Since there was a number of us, we decided on Bagoong Club, a bagoong themed Filipino restaurant. Filipino food really meant for sharing among friends and family over steaming white rice and wonderful conversation.
Thinking of a place to meet up with friends is kinda hard especially when you live in different parts of the metro. This time we agreed to meet closer to them, more specifically the Tomas Morato area, a foodie hotspot we have not fully explored yet.
The restaurant is not located on Tomas Morato itself so parking is not a problem. Entering the place, one will immediately notice that it was once an old house that was converted. The foyer walls are filled up with clippings and awards the restaurant had garnered.
Our friends had arrived earlier since we mad a wrong turn and was stuck in traffic after picking up Carlos. They were quite hungry already so they took the liberty of ordering Ukoy (P210, pictured above), an appetizer made up of deep fried vegetables and shrimp. I was quite happy with this dish as it satiated the hunger a little bit by way of the crispy vegetables.
I’m not really a fan of bagoong. I got a bit curious looking at my friends dig into the free appetizer of jicam(singkamas) with two kinds of bagoong. Bagoong Club serves eight kinds of bagoong, the ones included with the appetizer were Bagoong Asya and Bagoong Umaga. One taste of the jicama dipped into Bagoong Asya, which was a little sweet, just right up my palette and I was hooked.
I immediately ordered Ginataang Hubad na Kuhol at Malunggay(P215, pictured above). It was really unusual to see the golden snails cooked this way. I love to eat them but it is really a pain to dig them out of the shells. This dish is really perfect since the shells are already removed thus the gata taste is absorbed much more by the snails. Carlos and I wanted to order another one but we had already a lot more dishes coming.
Kare-kare, traditional (P390, pictured above) was another dish I’m not really fond of since I don’t like ox tail and tripe. I just had the vegetables and the sauce with added bagoong. The taste of peanut is really evident in the sauce and with the added bagoong, it really was an explosion of flavor in the mouth. Next time I would order the other variations, maybe seafood or vegetables only.
Another dish I loved was the Laing Espesyal (P205, pictured above)The taro leaves were well seeped in flavor and were not mushy. While the bits of pork rind on top added a nice crunch to the dish. I always order laing when its available and this was one of the best I’ve had.
Bulalo sa Monggo(P330, pictured above) is a departure from the usual meat less soupy dish. Actually this is the first time I’ve tried Monggo soup, I’m not a fan of monggo so I’ve stayed away from this for the longest time. But seeing this one cooked in bulalo made it very interesting as the bits of tender beef mixed in with the monggo beans and cabbage to create a mixture that is hard to describe but is wonderful to the taste buds.
Other dishes we tried but not really up to par were Binagoongnan Combination (P390) and Bagoong Club Calamares (P210). The calamares were nothing special but it helped feed my friend’s daughter since she almost finished off the whole dish because bagoong was not to her liking. The bagoong combination on the other hand was a bit lacking in the bagoong taste, so I added a bit more bagoong to kick the taste up a notch.
Being a bit full, we were all debating on whether we wanted dessert or not but the call of sweets won out. We decided to order two desserts to share among us, both of which are exclusively available in this resto only.
Calamansi Torte (P135) had a tart taste inside courtesy of the strong calamansi filling and contrasted by the creamy outer icing and the crunch inside.
Quezo de Bola Cheesecake(P170) was the hands down dessert winner. I love the strong cheese taste yet it was not overpowering. I feel this is even better than any New York cheesecake I’ve ever eaten.
Overall, it was a great meal highlighted by my re-introduction to bagoong. Its as if I see or better yet I taste bagoong in a new light.
Bagoong Club Resto
122 Scout Dr. Lazcano
Sacred Heart, Quezon City
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