Saturday, December 04, 2010
Sometime ago I met this new friend who is a Philippines expatriate, lamenting on how he could find almost every type of cuisine in Singapore, but hardly any authentic Philippines food. To think about it, Philippines restaurants do seemed to be under-represented here, but I got just the place for my friend to try: Bonifacio!
Located near Outram Park MRT, I first heard about this place when reading on Harris, Loraine and Xin Li's visit. To be honest, I don't think I had a proper Filipino meal before, so I was pretty excited about coming here.
Named after a national hero, Bonifacio had a laid-back atmosphere with casual seatings and home-like decor. Service was very warm and friendly, with my friend breaking comfortably into a conversation with the waitress while I could only smile and nod. Let the experts decide the menu then!
Sago't Gulaman ($4.95)
A cool drink to start the meal! Filled with sagos, pearls and jelly, this felt like a syrupy mix of Chinese dessert ingredients with a good nibble to it. Freshens you up!
Sinigang na Bangus Belly ($20.95), Flavoured Rice ($0.95)
I was told that the Filipinos love their soup with fresh fish, so the one we ordered came with meaty Milkfish Belly in a sourish soup base that wasn't quite like tom yum, but nonetheless very appetising!
Also, instead of eating plain rice, Pinoys like to have some flavour to go with it, like the ones here are cooked with Garlic, Adobo (spiced and salty) or Bagoong (fermented fish) Sauce. Think Chicken Rice!
Pork Sisig ($9.95)
My friend enthusiastically explained to us the origins of every dish, with this particular one being a rather modern invention. Served on a sizzling plate, an egg was cracked and mixed prior to serving for that extra flavour. Fans of pig ears will love this dish, as the crunchy bits and minced pork were well-marinated to go with bowls of rice!
Do not that chicken liver was also blended in to give a smooth creamy texture, so the game taste might not be suitable for everyone.
Hala Pata ($24.95)
The Chinese love their own pork knuckles, so do the Germans, but oh my, the Pinoys do an outstanding version too! Wonderfully crisp skin that cracked as you bite into it, with that prized (for me, at least), sticky layer of collagen beneath. Lean meat was juicy and tender, paired well with the tangy sauce. Mega yum!
A dessert drink! Topped with a scoop of ice cream, this ice kachang-like tower was choked with ingredients like sliced bananas and red beans. Fills you up if you were to have it all by yourself!
Leche Flan ($3.95), Sansrival ($4.95)
And when I thought that was it, I was really impressed by their cakes. The first one was basically a baked caramel custard, with the texture of smooth, semi-solid jelly that bursted with rich caramel flavour. The other cake resembled the little Goldilocks treats that Loraine brought for us the other time, a buttercream cake that was again, creamy and intense in flavour. I like them all!
Bill for three was $105.65 with taxes, after a immediate $10 cash rebate. Again, I couldn't compare it to anywhere else but with the reasonable pricing and fantastic experience, this has definitely set a personal benchmark for future Filipino food encounters. And you know its good when a native gives his thumbs-up to it! Thanks Migs, for giving us a wonderful crash course on the Philippines history and food culture!
35 Kreta Ayer Road
Tel: 6222 6676
Taken with Nikon D70