Ugu Bigyan: Light and Easy Filipino Fare

I was very lucky that Ugu Bigyan’s was part of the itinerary during our short vacation with our relatives. It’s not my first visit but it is always lovely to go there. Sure I feel sorry that I can’t flood this blog with photos of the food we had. But not that sorry because I couldn’t bring myself to stop people from enjoying it sooner. I didn’t hold back myself and had a piece of the action. I glanced at my camera a couple of times and thought, Nah, I’ll do that another time. We weren’t hungry. In fact we had a heavy eat all you can breakfast at Villa Escudero just a few hours before getting to Ugu Bigyan’s in Tiaong. But it was as if we were starving when we ate.

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I’m far from being eloquent which is why I often hope the pictures would do the talking but let me try at least. Ugu Bigyan’s menu was simple and straightforward Filipino fare. I loved it that nothing was too overpowering and you can still have the natural taste of food: the hint of sweetness and flavor of the sea was in the seafood they served including shrimp, clams, mussels, fish and squid. I welcomed the original dishes which did have refreshing twists. But, nothing was bold to make it too far modern from the Filipino recipe. The pako salad had apples. The ginataang hipon was deshelled and deveined. There were no shells in the ginisang tahong. The ensaladang talong had gata. The sweet and sour fish had soft tofu bits in its sauce. The calamares was paired with a light sour chili dip. Everything from the soup to the dessert was light to the palate, very Filipino and perfectly complementary with each other.

Complete Menu:

  • halaan soup
  • ginisang tahong
  • pako salad
  • ginataang hipon
  • sweet and sour fish
  • calamares
  • ensaladang talong
  • barbecue spareribs
  • kapeng barako
  • ginumis

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Of course the food is only one of many reasons to visit. Check out my older post about the ambiance here.

Filipino Fusion: Recipes

It’s only Phil (the boyfriend) and I who go out and try to taste the world. Most of the time, we order two viands as it’s usually more than enough for us. What I’m trying to say is this blog only samples a few items on the menu of a food joint unlike other bloggers who can virtually order everything on the menu (for whatever reason). While my family and relatives often eat out I don’t have the luxury of time to take photos of everything before people start digging in and really I am the last person who want to ruin someone else’s grand meal. In short, sometimes I combine several trips and roll it into one post.
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Anyway, Angge recommended this place. I like the way that they were more experimental with the dishes which makes them ideal for people who are not so fond of authentic Filipino dishes. On the other hand if people were looking for authentic specialties, this might not be the place for them. Many items looked promising but somehow failed to deliver. For instance the eggplant topped with chicharon used the cheap kind so it wasn’t that flavorful. The crunchy fish inspired by Thai cuisine’s crispy catfish and mango salad was very disappointing. Apart from the very small helping of fish, the green mango and shrimp paste simply overpowered everything. The squid was a little too sweet and was dry although it went well with beer. I supposed I like the classic kare-kare that’s why this was not as satisfying. I did enjoy the lechon kawali which was cooked just right and was rather refreshing.

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I think another trip is in order especially that I still haven’t tried their specialties. I think it’s worth a try especially that the place is always packed.

How many posts for today and counting?! Cheers!

Kanin Club for the New Year

We ate at Kanin Club on January 1st and it was just lovely as I’ve been wanting to try it out for some time now. Mainly, it was my dad who wanted me to try it but many others were also raving about it. Specifically papa liked the sinigang fried rice and the dinuguan. We ordered liempo which was thinly cut and deep fried to a crisp. It’s somewhere in between samgyupsal and bacon. It was a little bit too salty for us but I know we have bland taste and most will probably enjoy that usual salty helping.

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I loved the seafood kare kare which made me think about learning how to cook it. I’ll try making the classic one and after I’ll make the seafood one followed by a vegan variation. Now, whether or not I’d be able to this year would depend on kare kare experts volunteers willing to tutor me. The dinuguan which is basically deep fried crunchy pork dressed in sauce is tricky. While it would be impressive for people who do not usually like the livery taste of the classic dinuguan, those who often eat it would crave the classic way they do it. I thought it’s a bit expensive but I’d still recommend it. Sample it and see for yourself yeah?

Cheers!