MANILA, Philippines - Tradition with innovation: that's the inspiration behind Bistro Filipino's enduring name.
Husband-and-wife chefs Roland and Jackie Laudico are the brains behind Bistro Filipino, which works on classical Filipino dishes but gives them a modern twist.
"Filipino food is not known globally but we believe that Filipino food can be developed, refined so it will gain global recognition, like any other cuisine," Chef Roland said.
"We started catering 10 years ago. Mostly, we started with European cuisine. Eventually a lot of clients requested us to serve Filipino food with our own twist. We did that by plating it and applying Western cooking techniques," Chef Jackie said.
"Being cooks at heart, we believe in doing things from scratch--no shortcuts, no compromise," she added.
Chef Jackie, who has been baking since she was 6 years old, takes inspiration from her growing up years in Iloilo, and working in Visayas and Mindanao.
"We go back to the roots of how Filipino food is made--from scratch, with a slow process, so the food is more authentic while applying new techniques to make it more accessible to other nationalities."
One house specialty is their staple lumpia: a cone in a shot glass.
"What we did is change the shape. We made it into a cone. Instead of the usual pork, we substitute chorizo, and instead of with spicy vinegar, we make it into ice. It's cold, spicy, hot in one bite but still essentially lumpia," Chef Roland said.
"It's still very Filipino but with a kick in the end," Chef Jackie added.
Business for the Laudico couple is also a marriage -- a collaborative effort.
"We share ideas. I sometimes have an idea for a dessert I don't know how to execute. We talk about food every day. It's a way of life," Chef Roland said.
In this week's "Taste Buds" segment on [email protected], Chefs Roland and Jackie whipped up a combo coconut concoction: for the main course, a tempura version of the laing.
The laing is cooked the traditional way, with garlic, ginger, onions, dried fish (labahita) they shaped into a patty, dipped into a tempura batter and deep-fried. The end product is a laing with a nice crispy texture outside and a nice creamy texture inside. It goes on a bed of turmeric rice, complemented by a coconut cream sauce with Dijon, and served with tiger prawns cooked in a spicy pepper sauce.
For dessert, Chef Jackie made a suman panna cotta cake. There are 3 components to this dish: the suman made with coconut cream and muscovado sugar, a latik glaze made with coconut sauce, coconut cream and muscovado sugar, and the panna cotta made with gelatin and more coconut cream. The panna cotta is cooled in a mold, then placed on top of a slice of suman, and decked with fresh mango garnish and some latik glaze.
Together, the prawns laing and suman panna cotta make for a stellar coconut celebration.
The Laudico couple recently launched their newest venture: BFast, an all-breakfast cafe at the Ayala Triangle gardens.
"It's our interpretation of our breakfast. We eat anytime of the day," Chef Roland said. "It's very affordable."
With wine crates transformed into tables and chairs, and coffee sacks for upholstery, the cafe offers Filipino-oriented casual dining that also promotes green habits among diners.
Bistro Filipino is at G/F Net 2 Ericsson Bldg., 3rd Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, with tel. nos. (632) 856-0541 and (63) 917-8002433.
BLACK PEPPER PRAWNS LAING
"Our tempura laing cake in coconut Dijon sauce is a perfect fit for our tiger prawns in black pepper sauce on bagoong rice." --Chefs Roland and Jackie Laudico
For Laing Tempura Cake (makes 10 cakes)
1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
15 grams garlic (minced)
1/2 cup onion (minced)
30 grams ginger (whole, crushed)
1 1/2 stalks lemongrass (whole, crushed)
15 grams labahita, dried
30 grams bagoong alamang
3 cups gata (2nd and 3rd extraction)
250 grams gabi leaves, dried
1/2 cup kakang gata (1st extraction from 3 coconuts)
Saute garlic, onion, ginger and lemongrass in olive oil.
Add labahita and bagoong and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add gata (2nd and 3rd extraction) and bring to a boil. Lower heat.
Add the gabi leaves and gently simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the kakang gata (1st extraction) and cook for 15 minutes more or until laing is completely dry.
Take out whole ginger and lemongrass pieces. Shape 100 grams of laing into round disks and place in freezer.
For Tempura batter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups water
Mix all ingredients.
For Dijon Coconut Cream (1.5 L)
1/2 liter coconut cream
1/2 liter whipped cream
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 liter shrimp stock
30 grams garlic, whole
100 grams lemongrass (pounded)
4 pcs. kaffir lime leaves (optional)
Mix all ingredients together.
For Black Pepper Sauce (per one order of prawns laing)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp chopped siling labuyo
2 Tbsp garlic (minced)
1 Tbsp ginger (minced)
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp fish stock (dashi)
fresh wansoy for garnish
Mix all ingredients together.
For Grilled Prawns (for 20 portions)
100 pcs tiger prawns (20/kg, 5 per person)
olive oil (for brushing)
salt and pepper
Grill the prawns. Heat sauce.
Dip laing cake in batter and deep-fry.
Grill 5 pieces of prawns. Heat sauce.
Top laing, prawns on rice.
Drizzle sauce over dish.
Garnish with tarragon and herbs with togarashi.
SUMAN and COCONUT PANNA COTTA SAVARIN
A creamy blend of sticky rice and coconut panna cotta with refreshing fresh mangoes and coconut glaze (16 portions)
For Suman Cake
520 grams rice (malagkit)
1 liter water
300 ml coconut cream
250 grams muscovado sugar
In a saucepot, cook rice in water until tender.
In a pan, heat coconut cream then add muscovado.
Add cooked rice to coconut cream mixture.
Mix until well blended.
For Coconut Panna Cotta (for 1 whole)
5 tsp gelatin (unflavored)
10 tsp cold water
1 can (400 ml) coconut cream
600 ml whipped cream
150 grams white sugar
Dissolve gelatin in cold water. Set aside.
In a saucepot, heat coconut cream, whipped cream and sugar.
Add gelatin, then strain. Set aside.
For Latik Glaze (200 ml)
100 ml coconut cream
100 grams muscovado sugar
ripe mango (sliced)
In a pan, heat coconut cream and muscovado.
Mix well, set aside.
Use as garnish for suman panna cotta with fresh mango slices.