Monday, March 25, 2013

Food News: Smokin' Hot Pinoy Cuisine at Smokin' Hot BarBQ

The Bistro Group launches its newest restaurant concept at Greenbelt 3 featuring classic Filipino dishes at affordable prices with Smokin' Hot BarBQ. All the classic favorites, and some interesting new takes on traditional dishes, with The Bistro's Group's signature customer service. Looks like another winner from The Bistro Group...

Classic Pinoy food, with an emphasis on barbecue dishes, cool. I was fortunate to sample some of Smokin Hot BarBQ's menu along with other bloggers, and the first set of starters, including the Crispy Bacon Belly, was definitely a good sign of things to come.

The newest restaurant concept from The Bistro Group, the same group behind Italianni's TGI Fridays, Bulgogi Brothers, Watami, Fish & Co., Ma Maison and many more, Smokin' Hot BarBQ is the first concept from The Bistro Group specializing in classic Filipino dishes. Finally, great food and affordable prices, a cool addition to The Bistro Group's growing portfolio.

Smokin' Hot BarBQ serves a wide range of cocktails, and I go for the Apple Mojito (P 85) for starters, a cool blend of rum, apple juice and mint leaves.

Fresh fruit shakes are also offered, like the Fresh Grape Shake (P 110).

Then, the Crispy Bacon Belly (P 220) arrived, bacon-cut pork belly, deep-fried to crispy perfection, served with a side salad. The crispness and subtle salty flavor makes this an absolute must-try at Smokin' Hot BarBQ. Like the end result of a happy union between bacon and Lechon Kawali, this dish is surprisingly familiar yet new and different. Pair it a cold beer, perfect. A personal favorite.

Another round of beer, and more dishes arrived. Guinataang Kuhol, snails stewed in coconut milk with chili, a traditional dish from the south, rich and comforting.

Some refreshing native salads dishes then came next, starting with the Pako Salad (P 120), fresh pako (a type of edible fern) tossed with native white cheese and diced tomato, topped with grated coconut in a homemade vinaigrette...

...and Ensaladang Mangga (P 120), shredded green mangoes tossed with homemade shrimp paste, fresh tomatoes and leeks. Both dishes pair well with the mains at Smokin' Hot BarBQ.

Next, Pork Sisig Wraps (P 225), sizzling pork sisig served in a cast iron dish, with a side of grilled tortillas.

Still sizzling, with a mild heat from the chili for a little kick, another winner. And the idea of serving it with tortilla wraps, very cool. Great with rice, even better with another cold beer.

Grilled Pig's Ear (P 265), another personal favorite, tender marinated, grilled and basted with Smokin' Hot BarBQ's special sauce. The rich, fatty slices with sweet barbecue glaze is another perfect match with a cold beer, as I go for another round.

And no traditional meal will be complete without a rich and hearty soup, Bulalo (P 445), slow-simmered soup with beef shank, brisket and bone marrow. Tender beef, fresh and crisp vegetables and the richly flavored broth, a comforting soup that goes well with any dish at Smokin' Hot BarBQ.

Pork BarBQ (P 220), pork skewers marinated in Smokin Hot BarBQ's sauce. Tender pork with a traditional sweet glaze, great as is or with some of Smokin' Hot BarBQ's "Rice Reloaded" bowls.

Smokin' Hot BarBQ Chicken (P 675 Whole, P 365 Half, P 225 Quarter), roasted chicken glazed with Smokin' Hot BarBQ's sauce, a cool take on the traditional roast chicken. A subtle smoky flavor enhances the sweet glaze, and the meat is juicy and tender.

A trio of Smokin' Hot BarBQ's Rice Reloaded, the Dulong Rice (P 195, left) topped with crisp dulong (tiny silver fish), the Aligue Rice (P 155, top center) with rich crab fat, and the Black Rice (P 165, right) with squid ink. Nice.

Pinakbet (P 135), a traditional vegetable dish with squash, eggplant, string beans, and bitter melon sauteed in shrimp paste and topped with pork cracklings, another traditional side dish to complement the mains at Smokin' Hot BarBQ. The fresh vegetables remain crisp, and the pork cracklings add a layer of flavor and texture to the vegetable dish.

Dinuguan (P 325), a traditional pork blood stew, familiar and comforting. Rich and thick, with tender pork, perfect with rice. Extra rice? Absolutely.

Turon 2.0 (P 175), an updated version on the classic turon, banana ice cream with banana compote on homemade caramelized cones. A cool modern take on the traditional turon, another hint of Smokin' Hot BarBQ's playful inventiveness. Seriously good. This one's a winner. 

Biko (P 195), a native sticky rice cake with chocolate and white latik, a perfect ending to a great meat at Smokin' Hot BarBQ. From starters to mains and desserts, you'll definitely have a couple of favorites at Smokin' Hot BarBQ.

Benjie Pasia, Smokin' Hot BarBQ's General Manager, welcomes guests to The Bistro Group's newest restaurant concept. Good food and affordable prices, things are definitely smokin' hot at Smokin' Hot BarBQ.

Special thanks to Lisa Ronquillo, Assistant Vice President for Marketing; Mitzi Navarro, Marketing Director; Roda Adriano, Marketing Manager; Chef Josh Boutwood, Joshua Torres and April Almonte from The Bistro Group for a cool sneak peek at Smokin' Hot BarBQ's smokin' hot dishes...good food, good times.

Smokin' Hot BarBQ is located at the 3/F, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati or call 729-7432 for inquiries. 

UPDATE: Smokin' Hot BarBQ has been renamed and rebranded by the Bistro Group to Siklab.

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