Thursday, June 11, 2015

Food Tastings: Let's Cook Pinoy at Sarsa Kitchen + Bar

On June 6, I was lucky enough to attend the second leg of Food Magazine's Food Tastings Series thanks, again, to my sister. The first one was held in Project Pie at Tomas Morato, Quezon City where they had a cooking class all about making pizza. For this day, it was all about modern Filipino cuisine! Read on to see all the amazing dishes made by the celebrity chefs! :D

Despite getting stuck in traffic, we got to the Sarsa Kitchen + Bar about 20 minutes early so I took the time to take a few snaps of the place. I don't really remember the old restaurant that once stood in this unit because I've never seen this place in my previous visits to the Mall of Asia.

The Associate Publisher for Food Magazine gave a quick intro to Food Tastings Series as well as the theme for today's event.

First up was Chef Sharwin Tee from the show, Curiosity Got The Chef. Sadly, we've only recently shifted to another cable which had the Food Network so I'll hopefully be able to catch his show one of these days!

Chef Tee taught us how to make Filipino style hamburger which was a simple hamburger except pandesal was used for the buns, pickled chili was added, and a special binagoongan sauce was used and it was absolutely amazing! Everything except the pandesal was made from scratch so you know there's none of that pre-processed nonesense. Haha!

Each guest got to try the burgers!

Next up was Chef Katherine Jao who gave a quick talk about food styling. She taught us about easy solutions to brightening up the overall look of traditional Filipino dishes that are at a loss for color such as the classic adobo and dinuguan.

Of course, the end result was quite lovely. The pork adobo was cleanly and simply presented on a minimalist ceramic bowl, the barbequed pork laid out on a wooden board lined with a banana leaf with some colorful picked veggies on the side, pancit canton on a cool octagonal plate with its toppings separated and laid out on top for extra color, and lastly, the hardest to style, the dinuguan, which was put in a simple wooden bowl, garnished with sliced green peppers, served with neatly laid out puto. 

Last to present was the chef of Sarsa Kitchen + Bar, JP Anglo! He actually prepared three dishes for us and I particularly enjoyed listening to him. Haha! He spoke really well and if you didn't know, you could totally mistake him for one of the Food Network's Celebrity Chefs!

The first thing he made was a revamped version of Pancit Canton. And he gave it his own Bacolod twist by using some chicharon bits, coconut cream, and his own sauce made with dried seafood! Definitely my favorite of the whole event. When I visit Sarsa Kitchen in the future, I'm totally getting this. Haha!

Next was his Grilled Tilapia Fillet with Filipino Sambal on top. Sambal is actually a sauce that hales from a foreign country. In most Chinese restaurants, is the pungent sauce with all the chili bits and seeds. I personally have a lot of love for Sambal which is why I was particularly stoked for this dish. The first thing he did was season the fish with a salt and pepper rub and sent it to be grilled. Then he made Filipino Sambal which used all these amazing local herbs and spices that I can't remember! Haha!

The entire restaurant smelled so amazing during the entire event. Haha! Sadly, the grilled tilapia wasn't served to all of us and I didn't get to try it. Definitely looked awesome though!

The last dish was the traditional Kinilaw. Put simply, this is the Filipino version of Sashimi and it is basically fresh fish cured in vinegar and ginger! In true Bacolod style, it was served with a side of grilled pork. Personally, I prefer Sashimi, but it's pretty good in its own way. I definitely liked the taste better if the pork and the fish are eaten together instead of separately.

So happy I was able to join in this event because of my sister! Here's to more food adventures in the future!

Hope this put you guys in the mood for some Filipino food with Independence Day just right around the corner! :D

Sarsa Kitchen + Bar is located at the 2F Veranda of SM Mall of Asia, Pasay.


  1. What an awesome event!! Bet you learned lots - glad your sister was there with you. This post has made me hungry - not great when on a TFR diet!!! :(

  2. Nice event you've attended But looking at the price, parang mahal.

  3. That sounds like a great event. All the food looks delicious.

  4. the food looks nice! and the restaurant is pretty well done up too! but why do the guests at your table look so glum?

    1. I wasn't sure about the people behind us, but the people at front area of the event was super active. Haha! :)

  5. Great food and great people you met! I love attending food tasting session because I can enjoy food and know more people who share the same interest~

  6. The chef is famous. The food looks very good. I think we will try this restaurant one day.

  7. Thanks for sharing this event! Initially, I thought we could try cooking ourselves! The meats look tasty!

  8. Lucky you to attend that food event with masterchef judge chef jp! I heard that his kinilaw version is very famous and yummy

  9. I would like to try something like this. You get to try a lot of dishes in mostly smaller variants.

  10. the food looks amazing and it looked like everyone had enjoyed the event. great outcome

  11. Oh man the food looks really good here. If I'm ever in that part of the world I'd love to eat here.

  12. Great food and nice individuals you met! i really like attending food tasting session as a result of I will relish food and understand a lot of folks that share constant interest :)


  13. Great food and awesome event!

    Its good to indulge ourself sometimes with Filipino food, how its cook and the preparation, etc...

    Congrats Food Magazine.

  14. Lots of grilled food for this place! I like grilled meats especially with sarsa. Kinilaw is very, very good for inuman with tuba.

  15. You're very lucky to be in this food tasting event! I'm sure you've learned a lot. When you do try what you've learned, don't forget to share it with us. :)