Right in the heart of Central Luzon’s gastronomic capital, Sau del Rosario serves up Cabalen specialties kicked up a notch with French techniques and unusual additions. The café’s crispy pork belly and truffled macadamia nut kare-kare is magnificently decadent as the nuts add a buttery nuance to the overall richness. Also not to be missed is the bibingka cheesecake, a delectable merger between the east and west.
Brgy Sto. Rosario, Pampanga
XO46 Heritage Bistro
Sandee Siytangco-Masigan offers an opportunity to enjoy fi ne Filipino cuisine in a setting reminiscent of an old hacienda. XO 46 is best known for dishes prepared and served in grand style. Its crispy pata XO-style is worth every bite and is best paired with the fresh pinakbet ng Laoag. For a taste of the unusual check out the Pateros Express, fresh seafood in a deeply umami salted egg sauce.
S Maison, Conrad Manila, Pasay City
Rafael's La Cocina del Sur
Quirky Ilonggo chef Rafael Jardeleza Jnr serves up regional delights in a most unusual fashion. His chili-spiked spin on classic lengua con setas y olivas caused a stir at the recent World Street Food Congress as it was served in steamed wheat buns. Also worth sampling: toothsome kinilaw na pugita with octopus in vingear, garlic, and green chilies; and gusok, beautifully grilled pork ribs.
Alta Tierra Village, Jaro, Iloilo
Vicky-Rose Pacheco skillfully and deliciously merges western ingredients with homespun favourites. Case in point: the corned beef sinigang continues to be the choice order of many patrons who adore the way the tender, salt-cured meat melts in the mouth, its fl avour tempered by the tart tamarind broth. Other delights include Rated GG (galunggong fillets cooked with garlic) and the savoury beef ribs binagoongan.
Greenbelt 2, Ayala Centre, Makati City