(SPOT.ph) There's a new pig on the block and it is a beauty. Wabu's boneless lechon belly is a long and heavy log, a sheet of pork held together in a roll by twine. You can tell that the smooth golden tan of skin is crispy just by looking. Slice through it and it cracks-slowly, surely, like a vibrato opening up for the crescendo, the more delicious note. If there was ever a perfect porchetta, this one, by Chef Carlo Balao, Billy Villareal, and Boj Iliscupidez is probably it.
Chef Carlo came across a recipe for an Italian porchetta which he served to his friends at a Halloween party. Instead of using foreign ingredients, he decided on local spices to suit the Filipino palate. The pork belly had their friends excited and the next step was obvious. "We sampled about six porchettas after that before we got the right mix," shares Billy.
Three kilos of pork goodness
The Chili Garlic
Wabu is a play on "walang buto." The belly is boneless and roasted-"We normally roast pork and chicken at home," says Billy. "We prefer it over frying as it is healthier." Currently, only two variants are available: chili garlic and garlic pepper, with more (like herb garlic) to be introduced in the coming weeks.
Air goes through the box to avoid overcooking the pork.
The roast pork is cooked via a "low and slow" style and pick-up schedules are timed carefully to ensure that it’s fresh and that the thin skin is crisp, the meat moist and tender. The special box allows the warm roll to breathe, preventing it from steaming in its own heat (and getting overcooked).
Delicious layers that are just as mouthwatering up close
The garlic pepper is perfectly seasoned. Crushed black pepper and garlic seep into the pork. There's a certain lemony fragrance and a saltiness that doesn't overwhelm. Chopped chili, on the other hand, speckle the chili garlic, giving the belly a delicious fieriness that's difficult to resist. The kick is enough to get you asking for an extra serving of rice.
Wabu is best avoided when you're on a diet. One look at the their line of roasted pork bellies, and you'll just give in.
For orders, contact Wabu at 0917-598-4440 or 502-1757. Orders come in three kilos of boneless pork belly for P1,950, enough for a party of six to 12. The pick-up point is at Acacia Estates, Taguig City. Orders should be placed two days in advance.
Angelo Comsti writes for Yummy magazine in addition to other publications. He studied at Le Cordon Bleu Australia. Grab a copy of his bestselling cookbook From Our Table To Yours for a collection of generations-old heirloom recipes from some of the country's best cooks and chefs.Follow Angelo on Instagram (@fooddudeph) to catch more of his food discoveries.