Sarsa Chef JP Anglo’s latest innovation on the sisig—cooked three ways and served with brain aioli on the side — may just be our latest definition of living a little. He served it on a hot plate, with each of the sisigs represented in similar portions. One one side there’s the slow braised pig’s ears; on the other, smoked and grilled pig’s face bits. Flanked by these two is the deep fried crunchy version of the latter—which you would think would be our table’s easy favorite. It’s not: it’s great, of course, with its awesome chicharon saltiness and crunch, but it’s really a toss-up between the smokey and the slightly saucey sisigs.
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But why just pick one when you can have them all? You can even mix them all up for the full experience of a texture party in the mouth. Finally, the utak sauce served on the side is light enough to make you want to have a teaspoon of it here and there.
Anglo with Zubuchon’s Joel Binamira
“It’s the best sisig dish I have ever tasted,” raves Zubuchon’s Joel Binamira on Instagram. Full disclosure: his lechon resto branch in BGC Stopover is hosting this three-way sisig along with several other Chef JP dishes for an entire month. The promo/experiment/collab is called Zubu x Sarsa Kitchen Takeover, after all. (The special menu also features Zubuchon classics). Those who know Joel “The Market Man,” however, should know this epicure is not just spouting the compliment because he’s serving the dish in his restaurant, or that he’s JP’s ninong sa kasal. Joel is known in the food circle for his integrity. And in the case of this sisig, we tasted it, and totally agree with the man’s rave.
But let’s move on to the other dishes we enjoyed that Wednesday evening, shall we? We started with the Dinuguan lumpia with sinamak which brought two of our favorite things together: a good lumpia and a dinuguan done just right. The name sounds gimmicky on the menu but the playfulness here is much appreciated because the dinuguan is good and with just the perfect thickness, and just the right hint of sourness that makes the sinamak served with it really an optional flavor booster.
It was just a pleasant, busy chow-fest after that as dish after dish came showing up on our table of six. There arrived the beef kare-kare, and then Chef JP’s version of binakol done as a nod to Singapore’s Hainanese chicken. In came the ginataang langka, a Zubuchon dish, which was so good and soft and so simple—and guilt-free because no animal meat — that we had to order a second plate.
And then there was another vegetable dish: the fantastic grilled pinakbet where each vegetable was, well, grilled before it met with a delicious sauce that—wait for it—has a bit of crab fat. Hey, if there’s anything JP Anglo’s dishes are about, it’s indulgence. In delivering the full flavor. In creativity. Like we said, living a little. But while he may occasionally get carried away with his own playfulness, the guy can deliver just-right and delicate when just-right and delicate is in order.
Like in his unassuming molo soup that came out of the kitchen after we had had our kare-kare and our sisig and pinakbet. But we attacked the bowl anyways and made space for that molo soup in our protruding tummies. It’s the kind of dish you will keep coming back to, we promise, with its beautifully light dumplings and a soup that took us back to summer breaks in Iloilo. Kulang na lang he served it on a bowl sitting on our lola’s gantsilyo.
Photographs courtesy of Sarsa.
The Zubu X Sarsa menu is now being served only at the BGC Stopover branch of Zubuchon.