Chef JP Anglo has hit it out of the park so to say. His newest restaurant at BGC the Forum in Taguig showcases a unique angle on Ilonggo cuisine that makes you feel like you’re in the province yourself. Sarsa Kitchen + Bar shows off Chef JP’s culinary talent and the love he has for his province and its food. His name may sound familiar as he is one of the judges on Junior Master Chef Philippines. If that itself doesn’t speak for his talent, then let his food do the talking for him.
Sarsa Kitchen + Bar is conveniently located at the Forum in Taguig City right at 7th street. It’s near the NBC Tent at the Fort. You just have to walk across the street from there and you’re ready to enjoy some great Ilonggo cuisine. The restaurant itself has a nice comfortable interior with lots of space for your dining needs. Most of the furniture is made out of wood and gives you that provincial yet modern city feel that blends in nicely with the wicker lampshades. Suffice it to say, it’s a nice place to dine at and once we got seated we were ready to enjoy the food.
While waiting for our main dishes to arrive we were served with an appetizer that most Filipinos should be familiar with: Dilis. But it wasn’t just any old dilis. This Crispy Dilis (P110) is made with Chili Pineapple Glaze. It is crunchy, spicy and sweet at the same time. It was all gone by the time our main dishes arrived. I couldn’t stop myself from nibbling.
After nibbling at the dilis, our first dish, the Crispy Isol (P205), arrived. It is served with two sauces, Chili Banana and Pinakurat. For those not familiar with isol, it is chicken butt. Now, before you snigger, let me just say that it is delicious. Each juicy piece is lightly breaded, and underneath you have the chicken butt with meat and lots of chicken skin. Dip it into one of the sauces and put it into your mouth; it simply melts and releases all that goodness.
The next item was a real surprise and was my favorite for the day. The Inasal Tofu with soy garlic sauce (P150) is exactly what it says it is. You get a plate with cubes tofu that tastes like Inasal chicken, while keeping its tofu greatness. It is presented on a barbecue stick (same as Inasal chicken) and it wears the stick with pride. If you’d like a vegetarian alternative to chicken, I’d definitely recommend this dish. Not only does this meatless inasal taste great, it’s also made out of healthy tofu.
The next dish I also enjoyed very much, as soups are always welcome at my table. The Pancit Molo (P225) is a soup that comes with several special ingredients that you don’t really expect. It contains shrimps, several spices, spring onions, dumplings, and strips of chicken. And not just any type of chicken, it is Inasal chicken! Imagine sipping the tasty hot broth, and then suddenly the familiar flavors of distinctive Inasal chicken welcoming your taste buds. There’s nothing like it, and should be tried.
Now, I have tasted several versions of sisig already in my life and rarely do I remember a more different taste than Sarsa’s version of the famous sisig. The Inasal Sisig with chili sauce (P320) is of course made out of Inasal chicken, hence the name. This gives this sisig a distinct smokey taste that is different from other types of sisig which are usually made out of pork. It is uniquely delicious. less fatty compared to pork sisig, and goes great with a serving of white rice or garlic rice.
What was presented here is only a fraction of what is served at Sarsa Kitchen + Bar. I’ve never been to Bacolod myself, but if the food is a representation of what they have there, then it is definitely a place that I will visit in the near future. Bacolod is another place to add to my bucket list, and Sarsa Kitchen + Bar should be on your next restaurant visit list too. I am definitely coming back for some Inasal Chicken and the Inasal Tofu. Armed with unique and wonderful culinary creations, Chef JP Anglo has definitely earned his seat as a judge on television and earned his own special spot in the continuously growing Metro Manila restaurant scene.