March 13, 2012 – Sooo Pinoy Food Tour Day 2 in Iloilo – Previous Post: Camiña Balay nga Bato.
Traveling around Iloilo to experience different culinary wonders is probably one ambitious trip if you will be touring the historic city all by yourself. Considering a food tour for your next adventurous trip can be a real and new type of fun but it can break your bank too. Thanks to Unilever Food Solutions for inviting me and for having this Sooo Pinoy Campaign with the goal of spreading the love for true Filipino flavors.
I always say I had enough after each meal and I think everyone says the same but in this kind of adventure, each dish has a different story to tell and it all starts with an empty plate. I just always find myself sharing the table with everyone – enjoying another set of dish as if we haven’t had anything for the entire day.
If you think that tourism is just all about the wonders of nature, majestic manmade structures and discovering cultures then think again… One of the best way to discover and appreciate the place is by trying their local food.
For Gourmet Nomads, the real culinary food discoveries are commonly found in the streets and turo-turo restaurants but that may not always be the case based on my experience. Some upper class restaurants are also giving pleasant experience by recreating a simple local dish and make it more appealing to local and foreign tourists.
One good example is Esca’s Garden Restaurant located in Aurora Subdivision in Iloilo City. The place is away from the busy and noisy highway which explains why regular customers of this restaurant find the establishment truly relaxing.
Upon arrival at the place, Chef Rafael “Tibong” Jardeleza immediately did the food plating for some of the featured dishes they will be serving on our dinner. I find the food plating fantastic and professionally done and best of all, I learn new things from him too.
Linusgusan na Pasayan
The Chef also presented the food in behalf of Chef Miguel Cordova (the restaurants owner) in such a way that everyone will understand why they selected it instead of other local recipes. He also shared that some fo the dishes that they are serving are mostly heirloom recipes.
Calderetang Kambing is one of the dishes they featured, I’m not a huge fan of this dish that’s why I cant describe what makes it different from other versions like the one from North Luzon. One thing I can say is… Its taste good and I’m beginning to like it:) Theres nothing extra ordinary with their Crispy Pata, the only thing i liked is its tender meat:)
Linusgusan na Pasayan is a local version Steamed Shrimp. Their version is quite different since they used lemon, garlic to cook it and the dish was also garnished with red salted egg on the sides. It looks weird buy yeah its definitely good! They also served Chicken Binakol but one thing I noticed is it doesn’t have potato unlike the other versions and the coconut meat are also in huge slices. Iloilo’s version of Bulalo is called Kansi but unlike Bulalo, Kansi is cooked with Libas and has a strong taste of ginger.
One heirloom recipes they presented is their version of Lengua Estofado. Surprisingly, their Lengua was cooked in Tuba and served with fried banana on the sides. Probably the most adventurous dish they served was the Adobong Balut.. I didn’t try it but it looks like everyone loved it:)
The restaurant also offers Friday Dinner Buffets and Sunday Lunch Buffets for only P245 only, in a Wi-Fi zone area. Esca’s Garden and Restaurant is also a favorite place by locals to celebrate any occasion!
Esca’s Garden Restaurant,
Aurora Subdivison, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Philippines,
Telephone No: (6333) 338-3477
Mobile No: (63922) 922-2116, (63920) 901-9908
Url Page: http://www.escasgarden.com