Would you believe that until last year I’d never eaten Filipino food? Ever since trying out the all purpose sauce and Garlic Rice at our DFC lunch I’d been endlessly curious about this type of cuisine. I’m meeting up with Chogz and Gness for lunch as they’ve been going on about Sizzling Filo, which just so happens to be located only a 5 minute drive from home.
It’s no where as hot as it was during our record breaking 35ºc streak back in summertime, but the humidity of the day has us immediately looking at the drinks section of the menu. The Halo Hallo consists of sweet red beans, coconut, jackfruit, banana, palm fruit and yam topped with ice cream and pinipig (rice crisps). Mixed together it’s a purple smoothie sensation that’s easily a meal on its own.
While the others are sucking down on the Halo Halo, I’ve only got eyes for the Sagot Gulaman, sago and gelatine with caramelised sugar in crushed ice. I adore sago in my drinks and the Sagot Gulaman doesn’t disappoint, the sago and sugar combining to make a crunchily sweet mouthful.
We’ve learnt the hard way before that Filipino food is incredibly filling in the stomach and are keeping things simple by only ordering a starter and a main. The Ukoy is an easy choice, fried shredded pumpkin patties with prawn, you had my stomach at fried pumpkin! They resemble pumpkin hash browns more than anything else and are piping hot when they arrive at the table, a gratifying crunch at first bite topped off with a refreshing sprinkling of vinegar to cut through the fried goodness.
The Kare Kare is another easy choice, it’s a stew of beef oxtail and mixed vegetables in peanut sauce and arrives in a huge serving pot which opens to reveal a brilliantly golden mixture of oxtail, yams, chinese cabbage and beans. There’s a richness to the stew that is eminently satisfying, the peanut sauce is a little blander than I would have expected, but a few pinches of Bagoong (fermented fish) brings everything together.
Of course, there’s only 1 other thing required for this meal to be complete. Garlic Rice yo.
Garlic Rice has been a staple at the es&t eatups in the last few months and our Filo boys can’t seem to get through a meal without it. It’s a simple dish of rice, garlic and oil, a hell of a lot of oil. The grains are almost glistening with the amount of oil in the dish but it’s an addictive eat, even for this non-garlic fan! It doesn’t seem like a lot of food, but this one main was enough to fill up 4 people with leftovers!
I’m especially interested in trying out the Leche Flan, it’s one of the few dishes that I make on a regular basis and I’m curious to see the difference in the recipes. The first bite reveals the same rich, custardy texture I’ve come to expect, but moments later the sheer richness of it hits you in the head. Maybe it’s a required taste, but the sheer richness overwhelms us and we call defeat after only a few bites.
On this lazy weekend it’s a strictly family affair at Sizzling Filo, all around us are large loud families all tucking into tables groaning under the weight of food but it’s the boxing match up on the TV screen that quickly has everyone captivated.
And if you’re still pondering on visiting, Friday and Saturday nights have live Karaoke entertainment!
36 Railway Street
Lidcombe NSW 2141
Ph: (02) 9649 7939