February 9, 2012

Southern Tagalog cuisine

As I promised yesterday, here are photos of the meal that my husband and I enjoyed at Patis Tito Garden Café.

pako or fern salad at Patis Tito Garden Café
Ensaladang Pako (Fiddlehead Fern Salad). Pako, or fiddlehead fern, is the curly top of young, edible ferns. I do not know what this variety of edible fern is, but I do know that it grows in the wild in Southern Luzon. The simplest and most common way of eating it is with tomatoes and a soy-flavored vinaigrette. Patis Tito Garden Café serves it with grated cheese, crunchy garlic bits, scallions, and a mild and creamy mustard dressing.

petite lumpiang gulay or fried vegetable spring roll at Patis Tito Garden Café
Petite Lumpiang Gulay (Fried Vegetable Spring Roll). Vegetables rolled in a rice flour wrapper and deep fried is a common dish in the Philippines. However, most of Manila's fried lumpia uses togue, or mung bean sprouts. Patis Tito Garden Café's location in the heart of the Philippines' coconut-producing region gives it easy access to the best and freshest ubod, or heart of palm, and that is what they use in their lumpiang gulay. Served with a vinegar dipping sauce, it was the tenderest, creamiest lumpiang ubod I have ever had.

bulalo or beef shank and marrow stew at Patis Tito Garden Café
Bulalo (Beef Shank and Marrow Stew). Good bulalo requires two boilings, the first to get rid of impurities and the second, at a very slow, very long simmer, to extract the full flavor of the beef and marrow. Patis Tito's bulalo is enhanced with onions, lemongrass, garlic, and Visayan fermented fish paste—all very mild, resulting in a delightful play of flavors—and served with green beans, young corn and Chinese cabbage. Needless to say, it is the beef marrow that gives bulalo its wonderfully sinful taste.

Unfortunately, I was not able to take a photo of our dessert, which was Turon con Latiksaba (plantain banana) and jackfruit rolled in a rice flour wrapper and deep fried, and served with latik (a native coconut caramel) and toasted sesame seeds. I took a short walk while waiting for it and by the time I got back to our table, my husband had eaten half of it already. Men.


Olivier said...

un bon repas, et de belles photos culinaires

Leif Hagen said...

Oh my word! What scrumptious photos - it's dinner time and I'm especially hungry right now, Hilda!

Al said...

Those first two dishes look delicious; I've never eaten fern but I'd certainly give that a try. I'm not as much of a fan of beef but you make it sound good in that last dish.

Rob Siemann said...

Looks fantastic!

Bergson said...

je veux bien goûter

Cezar and Léia said...

Dear Hilda,
The dishes are fantastic, and I imagine how delicious they are!
I like so much this kind of food!

VP said...

A perfect timing with my lunch break!

J.C. said...

I love eating Fiddlehead Fern. I didn't know its name in English till you introduce it to me here, Hilda. We call it 'Paku' in Malaysia, very similar to the word 'Pako' used in the Phillipines.

I love my Paku fried with spicy caned tuna fish and with a squeeze of kalamansi lime over it when served. It's delicious!