After Jane’s dinner treat at The Frazzled Cook and Mila’s at Romulo Cafe it was my turn at Bagoong Club. You must have noticed by now all these excuses we made just to try out different restaurants? I enjoyed trying out these 3 new places that I wouldn’t have gone to otherwise.
All the 3 restaurants have one thing in common. They’re all old houses that have been converted into restaurants. Among all three I like the decor of Romulo Cafe the best. I wonder what their neighbors feel about having a restaurant as a neighbor? I’m pretty sure they hate all the cars and traffic in their quiet residential street but take-out is a breeze.
For my non-Filipino readers, bagoong is a condiment made from fermented fish or shrimp and lots of salt. There many types of bagoong depending on the region that it came from. Basically bagoong comes in 3 flavors- regular, sweet and spicy. It’s an integral part of Filipino cuisine. For my favorite bagoong click here.
When you eat in a Filipino restaurant they usually just serve one kind of bagoong. If you don’t like it too bad. In Bagoong club they have 7 kinds of bagoong for you to try. Instead of bread and butter they gave us singkamas or jicama and 2 kinds of bagoong to start the ball rolling. The first bagoong was called bagoong umaga (morning) which was spicy and the other was bagoong pag-ibig (love) which was sweeter. I preferred the latter.
singkamas w/ 2 kinds of bagoong (umaga and pag-ibig)
We ordered the bagoong sampler so we could try the other kinds they had. We ordered the Europa which had pesto and tasted strange imho, the Asya, the special and buhay (life) which had coconut milk and was my favorite.
bagoong sampler P100
I was happy to discover that not everything on the menu contained bagoong. They had a variety of regular Filipino dishes as well as several creative ones. We ordered the ukoy or okoy which is basically a round shrimp and veggie fritter. We were thrilled when this tower of fried goodness was brought to our table. Their version of ukoy was mainly made of strips of sweet potato, carrots, green beans and some shrimp. We loved it! It was crisp and not greasy.
It was a simple dish made of fresh corn kernels and bits of fish cooked in coconut milk. I groaned in ecstasy when I took the first bite of this heavenly dish. I loved it to death. Mila and Jane liked it but not as much as me. I probably ate more than half of this.
ginataang mais con labahita P180
lyrics of a Filipino folk song (translation)
The binagoongan combination was the only dish with bagoong we ordered and it was a disappointment. The pork cubes were few and very fatty and didn’t have much bagoong flavor. Ironic isn’t it? The grilled pork was a little better.
binagoongan combination P350
Even though we were already full we wanted to try at least one dessert since the desserts were made by Pixie Sevilla, one of the sisters who owned bagoong club and a popular chef and baker. We chose the calamansi torte expecting a tart and crunchy end to our meal.
calamansi torte P130
Despite some disappointing dishes I would definitely go back again just to eat the ukoy and corn dishes. There are several other dishes that caught my eye and I can’t wait to try them.