I recently had dinner with two of my favorite food bloggers, Esther & Ulla. Since we three all live in Queens, we decided to explore a bit more of our borough and try a place that was new to two of us, and a cuisine that I think we’re all somewhat not that well-versed in: Filipino food! (Well, I let them do the ordering, to be honest…)
I wanted to be adventurous, and so I chose a drink that the waiter explained had jello in it. I guess I didn’t believe him, but when it came… the drink itself tasted like tamarind to me, but the jelly was actual jello, and not something I enjoyed very much. However…
Esther and Ulla both wisely chose mango juice, and Esther, after seeing my less-than-happy expression with the drink, offered to trade. In fact, she practically insisted (after trying it), so I felt better about it cuz otherwise, I’d feel really bad about giving her something I didn’t like. The mango nectar was awesome – like eating a fresh mango in the off-season. I stress here that the original drink I ordered wasn’t bad, per se, just something that isn’t to my tastes. That happens…
Fried pork something arrived quickly and look at it… egg yolk just begging to be popped over the super hot sizzle plate. We obliged.
Lumpia, Filipino egg rolls, basically one of the very few Filipino foods I’ve ever eaten in my life. At the beginning of the meal, Esther and Ulla asked me if I’d ever had Filipino food, and I admitted that I’d had it two or three times in my life; once at Elvie’s Turo Turo, and once or twice at the home of a Filipino friend. This was something I’d had every single time I’ve had Filipino food, varying degrees of ‘good’ – this was definitely good.
Dipping sauce for the lumpia; slightly sweet. Reminds me of duck sauce to be honest, or McDonald’s sweet&sour sauce…
Chicken adobo over rice; I thought this was very mild and a little blah.
Lumpia – one coated in the sauce. Don’t let the picture fool you; I had probably half that plate. I loved the crisp exterior…
And the meaty interior. Nothing to dislike here.
The fried noodle dish, which was boosted considerably with a squirt of lemon juice, but wasn’t all that interesting overall.
Fried pork! Crispy fatty bits of pork… but again, the flavor just was very muted and not much oomph. I wanted something to pop. Spicy or salty or sweet, but not one of those flavors stood out.
When we were done eating, our server brought over slices of cake and told us it was free dessert. It wasn’t too sweet, and actually wasn’t a bad end – mocha/java flavored, and tasty in its own right. But if you compare… nothing really stood out, and this fell in line with that: not overly sweet, not overly anything.
Yvo says: I don’t think Filipno cuisine tends towards the mild side, but this place leaned hard on that note. Everything was pretty one-note, with no flavors popping or sticking out, nothing offensive but nothing amazing either. I found the food tasty enough, but not amazing, definitely not a place I’ll crave or feel strongly about going again. I’d go if someone asked me to, but I won’t insist on going, either… The prices were super reasonable. (Also, apologies that I don’t know the names of most of the dishes. I spaced on taking a picture of the menu.)
middle of the road…