A taste of IloIlo-A A +A
Friday, August 10, 2012
MALL food courts are amazing in the variety of dishes they offer at their premises. If you’re also really hungry, it’s very convenient as you don’t have to wait for your order to get cooked—it’s there, and yours for the choosing.
You get what you see. Which is the main reason why, according to Raffy Uytiepo, president/chief executive officer, that all Casa Ilongga outlets are located in mall food courts. There are now 16 all over the country, with a new one coming up in General Santos city next month. He explains that if you’re visiting a place and hanker for Ilonggo cooking, you don’t have to ask around for directions; just go to the food court!
In Cebu, Casa Ilongga is located at Robinsons Place Cebu in the Fuente Osmeña area, as well as in SM Consolacion. There you can find the famous La Paz batchoy, with all its goodness: strips of pork tenderloin, pig’s lapay, liver and kidney plus spices, and miki in a broth that makes for a filling light meal or a hearty merienda. There’s also pancit molo, and if you’re looking for the pancit in this dish, you won’t find it in the manner you expect. It is prepared this way: Flaked chicken, shelled fresh shrimps, eggs, chopped green onions, Chinese chestnuts and spices are mixed together; half of this mixture is wrapped by the teaspoonful in a pancit molo wrapper and the other half is reserved for the chicken broth to the used in this hearty “comfort” soup.
Uytiepo says the outlet preserves the original Ilonggo taste of food by the exact measurement and quality of the ingredients. Other Ilonggo dishes the place has are the clam soup, crablets, lumpia ubod, chicken inasal, kanse (black beans) with beef, KBL (which is kanse, baboy/pork and langka/jackfruit). It also has bamboo shoots in coconut milk.
The dinuguan is to lose one’s diet for: Thick, with a lot of meat, slightly sweet with a lemony taste.
If you’re not particularly into typically Ilonggo food, there are pork barbecue, fried chicken, kare-kare, sisig, fish dishes and soups that may be familiar to you but which will have their own Ilonggo twist.
Uytiepo, incidentally, is a man of many talents. He has, in effect, “migrated” to Cebu and has involved himself in various activities in the community. He runs and organizes runs, he is an occasional sportswriter, he also organizes other events and sings ala Elvis Presley (he’s considered the Elvis Presley of the Visayas) and will, in fact, make grandparents happy in September when he teams up Sam Costanilla for a show in SM Consolacion for Grandparents’ Day.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 11, 2012.