I've mentioned before that growing up, our family dishes predominantly evolve around the Chinese cuisine but if you ask me what are my favorite comfort dishes, I would tell you it's a plate of garlicky, oily pork and chicken adobo that our talented cook would prepare and I would always have this with a cup of rice..or even more. I love how well the meat soaks up the flavor brought by the spices included in this dish. If there's one dish that would quickly remind me of home, it would definitely be this.
Given that we have 7,107 islands in the Philippines, expect that we have just as much variety in terms of food and flavor too. I'll never forget having an impromptu Ilocos empanada party at the sidewalk near Crisologo street in Vigan, Ilocos Sur and later on the party continues in Laoag, Ilocos Norte where we tried to differentiate the two empanadas. I also enjoy stuffing myself silly with native Kapampangan dishes and luckily I can do this regularly every time we visit Paul's hometown in Pampanga. Every time I fly to the Visayas region, I make sure to leave the word D-I-E-T behind. From the sinfully sweet treats in Bacolod to the succulent Cebu Lechon and crispy Dangit to the delicious Managat in Ilo-Ilo that I constantly dream of for years now. I have yet to visit Mindanao but I'm hoping I'll be able to explore that part of our country soon.
Allow me to share with you the dishes that we feasted on that evening:
This dish is dedicated to Taal Vista Hotel's owner Mr Henry Sy, Sr who loves adobo. This dish makes use of sugarcane and coffee in creating this delicious and garlicky dish that I truly enjoyed.
A flavorful dish that's made of dulong and prawns wrapped in fresh Taro leaves and cooked in young coconut milk.
Maliputo is a type of fish only found in the Taal Lake.
Pork knuckle simmered in a thick broth with native corn, taro and long beans. I wasn't able to try this as I can't have anything with corn. Paul said it was very rich and the pork knuckle a tad too fatty for his taste.
I love anything with santol as it gives a sweet, fruity taste to your regular roast chicken. This one was yummy!
I first taste pako (wild fern) in Angeles, Pampanga and I love it ever since. I love the crunchy, refreshing taste that makes for a great starter to any Filipino meal. The sad thing is it's so hard to find a restaurant selling pako here in Manila thus I was so happy they have it here at Taal Vista Hotel too!
This was an instant winner among us diners that evening.
*photo credit: Paul Ang
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