Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015
Carnivore Lechon
Sinigang With Lechon Tagalog



It’s been a while since I last fancied classic dishes rendered with a twist. I’ve also been coming to terms with coveting the best-tasting lechon (roasted pig) that Metro Manila has to offer since I can’t easily fly off to Cebu for a taste of its famous version. Thanks to a celebratory lunch in Quezon City, I had the chance to experience both gustatory pleasures in one venue – at 49-B Heirloom Kitchen.

Memorable Along Scout Tobias

At the onset, I knew that the mid-day sampling would be one of a family affair as connoted by the restaurant’s name. The location alone, Scout Tobias – a street named after a long-perished boy scout who died in a 1963 plane crash, is enough indication that memories of bygone days are kept sacred and honoured, including classic dishes.

The stylish interior details of 49-B Heirloom Kitchen
Pork BBQ

Managed by Chef Erica and Mary Ann Aquino, the family-run restaurant’s goal of serving classic dishes that span a plethora of cuisines is made possible. From Asian to European dishes, a new generation of foodies now has easy access to such treats. The mix of vintage and modern sensibilities in the dining interior’s design seals the heirloom vibe of the destination. I particularly love the door panels that accentuate a space at the restaurant’s second level. The same area’s dark color palette is effective in exuding elegance. It’s also successful in complementing the upscale quality of the menu.

Leonardo's Lechon

The Lechon Tasting Lunch commenced with the celebration’s star -- Leonardo’s Lechon, a post-World War II brand being proudly continued by Leonard Aquino, a cousin of the restaurant’s managers. Known by many in San Juan City as the classic lechon for special occasions since 1947, it is the source of the delectable lechon Tagalog. The stellar surprise that day, however, was the serving of its Carnivore Lechon, a more sinful version. Stuffed with bacon, herbs and spices, with Kielbasa (Polish), Hungarian and Chorizo sausages along with thick bacon slabs and garlic potatoes, the whole treat is a celebration of pork goodness in itself. As soon as the trusted litsonero carved up the entire shebang, the festive ingredients revealed themselves in all their meaty glory.

Hot Ginger Banana Brulee
The casual contemporary dining area of 49-B Heirloom Kitchen
Mary Ann's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Beef Lengua

Foregoing the conventional way of drowning it in pork liver sauce, I secured a few morsels of the slow-roasted treat in a small plate for an initial taste test. As expected, the basic part of the lechon – the fatty portion -- tasted sublime, making me want more. Next thing I knew, I was stuffing my small plate with the rest of the delicious components, including the crunchy skin. The dining experience started that way – gorging on bacon that’s stuffed with bacon!

Dinuguan and More

A whole lechon can be ordered from Leonardo’s Lechon and it comes with the Filipino favorite stew called Dinuguan. In my case, I paired my lechon plate with a Pork Barbecue stick that’s also available in sets for delivery.

Paella Valenciana
49-B Heirloom Kitchen Best-sellers

Since the Lechon Tasting Lunch venue is also home to another lechon-infused dish, I got my palate ready for 49-B Heirloom Kitchen’s twist to the traditional Sinigang. Chef Erica’s version is one that’s touted as the restaurant’s signature dish for having tender chunks of lechon tagalog in the mix, giving the broth a distinct richness in taste and color. The flavourful result definitely makes the typical Sinigang pale in comparison.

Next in the roster of the restaurant’s best-sellers was the plate of tender and creamy beef lengua which was served with tasty chorizos, olives, a hefty scoop of mashed potatoes, carrots and broccoli. I then proceeded to seal my meal with a taste of the comforting Paella (pronounced as pa-eh-yah) Valenciana. The coastal Spanish cuisine favorite was served with pork, chicken and topped with seafood and hard-boiled egg.

A comfy spot at 49-B Heirloom Kitchen
Delicious Sweet-enders

To properly finish my lunch, a sweet ending of the restaurant’s two dessert favorites was in order. With sips of brewed coffee, I had a few heavenly bites of the freshly baked treat called Mary Ann’s Chocolate Chip Cookies which I found to be chewy. I also had scoops of the Hot Ginger Banana Brulee which is basically a set of baked bananas with ginger sugar. The Boracay-inspired dessert was served with vanilla ice cream and topped with cinnamon and ginger sugar giving it a cold and tasty complement.

Leonard, Chef Erica, Mary Ann Aquino and the rest of their family members are successful in preserving the fond attention that their old folks invested in Leonardo’s Lechon and 49-B Heirloom Kitchen that the new generation of foodies are given the chance to sample the same delicious experience. Celebrations can finally be as random as one that I had -- a mid-day lunch one weekday in Quezon City.

Leonardo's Lechon

Address: 89 J.Basa Street, San Juan, 1500 Manila, Philippines
Phone: +63(2)7243068 and +63(2)7269828
E-mail: leonardoslechon

49-B Heirloom Kitchen

Address: 49-B Sct. Tobias St., Quezon City, Philippines 1103
Phone: +632 239-1637
Mobile: +63917 809-8361
E-mail: 49bkitchen

More Photos Below:

My plate of the Carnivore Lechon


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