When I was living in Canada, I would pass a place along Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver that offered Peruvian chicken or peri-peri chicken. This is charcoal-grilled chicken with delicious flavor. It reminded me of our Bacolod chicken inasal.
With yellow-colored rice, it became my fix every time I craved for inasal.
Back in Manila, 10 years later, I see a lot of places offering this now familiar peri-peri chicken.
Just like Bacolod chicken inasal, all are good, with one or two standing out. I love Tita Pats Bacolod Chicken House and Bing Tanalgo’s Bacolod Chicken Inasal. They’re just different!
Just this week, a good friend, Cash Manalang, celebrated his birthday in a fairly new Peruvian restaurant in Quezon City. I had tasted its peri-peri chicken at a get-together in chef Gina Navarro’s party at Estrel’s. Masarap! And it was not even freshly grilled then.
I walked into a brand-new restaurant seeing a part of the kitchen from the dining area. Manning the kitchen was one who looked Peruvian. I thought to myself, “This looks promising.”
The first thing I tried was Ceviche de Pescado, their version of kilawin marinated in citrus, sliced red onions, Peruvian yellow chilies and Peruvian corn nuts. A must-try! Fantastic and refreshing appetizer!
If that appetizer got me, I was sure the others would also. I was eyeing the Pulpo or octopus but would leave that for another visit.
Anticuchos de Lomo are beef tenderloin cubes with dark chimichurri sauce. Good, too.
Lomo Saltado is beef tenderloin sauteed in onions, tomatoes and soy sauce. Very similar to our bistek. Okay lang.
We had three kinds of seafood. Pescado al Ajillo is seared fillet of fish in olive oil, garlic, lemon, topped with shrimps and parmesan cheese. This was good!
Jalea de Pescado is lightly battered and fried fish with squid rings, onions and tomatoes in citrus juice.
Pescado Ala Plancha en Salsa Huancaina is grilled fish with chili cheese sauce. Also yummy!
The sliced pork chops were delicious, with three kinds of mustard in the sauce. They were tender, creamy and different. Yummy!
What sets this place apart from the other peri-peri chickens I’ve tried is their version. As soon as it was served, I took a picture and jumped in with my hands, pulled the pecho attached to the thigh and ignored everyone around me. This came with three sauces—cream, a green sauce and a spicy sauce. This dish is Pollo a la Brasa.
I tried all sauces and liked the green and the spicy, and also had the chicken on its own. I had to leave the table and wash my hands three times.
During meals like this, I like eating with my hands, which is why I usually eat alone at inasal places, kamayan-style. Outstanding chicken!
I also tried a yellow rice dish, Arroz con Mariscos, their version of paella and it was quite good. The chicken is a must!
What I noticed is that many of their dishes are flavored with citrus. Salted, peppered and citrusy. I love the simplicity of the taste of the dishes.
The chef is Luis Alberto Higa Oshiro. He is married to a lovely Filipina named Candy Higa. This is my latest discovery, thanks to Cash!
I will be back for sure to comb their menu.
This is the type of restaurant I love discovering. Totally new, unique, delicious and authentic. Winner!