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[Review] Bulalo Fiesta, Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City

Located in North Fairview in Quezon City, this 24 hour open restaurant serves a variety of filipino dishes with a speciality for the iconic filipino favorite, the bulalo (what else).  

What is bulalo? You may ask. Well, bulalo is simply described as tender beef shanks (complete with the bone - in fact bulalo would not be complete without having some of the delicious bone marrow) in clear broth. It is usually cooked until the beef shank is very tender until the cartilages and tendons become soft and the flavors infuse into the broth.

Bulalo at its simplest form is just really tender beef shank in clear broth

Although said to have originated in the Cavite and Batangas area (since these places have a tradition of raising cattle - I still remember growing up that a trip to Tagaytay is not complete without passing by the meat shops in the area), bulalo is almost widely available anywhere in the Philippines where it has been tweaked and adapted to the local culinary traditions. There are a lot of versions of bulalo as the recipe would differ from region to region. Arguably, you may group bulalo with a number of local recipes that essentially features boiled beef in broth such as nilagang baka (uses other cuts of beef and cooked until tender, nilaga just means to boil), pocherong baka (the broth in this dish is red and is a bit sweeter since it contains some tomato sauce and chunks of saba banana a starchy banana similar to plantain), sinigang na baka (beef in sour broth - typically using tamarind as souring agent and usually with eggplant, kangkong and sitaw as the accompanying ingredients), kansi (an ilonggo dish that is somewhat similar to bulalo and sinigang na baka in that it usually uses beef shank and typically uses batwan and libas as souring agents). Even in the area where it purportedly originated (Batangas and Cavite area), there could be slight variations to this dish. Some would cook it very simply with minimal other ingredients such as cabbage or pechay (bok choy) and whole black peppercorns but others would include corn on the cob, boiled potatoes, sitaw (long beans).

Bulalo na may batwan at libas with fresh coconut

If you want to experience this regional variations without having to jump from one place to another just to sample their version of this dish, then I suggest you head on over to the Bulalo Fiesta restaurant. They have quite an impressive selection of different types of bulalo inspired by the different iterations of the dish. Not only that but they have a lot of other interesting menu items.

Piniritong Sinaing na Tulingan with green mango, tomato and onions on the side

If I will be forced to pick my favorites, it will definitely be the bulalo sa batwan at libas. Reminiscent of the ilonggo kansi, this dish have just the right amount of sourness that makes me want to finish the whole broth by myself (being an ilonggo myself, I may be a bit biased). Also very tasty is their crispy pig ears, but then again who can resist crispy pig ears?

Crispy pig ears with spiced vinegar dipping sauce

The price is also quite surprisingly affordable and I still cannot imagine how they are surviving being open 24 hours (I guess a lot more people crave for bulalo whenever they get the munchies in the middle of the night than I thought).

Lechon Kawali (crispy pork belly strip) with liver sauce

Highly recommended place. I would go there over and over again. If only the traffic jam during rush hour isn’t so horrendous these days. :\

Green mango strips with ginisang bagoong at kamatis

A big vat of "sinamak" or visayan spiced vinegar is prominently displayed in the dining area


Unknown said...

More specific address or map, please!

JEP said...

Address: Block 75, Lot 14, Neopolitan Sitio Seville, North Fairview, Quezon City, Metro Manila