Saturday, July 17, 2010

Abe in Serendra, Taguig, Manila

I have always LOVED Kapampangan cuisine but eat it sparingly because their RICH food take a toll on one's health. The Kapampangan themselves have a saying: Mate ya ing barag keng batal na, which translates to The monitor lizard will die by its own neck. The voracious monitor lizard grabs the bait even if it knows it will be trapped from it. Same with the Kapampangan!

The fraile (Spanish priest) was the first taste tester of the Kapampangan culinary genuis. His kusinero blended local ingredients to the priest's European recipes, mutated some of the Spanish dishes, and resulted to the unique cuisine. Common substitutions were coconut milk, more garlic, and the like.

While Kapampangan cuisine offers interesting variations of Kare-kare, balo balo and other staple Filipino dishes, it also turns unconventional when it offers dishes featuring field frogs, field mice from rice fields and sugarcane plantations, locusts, monitor lizard and crickets (!!). These unconventional
selections were born from the need to eat during the 18th century famine and pestilence.

My favourite Kapampangan restaurant (thus far) in Manila is Abe. Great food, reasonable prices. All in a relaxing environment like Serendra.

Green mango and Bagoong salad for Php 95

Binuklad na Pla Pla - overgrown tilapia butterflied and fried to delightful crispiness, served with balo balo relish and mustasa leaves - for Php 365

Sinuteng Baby Squid - small squid sauteed in olive oil and seasonings for Php 168. This is my favourite. The taste is salty just right and the squid is very soft.

Kare kare a la Bistro Burgos for Php 475. Very good when paired with bagoong.

G/F Serendra,
Global City, Taguig City
Manila, Philippines
Tel: 632 8560526

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