Alab by Chef Tatung in Scout Rallos

I still remembered the day when I first met Chef Myke Tatung. It was to have a joint birthday celebration for my former boss D and a couple of our other colleagues. Working for a food magazine meant being in the company of food-loving people who have that special talent of searching for these hidden gems regardless of where it may be in the world.

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We had a delicious 4-course dinner in his cozy home in Quezon City. A few weeks after that, I went back with Paul and we enjoyed yet another delicious meal. Since then, I've been in touch with Chef Tatung as he would contribute to the magazine every now and then and we eventually became friends. A few years following that, Chef Tatung told us that he opened a new restaurant in Taguig which specialized in Filipino cuisine. Of course, our team went full force to support him. We have returned a lot more after that and his restaurant has been one of my favorite go-to place up until Paul and I moved to the Lion City.

A few months ago, Chef Tatung and I were able to catch up online and he told me that he's preparing to open another restaurant back in Quezon City. I was so excited about it and made sure to schedule a visit on my next return. So, with my entire family in tow, we agreed to have lunch at Alab located along Scout Rallos in Quezon City a few months ago.

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This restaurant was slightly smaller than his Taguig one but it has a second level where you can probably hold private functions, meetings or parties. I'm loving the modern-meets-antique feel of the restaurant. Wooden furniture pieces were matched with modern accents such as those birdcage lamps hanging above.

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Pan wasn't feeling very well then so she ordered a glass of warm Dalandan Juice to soothe her sore throat.

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Since we got to the restaurant a bit late, everyone was starting to feel hungry so Mommy decided to order a plate of Okoy (Php. 120) -- deep-fried veggie strips with shrimps and served with garlic-vinegar dip. Perhaps, I'm not really crazy about deep-fried things so this was just a-okay for me.

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Mommy loves clear soup too so we got a pot of Pancit Molo (Php. 110) which we all loved! It was very flavorful and I must say, very refreshing. The clear chicken broth wasn't very oily and they were very generous with the dumplings too as all 6 of us got a piece each. Even Kongkong enjoyed his soup very much.

Next came our main dishes:

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Beef Morcon (Php. 350)
A thick roll of beef stuffed with sausage, pickles, carrots and hard-boiled egg.

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Poqui Poqui ala Alab (Php. 160)
Still my favorite among all of Chef Tatung's masterpieces. I just can't have enough of this cheezy baked goodness which is filled with eggplant, smokey Vigan sausage, egg and tomatoes. Normally, I stay away from eggplant but if it's done this way, then why not?!

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Pinaputok na Bangus (Php. 290)
Everytime I dine at Filipino restaurants or whenever I am home, I always make it a point to have bangus (milkfish). This is one fish that's not widely available here in Singapore and it's one of my favorites too so I really make the most of any opportunity to have it. Alab's version was really yummy! I think I ate most of this dish as I really enjoyed the grilled juicy milkfish topped with tomatoes and onions. It's a very simple dish but a very satisfying one.

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Crispy Pata (Php. 580)
As much as I love my bangus, my Papa and Kongkong love their Crispy Pata. This is probably the only fried food that Papa can never resist! Prepared the traditional way, Alab's version will get you swooning over the crunchy skin, the juicy meat inside and the three different condiments and sides served with it.

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Tinumok (Php. 170)
For this meal, it seems like each of us chose a favorite to order. After Mommy's Molo Soup, my bangus, Papa (and Kongkong's) Crispy Pata, my sister also chose her favorite too! It's this veggie dish that she loves since she was a kid. Called Tinumok, it's taro (gabi) leaves cooked with coconut milk and filled with chopped coconut noodles and shrimps. It's a very lip-smacking dish that will definitely entice you to have more rice.

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For dessert, I insisted that we order Chef Tatung's best-selling Pichi-Pichi with Queso de Bola (Php. 90). I know that it's a small order that's probably good for 2 to share but since I wasn't sure how my family would react to it, I played safe and just ordered 1. Well, as soon as my mom had a spoonful of it, she asked me to order more. Yes, it was THAT good and I gladly obliged. I'm happy to share that Chef Tatung has maintained the same good quality of the pichi pichi similar to the one that I first had in his previous restaurant. I love the sticky, soft yet qiu-qiu texture of the glutinous cassava patties topped with melted queso de bola cheese and grated cheese too. Oh sooo yummy!

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We also tried a couple of their homemade ice cream such as the Kamote Q  and Kalamansi which were rock frozen making it so hard to scoop up. Flavor-wise, I prefer the Kamote Q more.

What a delicious and filling family lunch at Alab! Too bad Chef Myke wasn't around when we visited but I'm pretty sure that we will be back soon for more Crispy Pata, Pancit Molo, Tinumok and that to-die-for Pichi Pichi with Queso de Bola.

Alab is located at 67 Scout Rallos street, Quezon City. Call them at 364-9631. 

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