You're probably very familiar with Chinese roasted duck, the famous peking duck served in many ways during lauriats and round table feasts. But here we talk about a different kind of duck that most consider as exotic. It's something very different and uncommon in Manila–a local delicacy more curious palates just have to experience when traveling to Bulacan.
Head over to Nina's Fried Itik and Restaurant, an al fresco 'floating' nipa hut restaurant in Plaridel, Bulacan, where huge catfish swim underneath the huts, and the main specialty is deep fried itik (brown native duck).
The itik is served many ways, aside from the best-selling Fried Itik which is a steal at under 200 pesos for an entire duck. You can have it prepared as kaldereta (kalderitik), sinigang, nilaga, sisig, or adobo flakes. But first-timers and regular customers swear by the deep fried, crispy goodness of the classic Fried Itik.
It will probably remind you of that classic Filipino fried chicken restaurant's golden chicken–down to the color and the crispness of its skin. But there's a distinct flavor with the duck's meat, a slight gameyness, and the duck itself is bonier. While the skin is deliciously crispy, the meat remains tender and juicy, every forkful is suggested to be dipped into the sweetish sauce served alongside.
More flavorful is the second most ordered itik dish at Nina's–the Adobong Itik. One whole duck is marinated and chopped into smaller pieces, making the fried itik even extra crunchy compared to it being served whole. It's lipsmacking, less gamey, and finger licking good, even if it's your very first time to try itik. If you're planning on eating here to experience itik for the first time yet are traveling with picky eaters, worry not. The restaurant also serves classic Filipino dishes 'safer' for the less adventurous eaters. But where's the fun in a foodie roadtrip when you aren't game to try truly local dishes?
The Dish: Fried Itik (P170) and Adobong Itik (P190)
Where to Find it: Nina's Fried Itik & Restaurant, located at 358 Santan Street, San Jose, Plaridel, Bulacan. Contact 0916-557-6543, Like on Facebook, and follow on Instagram (@ninasfrieditik) for more information. #ninasfrieditik