Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ceviche, Kinilaw, and Chicharrones at Patricio's Cevicheria

The sweet and briny notes of the freshest seafood with the sharp and refreshing layers of tartness and acidity, familiar flavors celebrated around the world with the iconic ceviche dishes of South America, the traditional Poke from Hawaii, and the numerous regional versions of Kinilaw, all in one place. Welcome to Patricio's Cevicheria...

Owned and managed by Pat and Pia Roa, Patricio's Cevicheria is one of those off-the-grid, hole-in-the-wall restaurants to add to your must-try list. Specializing in the freshest ceviche and kinilaw dishes, Patricio's Cevicheria is definitely worth the drive off the beaten path, far away from the familiar hub of restaurants.

Patricio's Cevicheria brings the rich flavors of the South in their signature dishes, sourcing the best local ingredients for authentic flavors, including the freshest seafood flown in daily from the Visayas and Mindanao, as well as local citrus and vinegar for their best-selling kinilaw.

Our lunch begins with Patricio Cevicheria's signature beef, pork and chicken dishes, starting with the Lomo Soltado (P 245), a savory regional twist on Salpicao, with spicy stir-fried beef marinated with Aji Amarillo peppers, and served with roasted tomatoes, sweet onions, and fried potato wedges with steamed long-grained rice.

Next, the Chicharrones (P 230 for sharing), Patricio Cevicheria's version of the popular Lechon Kawali based on an old family recipe, is then served. Tender and juicy pork with that layer of crisp crackling, just can't get better than that. Patricio's Cevicheria pairs this dish with a thick sauce made from the marinade and drippings of the Chicharrones, as well as their own signature spicy vinegar. Both dips add a unique layer of flavor to the Chicharrones, and you'll want some extra rice for sure.

Pollo Frito (P 165), the classic pan-fried chicken served with Patricio's Cevicheria's distinct Peruvian Aji Panca sauce and South American-inspired Black Bean Rice. Perfectly crisp yet juicy and tender, a comforting dish and a great choice for lunch or dinner.

Black Bean Rice, soft and fluffy rice mixed with black beans, sweet plantains, corn and topped with crisp lechon flakes, a meal in itself. The South American flavors of plantains and black beans come through in this dish, and the crisp lechon flakes complete the flavors. Drizzle some of Patricio's Cevicheria's spiced vinegar on the rice, or the rich and thick lechon sauce, and just dig in.

Extra rice? Go for the Pastils (P 35), Mindanao's version of the Cebuano Puso, with steamed rice topped with beef, pork or fish and wrapped in banana leaves. You'll need a couple of these to finish off the Chicharrones, or the freshly prepared ceviche and kinilaw, served next...

Perhaps the simplest yet one of the most difficult dishes to prepare, ceviche and kinilaw require freshness and timing, missing one or both key elements can result in flat flavors. Patricio's Cevicheria's Ceviche Shooters (P 480), a sampler platter with five kinds of signature ceviche, including Hawaiian Aji Poke, Rocoto, Aji Amarillo, Mango Wasabi Shrimp, and Octopus and Shrimp Amarillo Mixto served with nachos is an excellent starter to familiarize yourself with the subtle nuances of each style of ceviche. The acidic marinade of fresh lime and lemon slowly "cook" the seafood, transforming its color from pink to pale white. Timing is crucial in maintaining that perfect balance of acidity and the fresh, delicate flavors of the seafood. The blend of seafood, lime, fruits, herbs, and vegetables give each type of ceviche a distinct flavor. The Hawaiian Aji Poke is sweet and nutty, with fresh tuna blended with a light sesame soy dressing, and nori flakes. The Rocoto is sweet and spicy, with cherry tomatoes, cilantro, pickled red onions, red radish, and spicy rocoto peppers. The Aji Amarillo includes sweet potatoes in the blend, adding a unique kind of sweetness. The refreshing Mango Wasabi Shrimp has that familiar tartness with the extra bite from the wasabi. And the Octopus and Shrimp Amarillo Mixto is another flavorful blend of sweetness and tartness with just a hint of refreshing heat from the chili. And after the fresh, marinated seafood is consumed, take a shot of the sharp marinade, or as Pat Roa describes it, the "tiger's juice" in one shot to complete the experience.

A local regional version of of the South American ceviche, Dumaguete's Binakhaw Kinilaw, topped with crispy chicharon, chili, mango slices, and dungon seeds, and soured with coconut vinegar or sukang tuba, is then served. Unlike the typical South American ceviche which uses fresh limes or lemons as the souring ingredient, the local kinilaw uses vinegar for that familiar flavorful punch. The sliced mangoes, red onions, chili and the dungon seeds deliver a a wide range of flavors, blending sweet with tart, sour, acidic and spicy notes as well as different textures capped by the crispy chicharon.

The Aji Amarillo Mixto, with shrimps and octopus topped with red onions and fresh herbs in a refreshing lime marinade, is then served. Refreshingly sweet, tart and spicy, with pure and clean flavors, the vibrant colors are a visual cue to the equally bold flavors of the dish.

At Patricio's Cevicheria, you can enjoy other regional versions of Kinilaw, including Kinilaw de Oro from Cagayan de Oro, Negrense Kinilaw from Bacolod, the El Duterte from Davao, the Waray from Samar, as well as the Binakhaw from Dumaguete, each with its own distinct regional flavors. Plus Peruvian and Ecuadorean ceviches, and Hawaiian Poke. All in one place. At Patricio's Cevicheria.

And there's more. Soon on the menu, Pia Roa's unique Lechon Jam, lechon flakes with basil pesto on crisp toast. Great with a few beers.

For dessert, have some of Pia's homemade cookies, great after a meal at Patricio's Cevicheria.

Pair it with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, with coffee beans from Bukidnon. If you're ready to try something different, veer off the grid and head on to Patricio's Cevicheria. This one's definitely worth the drive...

Patricio's Cervicheria is located at 28 Bayani Road, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City or call 988-7274 for inquiries. You can also visit their FB Page for more information, and find out what's fresh, at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Patricios-Cevicheria/731413156911107.

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