Filipino Food, This Good : Zarzuela

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I've been in this place and it does deserve a second visit. The food is excellent, classy and most of all... very Filipino. There might be some who serve these dishes in their restaurant but really, I find the ones they make almost very artisanal. They play the best regional dishes in the Philippines and later on, you'll find out that you're in a gustatory adventure of your own. Case in point:

Cowboy Sisig - chopped crunchy bits of pork skin settled in a bed of onions, garlic, chili and spices. Mix it up and just provide a cup or two of hot rice then it's perfect. Take it home, bring it up with your friends to supply with beer and it's a nice day!

Lychee and Calamansi Shake - Perhaps our colorful culture just weeded out some of the best drinks in town. This sweet Lychee shake can really get you in the mood for a cold break on a hot day. My favorite Calamansi Shake might be simple but its tangy flavor would really cut through oil on food. It's so refreshing, I wanted seconds.

Fountain of Youth - Something so sinful yet totally worth it. In all angles, these strips of pork belly dredged in flour and fried perfectly to a crisp is just lovely. You definitely MUST order this.

Adobo - Hearty, feels home cooked meal should always come with favorites like these. It's not too salty, it's not too shabby. Simple yet very good.

Caldereta - Who in the right mind wouldn't love soft beef chunks smothered in tomato based sauce, liver base, chili, olives and more spices. I love this with rice but I should suggest this to be a little more spicy. I love it hot.

Sa Pula Sa Puti - You can choose with these two colors and see either white or crispy golden brown adobo done both ways. This is my Dad's favorite and I'm sure to bring this home the next time I dine.

Smoked Sardine Efuven - A staple in my home province of Negros and Iloilo this egg noodle based dish is plated spectacularly to the enjoyment of new diners who would like a different take on their pansit. It's smoky, and the combination is quite good. Mom usually cooks this for me for breakfast but it's something that you can have all day. Thanks to Zarzuela my province is represented well.

Pinangat - One of the most acclaimed dishes in Bicol where one needs not to travel for 4 hours just to get a taste of it. Everyone would have a field day as this dish represents the region quite well with its soft gabi leaves, and coconut milk. It's Bicol in a plate.

Crab and Shrimp Relleno - You see a tiny piece of your future here. When you get to bite the soft patty it just breaks down and releases the flavorful meat coming from the sea. Choose to dip it into the dab of hollandaise sauce and it's a complete umami experience waiting to happen. I highly recommend this!

Chorizo Rice - Seal it all off with a pairing with this bowl of rice that's even good on it's own. If you don't like boring white rice, go ahead and get this to the delight of your friends and family. Whatever it takes, whenever, it's but right to treat yourself to good comfort food and it starts with this!

Don't just stand there, go ahead and give them a visit. They are located at the new East Wing of the Shangrila Mall in Mandaluyong City. Bring your folks, bring your friends... make it into something bigger because you deserve Filipino Food This Good! That's Zarzuela!


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