Old Manila redux: Locavore introduces 4 new dishes
MANILA, Philippines – Locavore may be known for its delicious and offbeat take on the classic Filipino dish, sinigang, but its new menu items may just steal the spotlight from the restaurant’s famous sizzling sinigang.
The restaurant introduced 4 new dishes when it opened its new branch at S Maison at the Conrad Manila in Pasay on June 15. Just like Locavore’s best-selling dishes, the new menu items play with classic Filipino dishes and flavors, mixing them up with other influences and techniques.
The roasted tocino asado marries the sweetness of tocino in an asado-shaped slice of pork. The meat is served with more of that smashed saba, dijon mustard, a tocino glaze, and again, radish pancit. The dish is eaten like a taco, but with romaine lettuce instead of a tortilla.
Also making its debut on the Locavore menu is the pinipig-cereal sugpo. The dish takes a Singaporean favorite and gives it a Filipino twist: jumbo tiger prawns coated in salted egg floss, served with smashed saba and radish pancit, and topped with wansoy.
The halabos na suahe with Kelly sauce is perhaps the closest to chef Mikel Zaguirre’s heart. As he told Rappler, halabos na hipon (steamed shrimp) was his favorite dish growing up, while the Kelly sauce is named after him – also because it’s his favorite. The dish stands out in its simplicity – with the shrimp’s natural sweetness very subtly highlighted by the sauce. (The key, according to chef Kel, is that the shrimps are thrown in the pot while they are still alive and kicking – which sounds cruel but tastes delicious.)
Finally, there is the softshell crab negra with alavar sauce – which is perfect for crab lovers who don’t want to go through the trouble of cracking shells and picking the meat out of crab legs. The dish is basically a softshell crab tempura deep-fried in squid ink batter and served with a famous Chavacano sauce (alavar) that’s sweet, spicy, and indulgent all at the same time. Out of all the new dishes, this is the one chef Kel recommends for those who are looking for something new and different.
According to chef Kel, the dishes were inspired by Old Manila and Chinatown fare, which is why they include seafood, sweet flavors, and a variation on asado. So while the new dishes may not be as typically Pinoy as sinigang or lechon (the restaurant’s other bestseller is a mean lechon-oyster sisig), the creativity and playfulness in each dish keeps the Locavore spirit strong.
The new dishes are currently available only at the new branch, though it may eventually be served in Locavore’s other branches: Kapitolyo, BGC, and Makati. – Rappler.com