“Foodprints” was scheduled to do a show in Ormoc, Leyte, which is two hours from Tacloban. I was looking forward to something else, though: the food in Otso Otso restaurant in Tacloban. We had such a healthy and memorable meal here last time that I never forgot it.
As soon as we landed in Tacloban, we immediately headed to this seafood paradise. There, we had baked scallops in garlic butter, spicy Visayan kilawin with gata, and the most delicious grilled fish tonto this side of the country. Tender, moist and tasty, with a tiny dab of soy sauce and calamansi with sili. Super sarap!
From Tacloban we drove to Ormoc. There I discovered the succulent and juicy queen pineapple. This fruit grows only up to a kilo. It is juicy, not too sweet and when chilled is a thirst quencher.
We featured Jo Chicken Inato, which is Ormoc’s version of Bacolod chicken inasal. This version, though, is a bit sweet but equally good. I loved the fried chicken ass and the stuffed boneless bangus. It had a filling of chopped onions, tomatoes and red eggs. This was wrapped in banana leaves then grilled over charcoal.
Mimay’s is another restaurant we featured. Here, they specialize in authentic Singaporean food. The chef has decades of experience in fine-dining restaurants in Singapore. Watching him toss the food in the wok said it all.
I loved his crab sotanghon and black pepper crab. The cereal prawns were very good, crispy all over and buttery; I ate the whole thing from head to tail. This place was a surprise since even Manila does not have this level of quality in Singaporean cuisine. Winner!
As we were walking out of Mimay’s, one place caught my eye: Pare’s Lechon, which was right across. The next day, we made a stop here and, lo and behold, an accidental discovery.
The owner, Vic, we learned, is from Cebu while his wife is a local. He developed the lechon recipe together with Joel Binamira of Zubuchon and the result is this Pare’s lechon. His lechon is moist, flavorful in all parts, so delicious with the skin flavorful, crispy and bubbly—a bit salty but nonetheless outstanding.
I’m sure this place is the pride of Ormoc. And just like Cebu lechon, Pare’s version does not need sauce. He serves it with a crispy achara on the side and a dipping sauce of spicy vinegar. With piping hot rice and eaten kamayan, it was one of my memorable Ormoc meals.
I was very impressed with the development of Ormoc. I was told by the residents that their mayor, Richard Gomez, is doing a great job. Strict, I was told, which is good but effective. Congratulations Mayor Goma!
Check this province out. You’ll be surprised with the food discoveries here.