Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Sarap Bistro

 Lechon feasting

Whole suckling pig

I have never encountered Filipino cuisine but am fully aware of the all-time Filipino classic, the lechon, which is a whole roasted suckling pig that is considered to be the national dish of Philippines. I am always a big lover of suckling pigs, no matter it is a Chinese version or the Spanish's. I was very interested to see what is a Filipino lechon is all about, as well as getting a better understanding of the cuisine. When chef Ferdinand Montoya opened up Sarap Bistro which champions Filipino cuisine, with the lechon stuffed with rice and lemongrass on offer which requires pre-ordering, I was super excited. Located at 10 Heddon Street which is now a famous space for pop-up restaurants, Sarap Bistro offers a short alc menu with just 12 dishes to pick from.

Smoked aubergine, winter tomatoes, salted duck egg

Coconut vinegar cured market fish, calamansi gel, cucumber

Lechon stuffed with lemongrass and truffled adobo pork rice.

Before stuffing myself with the whole pig, we ordered a few starters and the grilled hispi cabbage was a total winner for me. It had a good depth of smoky aroma, with a lovely balance of sweet and bitter taste. The shrimp paste and crispy shallot enhanced the bold BBQ taste further, it was an excellent dish. The main event of the lechon required Ferdinand himself to step in and cave up inside the dining room, table-side style. The pig was diced up before the chef mixed the rice with a black truffle paste. At that point, the refreshing lemongrass aroma, combined wonderfully with the meaty truffle flavour, the smell of the dining room was insane. Most of the skin was crispy and the meat was really moist, very rich, and filling.

Pork rice

Burnt Cassava Cheesecake

Banana leaf steamed sweet coconut glutinous rice

I have no idea what is considered authentic Filipino cuisine but it does seem Sarap Bistro's offering does have a touch of western influences with the modern presentation (pretty sure the classic lechon would not contain truffle!). Overall, the whole pig was indeed a really enjoyable experience, it is hard to get every part of the meat perfect when cooking a whole animal and this time was no exception. As some part of the animal skin was softened. I also found the desserts were weak vs the savoury dishes, then again that is the case with most London restaurants these days when pastry chefs are so lacking. But I have got to say Sarap was pretty solid and is good to give diners an idea of the taste from the Philippines.

Food 3/5

Average cost without drinks and services:


10 Heddon St, London W1B 4BX


No comments:

Post a Comment