Cheap eat: Porchetta at Chick 'En Chops in UP Village

By Oscar Nava, Coconuts Manila

Posted at May 29 2014 02:57 PM | Updated as of May 29 2014 11:30 PM

Filipinos crazy about lechon will love this slow-roasted pork belly dish at Chick 'En Chops, a small, family-run restaurant in Quezon City's UP Village.

"Everything you see here are the things we like to eat. The recipes come from either me, my mom, my daughter, or my wife. Once they see something they like to eat then we start building the recipe and cooking it, and that's what we serve," says owner Jay de Jesus.

Chick 'En Chops opened only seven months ago and yet it has already earned a cult following for its porchetta, which de Jesus describes as the "boneless lechon version of Cebu." He roasts them in small batches, so customers are assured to get freshly cooked slices. It's available as a rice meal (PHP89) served with homemade soy vinegar, or per kilo (PHP1,300 for 2kg). "It's crispy and crunchy on the outside, and juicy and tender on the inside," he says.

We've tried it, and it's addictive.

De Jesus, 47, attended Gene Gonzalez's Center for Asian Culinary Studies and is an engineering graduate from De La Salle University. But he has been dabbling in cooking since he was young. He's also spent a few years in the US as sous chef at Japanese-American celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi's restaurant as well as as at California Pizza Kitchen in LA (the one near Walt Disney Concert Hall).

He has three other main draws at Chick 'En Chops—baby back ribs, rosemary chicken, and barbeque chicken—but it's his porchetta, which he stuffs more than 10 spices and herbs, that people come for. In the video below, de Jesus shows us how he prepares his restaurant's famous porchetta.

Chick 'En Chops, 7 Malamig St cor Malumanay St (near Claret School), UP Village, Diliman, Quezon City; +63 2 4330665. Mon-Sat 8am-10pm.

This was originally published in the Coconuts Manila website.