Sarsa Kitchen + Bar
Unit 1-7, Forum South Global, Bonifacio Global City
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) In just one year, Sarsa's Sizzling Kansi has developed somewhat of a cult following. While many customers are hooked on the house specialty, Chef JP Anglo is keeping things interesting with six new items to look forward to.
Chef JP worked for almost a month on these new dishes. Among them is his Crispy Pata (P495), a staple in many Filipino restaurants. Sarsa's version, boneless and already chopped, is good for four. The dish itself is very straightforward, but made potent with batwan and sampaloc leaves-ingredients that are usually used to stuff an Ilonggo lechon. The meat remains juicy and tender, and exceptionally flavorful. For extra dimension, it’s served with vinegar for people who can’t shake old habits and muscovado sauce for the more adventurous palate.
The Pinakbet (P210) has the usual suspects-okra, squash, eggplant, and ampalaya-then mixed with cubes of fried tofu and crispy dilis that add bite and body to the soft medley. Chef JP adds a spoonful of crab fat or taba ng talangka to make the vegetable richer, and, to intensify the flavors of the sea further, extracts a salty savoriness from shrimp heads and hibi to come up with a luscious sauce that binds all the components together.
The Sinuglaw (P330) fuses two beloved dishes together-grilled pork belly and fish kinilaw. He sparingly drizzles spiced coconut sap vinegar on the fresh tuna chunks rather than just tossing them in haphazardly. This avoids that overwhelming sharp sourness. To fully enjoy the flavors of the sinuglaw, Chef JP advises dipping a piece of tuna into the dressing just before eating it with the smoky pork cubes.
Sarsa Fried Chicken
The chef cooks his Sarsa Fried Chicken (P420) twice: first prepped like Hainanese chicken (boiled in a savory broth, and then breaded with potato starch) and then dunked into hot oil. It’s finished with a sprinkling of lemongrass-sinigang salt and served with a saucer of pineapple-chili banana ketchup.
BBQ Beef Ribs
The sizzling bulalo may find new rivals in the Sizzling Tinola (P295) and BBQ Beef Ribs (P420). Inspired by a similar dish Chef JP and his surfing buddies enjoy at the beach, the tinola doesn't resemble the familiar soup at all. Boiled chicken fillets are piled on a hot sizzling plate then covered with wilted greens and crowned with fried garlic and a dab of pesto made with sili leaves. Clams surround the plate, and the entire thing is flooded with clam-based gravy that hints at the flavors of traditional tinola. Have it with rice, definitely. The ribs, which have been braised, fried, and glazed with a slightly piquant mango BBQ sauce, will have you getting down and dirty with your bare hands. It comes with a bold-flavored chocolate sauce made spicy with cayenne power.
Sarsa may be habit-forming in its familiar flavors, but Chef JP knows just how to reel customers in with his fun interpretations.