New Restaurant Alert: Hiyas at United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig
A playful take on Filipino comfort food
D*Strip Building, G/F 20 United Street, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Contact: 246-9069 local 292
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) Modern Filipino fare is apparently the sum of two local heavyweights. That is, in the case of the recently opened Hiyas Restaurant in Kapitolyo. One of the dishes in a menu of refreshed Filipino favorites is something called Crispy Pata Sisig, a bone-in knuckle that, at some point on the plate, transforms to become a crispy version of the beloved pulutan.
How many words can you pick out? This guy is an overthinker.
A little games and reading before eating
The beauty in the details
The complimentary "tusok-tusok" fishball appetizer
Francis Maneja and Chef Emir Bernabe, like any young entrepreneur and chef pairing, have a penchant for playing with their food. Francis describes more traditional styles as "usual," which pushes them to rework convention into something more creative. For instance, they take the components of baked mussels but put them over bangus (P295), a béchamel-like cheese sauce coating that earthy flavorful fish. They debone chicken feet (P215) and put them over deep-fried rice paper like tostadas. Their Meaty Chichirya (P250) is a take on nachos, but with wonton chips topped with Vigan longganisa, sisig, cheese, and sour cream. This is all because they can-and because the food, though unorthodox, turns out delicious.
Creamy Kalabasa Soup (P195)
Carrot and Luya Soup (P195)
Busog na Busog na Pusit
The Busog na Busog na Pusit (P255) is indeed stuffed. The grilling is impressive, with the squid soft but perfectly cooked, and bursting with a filling of Vigan longganisa, cheese, onions, and tomatoes. The Sinampalukang Lechon Manok (P485) is tongue-tingling tart, with roasted chicken to add a little flair. Sisig, meanwhile, finds some luxury in a version that uses salmon (P255) and another topped with foie gras (P385).
El Bagnet (P395)
Beef Belly Kare-Kare (P490)
Sinampalukang Lechon Manok
Crispy Pata Sisig
But this experimentation towards quirkier techniques finds its biggest success in the Hiyas Palabok (P215). The rice noodles are crispy, an incredibly crunchy canvas against the topping of smoked milkfish, sautéed shrimp, and spring onions-all of which appear heavily throughout the dish. The egg breaks to add delicious creaminess over everything. Yes, this is an intricate and wonderful display of balance.
The Chocnut Turon (P185) is a charming dish: a log of fried spring roll cut into four pieces (that will undoubtedly have you and your companions fighting) swimming in a thankfully mellow caramel sauce. The turon has a thin layer of nutty chocolate that stands out behind the bold flavor of jackfruit. It's a classic made better. The Pritong Sorbetes (P170) is a breaded scoop of vanilla ice cream wading over a lake of sweet ube caramel.
Like other Filipino restaurants, Hiyas has a tendency to be habit-forming. The dishes are novel, but not far-out. Don't get too cozy, though. The chef likes changing up the menu.