New Restaurant Alert: Chef Tatung's Alab at Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City
Bolder than bold flavors inspired by regional Filipino cuisine
67 Scout Rallos Street corner Tomas Morato, Quezon City
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) If you’ve been to Chef Myke “Tatung” Sarthou’s previous restaurants (his first eatery, Chef Tatung’s Garden Café in Quezon City, then Chef Tatung’s in Acacia Estates, Bonifacio Global City), then you are no stranger to his take on Filipino cuisine: modern-meets-traditional, but with a restrained style lest it be confused with “fusion.”
Chef Tatung is back in his old 'hood.
The space is huge.
The desserts on display
He brings the same philosophy to his new Quezon City kitchen, Alab, a two-storey casual-dining outpost featuring his creative takes on Pinoy favorites:
Lechon comes in a plate of Honey Lechon (P390), a manageable serving of tender roast pork sitting in a puddle of creamy brown sweet sauce, the delicate pieces flaunting a texture that reminds one of baked pork belly. Grilled chicken (Pianggang, P270) is doused with a Tausug spice paste, a pureed sauce made from ground herbs, and coconut milk which reminds us of laing, albeit finer and less spicy. Their Tinumok (P150) is what you’d expect it to be: Chopped shrimp is hugged by flavorful taro leaves cooked in coconut oil, with just the slightest hint of spicy alamang (trust us, it’s not hot). The flavors are bold, but hardly overwhelming so it’s best to order plain rice to go with the dishes. Be prepared to eat a lot of rice.
Their dessert list will pique your interest and those with a sweet tooth will be happy: The Bibingka Cheesecake (P140) is worth every dense bite. A cheesecake crust is topped with bibingka, each spoonful a comforting dose of this Pinoy rice cake usually only traditionally enjoyed during the holidays. A freezer-full of ice cream tubs labeled “Quezo de Bola, “Kalamansi,” and “Mangga” will appeal to ice cream fans, but there’s also “Kamote-Q” and “Laing” which will pull in the more adventurous eaters.
Kamote Q Ice Cream
Despite the new name and address, it’s nice to know Chef Tatung’s take on Pinoy food remains essentially the same at Alab: He knows the classic recipes well and puts his delicious, creative mark on them—the dishes feel new but with enough familiar flavor notes so your lola or tita would approve.