sauce. They took the liberty of making one of the best lechon sauce there is with a right balance of savory and sweetness, with a consisitency to beat, not too thick nor thin.
49B HEIRLOOM KITCHEN
Food scouting in Timog and Tomas Morato is becoming to be more of an ardous job, since more and more and have been popping up and it now reaches all the way to Scout Tobias and to every street present in the area. A lovely addition is 49B Heirloom Kitchen.
Settled in between rows of townhouses along Sct. Tobias, Quezon City, with a house numbered 49B is Heirloom Kitchen. Here they literally whip up a storm out of the chefs' and owners' recipes handed down from one generation to another.
Chef Erica gladly shared us stories of how their grandmother would send them lechon and their mom would cook lechon paksiw from it and some other favorite food dishes.
The lovely stories were shared over a lunch composing not only of Leonardo's Carnivore Lechon but some of Heirloom Kitchen's most-ordered.
While waiting for the lechon to be served, our table graced this simple beauty of plate where some Squash Flower Fritters rested. It was gone in 60-seconds...The crunchy beer-battered squash blossoms were filled with a mix of different cheeses (only the chef knows...) were such a hit finger foods priced at Php 210 for an order.
Fresh Melon Shake was also something, perfect for the savory afternoon meal.
With the addition of Paella Valencia (P 355 for small/ P 580 for family size), it shows how extensive yet comforting their menu is. Actually, all the owners' favorite dishes were given spark to fill up their menu. It's an almost perfect Paella except that the rice at the bottom aren't encrusted. The saffron infused rice are densed, wet out and rich.
When this plate was placed on our table, I almost squealed, good thing I stayed prim and proper despite the fiesta going on our table. I was able to contain the manly eater in me as I heard Lengua to be served. You can't easily find a really good Lengua nowadays. I just found it here at Heirloom's.
What Gerry and Donnie was bragging about them was the Sinigang na Lechon (P42. With relatives having abundant lechon, they went overboard than just the usual Lechon Paksiw and Lechon Kawali, to deal with lechon left-overs. The idea of Sinigang na Lechon was totally radical but good in a way. Imagine the flavor and tender doneness of the lechon meat mingling with the sour tamarind soup and the vegetables incorporated in the dish...need I say more?
Unfortunately, I had to leave ahead than the others to catch another scheduled event so I missed dessert.
Address: 89 J. Basa St.
San Juan City
Contact Details: (+63 2) 724 3068, ( +63 2) 726 9828
(+63 2) 7445172
4B HEIRLOOM KITCHEN
Address: 49 B Sct. Tobia cor Sct. Fuentebella,
Contact Details : 2391637