When Loraine from The Hungry-Trotting Couple suggested we have a go at Filipino food for our mini-bloggers' dinner, I jumped at the idea. It's always exciting to try something new for a change, and with such enticing items on Bonifacio's online menu I was more than eager to make the necessary dinner reservations. May was a terribly packed month for many of the bloggers as most of us were actually on holiday in various parts of the world, and so I was really happy that I managed to find time to meet Loraine and Xin Li (from The Moose), even more so that it was the very first time that we were meeting one another.
I like Loraine and Xin Li, they're nice people. They're the sincere type of food bloggers who are just in it for the love of food and that thrill of gastronomic adventures. I've grown tired of food bloggers trying to outdo one another, so you can imagne my delight to meet such pleasant people for dinner, just sharing good food and good conversations. This is what I like most about food-blogging.
I couldn't ask for a better place for dinner. Bonifacio is located along the relatively quiet Keong Saik Road and is just about five minutes walk away from the Outram Park NEL MRT Station. The interior, though simple and not necessarily large, is still warm and inviting. Service here is also worth mention, as I especially like how the staff is confident about the authenticity and taste of the recommended dishes without appearing arrogant or aloof. Friendly Filipino service at its best.
The Sago't Gulaman is a sweet Filipino drink that has tapioca pearls, sago and jelly. I was told the Filipino "version" is very sweet and may not sit well with some Singaporeans, but anything is game for someone like me and I asked for the real deal. It didn't turn out as sweet as expected, but somewhat balanced enough. For a gross simplification, it's like drinking bubble tea, but better. Loraine's Fresh Yellow Mango Shake was even better, as it was awesomely (but naturally!) sweet from "authentic" mangoes specially air-flown from the Philippines.
This was my favourite dish of the night. While it's typically pork sisig, my dinner companions were very nice to choose the Tuna Sisig instead just so I could try it, and boy was it good. The small chunks of spicy tuna were served on a sizzling hot plate, and what you've to do is to add some lime juice and soy sauce for flavour and then cook it all together with an egg. This is the first time that I've tried sisig, so the novelty was there and I found it really satisfying.
Himagsikan actually means "revolution", and partly fits with the theme of Bonifacio and his role in the Philippine Revolution. For our purposes here, it was a delicious seafood dish that features aromatic Java rice (why "Java" in the Philippines eludes me) and extremely well-grilled seafood. What stood out the most was the grilled tuna, which was wonderfully tender and was still pinkish in the middle.
Ah, here's another look at my yummy Himagsikan. Lovely.
Daing na Bangus
The Daing na Bangus is actually deep-fried marinated milkfish served with mango tomato salsa. Loraine seemed to like it, and I'll (very conveniently so) quote her comments here: "Bonifacio's version was well marinated, and with the dip of native vinegar (pinakurat) [it] completed the works. It was cooked the Filipino way, fried until it's crispy (see how the fish ends were curled), just the way i like it. It was air flown from the Philippines, [and] thus it's a bit on the pricey side."
It did look very simple, but the Chicken Inasal, grilled chicken marinated in annatto oil, turned out to be surprisingly very good. Xin Li's apt comments were as follows: "In Bonifacio’s Chicken Inasal, the breast meat was quite tender and slightly juicy. In addition, there is this sweet salad like thing that paired very well [with] the chicken as well as the accompanying sour and spicy sauce. In addition, the chicken was flavourful, [and] the meat was well-marinated." I couldn't agree more.
All-in-all, a good dinner at a place that demands a revisit for sure :)
$4.95 for the sago't gulaman
$5.95 for the fresh yellow mango shake
$12.95 for the tuna sisig
$22.95 for the himagsikan
$22.95 for the daing na bangus
$11.95 for the chicken inasal
* Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.
35 Kreta Ayer, along Keong Saik Road.
Pictures taken with the Canon EOS 500D.