May 6, 2012

Sunday feast

After many years in Vancouver, Chef Sandy Daza is back in Manila and recently opened a new restaurant along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City. Named the Wooden Spoon, it basically serves Filipino food as interpreted by Sandy. And Chef Sandy seems to be influenced by anything and everything that he tastes and sees—which I heartily approve of. I do love chefs and cooks who like experimenting.


Stuffed Pechay from Chef Sandy Daza's Wooden Spoon The pechay (pak choi) stuffed with lean ground pork and tinapa (smoked fish) and cooked in a spicy coconut sauce is easily one of my favorites. According to Chef Sandy, this dish came straight out of his imagination.

 Breaded Fish Fillet with Wansoy Sauce from Chef Sandy Daza's Wooden Spoon The breaded fish fillet may look like any perfectly fried fish fillet anywhere in the world, but it is the dipping sauce that makes this one unusual.

 Lechon Kawali from Chef Sandy Daza's Wooden Spoon Lechon kawali is a common dish in the Philippines since it is just pork belly that's boiled then fried. That doesn't mean that all lechon kawali is the same though; quite the opposite, in fact. If not done well, the meat can be chewy and the skin tough enough to break teeth. I think that the Wooden Spoon has achieved perfection with theirs. Everything—every bite, every morsel, every millimeter of the skin—is crunchy. Aside from the regular liver sauce for dipping, it is also served with sweet chili sauce, and ginger sauce.

 wansoy dipping sauce and ginger dipping sauce from Chef Sandy Daza's Wooden Spoon The dipping sauce for the breaded fish fillet is based on wansoy (cilantro). It can easily overpower the delicate taste of the fish, as I discovered when I literally dipped the fish in the sauce; two or three drops placed on a bite-size piece is enough. Of the three sauces for the lechon kawali, I liked the ginger and green onion sauce best.

20 comments:

Akiko Uryu said...

Each dish looks delicious! A friend of ours from Philippine cooked a pork dish and I loved it!

Cezar and Léia said...

Hmmm the meal looks delicious, mainly the first dish!
Enjoy!
Léia

AGMPRISMA said...

Muy apetitoso. ummmmm yammmyyyy

Halcyon said...

These dishes look really tasty! I have seen quite a few Filipino restaurants around here in Toronto, but haven't tried one yet. Think I'll have to change that! :)

PS: We couldn't grow tulips in Jackson either - too hot - so I was also excited to try my hand at them here in Canada. The squirrels ate a lot of the bulbs and then some that did pop up, they bit the heads off. It seems they like the pink blooms the best. They hardly touched the red and yellow ones. Strange. :)

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Experimentation and fusion of the food, ingredients and seasonings of different cuisines is a refreshing alternative to the chain restaurants.

David Thomas said...

Looks so good!

smudgeon said...

that fish looks delicious, and i can imagine that the coriander dipping sauce would compliment it well. small quantities, as you say!

Lowell said...

I would say you have found a world-class chef ... all these dishes look wonderful.

And I took your advice and checked out Frank's blog...very funny post. What horses?

We're going on hiatus for awhile. Have a great summer.

NixBlog said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and your kind comment, Hilda. Your photos are wonderful and the food looks yummy!

George said...

Everything looks as delicious as you say it was. This looks like a wonderful Sunday feast.

Rob and Mandy said...

That all looks incredibly good! All of it!

julia said...

I don't know Philippino food at all so it something to explore one day but doubt it will be in a nice restaurant like yours

Photo Cache said...

yummy. looks really good. i'm sure the entire menu is inspired.

Louis la Vache said...

Yum!
«Louis» wishes he could sample this in person. He is wondering if you could e-mail some to him...

Frank said...

The dipping sauce should always compliment the meat or fish. I like a sauce that adds to the flavor. Cilantro can be so overpowering. The fried fish looks delicious. What kinds of fish are common?

bARE-eYED sUN said...

you have made me SO hungry - - -yum!

i especially would love to try the Lechon Kawali. :-)

thanks for the post

Hilda said...

I apologize for disappearing for a month again. We went on a long road trip and I didn't have time to create scheduled posts. We got home a week ago to discover that we have no land line or internet connection, and, despite following up everyday (sometimes twice a day) no service crew has yet come to our house. :(

Francisca said...

Glad to read that you're okay, Hilda! Are you going to tell us about your road trip when you get reconnected? I would've thought there's enough competition among ISPs for service to have gotten better in Manila!

Lowell said...

Thanks for stopping by, Hilda. Sorry to hear about your internet problems, though. That is no fun at all. Hopefully, things have been resolved!

Halcyon said...

I personally don't eat pork, but those dishes look delicious!
I've noticed a lot of Filipino restos here in Toronto. I think I'll have to try one sometime. :)

PS: Sorry to hear about your internet woes. I know how that is, we didn't get an internet connection until 6 weeks after moving to Canada. I had severe withdrawals as well! :)