Sarsa's Batchoy Ramen Is the Mash-Up You Need on Rainy Days
Looking for something to warm you up this rainy season?
(SPOT.ph) Providing unique twists on familiar recipes is sure to pique diners' interests, because who doesn't want to try something new? For Sarsa Kitchen + Bar’s latest offerings, Chef JP Anglo bridges the summer and rainy seasons by crafting out-of-the-box hot and cold dishes, focusing on two of his childhood favorites—batchoy and halo-halo.
Three new batchoy recipes will now join Sarsa's menu, and all are sure to surprise the taste buds. "There's not much variation to batchoy, other than ordering it extra special with bone marrow in it," says Chef JP. "What we did was to flavorize it. We borrowed different Asian techniques for making the broth for each, but the staple batchoy ingredients are still there." That means one can expect the usual miki noodles, beef loin, and pork cracklings in each steaming bowl, with a host of other ingredients to give them character.
Probably the best example from his new dishes is the Batchoy Ramen (P285), which combines elements of traditional tonkotsu ramen with the usual batchoy ingredients. The pork broth has a richer and meatier taste as it's topped with adobo chicken flakes, grilled pork belly, liver strips, and crispy pork skin. There is a distinctive succulence that isn't overwhelming, allowing you to savor the saltiness of the pork skin and the chewiness of the liver strips.
Using coconut milk for batchoy seems like a head-scratching matter, but Chef JP begs to differ with his Seafood-Gata Batchoy (P285). There's much to take in with this dish, as squid cutlets, shrimp, and lapu-lapu fish cakes go well with the creaminess of the broth. Curiously, despite the rush of flavors in every spoonful, the dish still retains an unmistakable batchoy taste.
Meanwhile, the Spicy Batchoy (P285) sees Chef JP taking inspiration from Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine. This version is spiced up by a special paste similar to sambal, a hot sauce mixed from a variety of chili peppers that's a key ingredient in most Southeast Asian recipes. The broth won't quite set your mouth aflame, but it leaves a tingling sensation and smoky aftertaste that'll leave you scooping up more helpings.
While slurping up these batchoy recipes is a dream during the rainy weather, there’s no denying that it’s still humid and hot all-year round. That’s why Chef JP decided to come up with three cool desserts that will make you want to have them no matter the season.
Beneath the shaved ice of the Sarsa Halo-Halo (P140) is a mine of sweets for you to discover, such as langka, chico, sago, gulaman, and nata de coco. There's even some nutty ube halaya mixed in, pairing well with the milky ube ice cream. The fried piaya adds a nice touch, also giving something crispy to munch on after the deluge of sweetness.
Buko Pandan con Hielo
Mango Vanilla con Hielo
On the other hand, the creamy coconut meat in the Buko Pandan con Hielo (P145) gives a pleasant break to the sweetness of the nata de coco and pandan cubes. The same is repeated for the Mango Vanilla con Hielo (P165), but with dried mango strips for something refreshing and tangy amid the richness of the ice cream and milk.
From the past season’s well-loved Sinigang Fried Chicken Wings to today’s Batchoy Ramen, Chef JP’s at the top of his game when it comes to cooking up intriguing fusion dishes. Are you excited to see what crazy thing he’ll be whipping up next?
Photos by Hans Fausto
See a list of Sarsa Kitchen + Bar branches.