[What I Ate] The beloved Rodic's tapsilog
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Tapsilog has been popular among many Filipinos, but the version that Rodic's Diner (P85 – e.g. UP Shopping Center, to P95 – e.g. Legaspi Village) does, has won the hearts of its many patrons. It has been a go-to dish at the restaurant – comfort food, to put it another way.
Like most tapsilog – or tapsi, in short – this one has the basics – beef tapa (cured beef), fried garlic rice, and egg, but what sets this one apart is how flaky and tender it is. Its glaze is as sweet as caramel, and is contrasted with the salty heap of fried rice. To top it off, a sunny side up egg gives it a creamy texture.
It's also great when you douse it with vinegar – its sourness cutting through the rich flavors.
Rodic's tapsi, a brief history
Rodic's is often associated with the University of the Philippines (UP), where two stalls are currently found in its shopping center in the Diliman campus. It was founded in 1949.
In a documentary project from UP broadcast journalism students, Rodic's owner Pacita Tecson explained that their Tapsilog was her sister's recipe. Its signature flaky texture owes to using a grinder that gives it the texture of corned beef.
Tecson recounted: "May matanda nga na senior citizen na kumakain, sabi niya, 'Aba, good ito, ah! Pwede sa matandang bungi… Pwede sa batang bungi.' Kaya lahat makakakain. [At] saka pwedeng breakfast, lunch, merienda – walang pinipili…"
(There was an elderly person who was eating and said, 'Wow, this is good! An old or young toothless person can eat it. Everyone can eat it. And you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, snacks – any time is good.)
In a KrisTV feature with Kris Aquino, it is revealed that the tapsilog began to be served in the '80s.
Tecson also shares the origin of "Rodic's" – it's a combination of the names of one of the co-founder's grandsons: Rody (Rodolfo) and Dick (Ricardo).
Where to get it?
While its UP Shopping Center branch is popular, Rodic's has opened several branches across Manila and one in Rizal Province.
In the video above, you can catch glimpses of the Legaspi Village and the UP Shopping Center branches:
- 9 & 10, UP Shopping Center, Apacible Street, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
- Congressional Avenue Extension corner Diamond Street, Tierra Pura 6, Tandang Sora, Quezon City
- 14 Masaya Street, UP Village, Quezon City
- 4 J. Chanyungco Street, New Marikina Subdivision, Sta. Elena, Marikina City
- 199 Salcedo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
- 3/F SM City San Mateo, General Luna Avenue, Barangay Ampid 1, San Mateo, Rizal Province