August 4, 2018

Pepeton's Bar and Grill: A Family’s Love For Get-Togethers

Food has always been a huge part of Filipino culture and eating in the Philippines is treated as a social affair. Whether it is a regular meal or an event, each is treated like a celebration and a way to catch up on the life events of family members or friends. You would notice that even if means are lacking, in any Filipino celebration, Filipinos make a point to serve a feast always. This is because food in my motherland and culture truly brings people together.

People would debate what region in the Philippines brings and cooks the best regional cuisine in the country, but as part-Ilocana (my father’s side is Ilocano from Tarlac and my mother’s side is Ilonggo from Iloilo), I must say that this region is in the top three of the best cuisines in the Philippines. I may be sound biased, but having brought up in an Ilocano household, especially with my grandmother’s cooking, I could say despite its salt-happy artery-clogging meat dishes, Ilocano and Ibanag cuisine is so adored because of its flavorful dishes.

And speaking of Ilocano and Ibanag dishes, a couple of days ago, I visited Pepeton's Bar and Grill with some fellow foodies. Pepeton’s boasts of their hot-off-the grill meat and seafood offerings with roots and flavors originating from the regions I’ve mentioned earlier due to the fact that one of the owners is an Ilocana/Ibanag herself. Ms. Suzette Palattao-Yu related that a family’s love for get-togethers featuring their favorite home-cooked meals and the emerging market for an affordable place where family and friends can hang-out marked the beginnings of Pepeton’s Bar and Grill.

Initially, the Palattao family ventured in a quintessential “ihaw-balot” joint where customers can order grilled food to be cooked right before their eyes with cold drinks and conversations to keep them occupied while waiting for their food. This practice became the norm and before they knew it, a ‘bar and grill’ concept became the fad in the area. In June 1996, the Palattao siblings partnered with Mr. Jose Hilario and his family to provide their customers with a more conducive and relaxing hang-out venue. Hence, Pepeton's Bar and Grill debuted as one of the pioneers in the bar and grill restaurant industry.

In January 2012, Pepeton's Bar and Grill  underwent major renovation which increased their seating capacity and provided a cozier interior. The new ambiance in the Main Dining Area, Garden, VIP/KTV Room, and Veranda came with an improved menu and promotional/combo items for all occasions. This allowed Pepeton’s to increase the number of guests it can accommodate. At present, Pepeton's Bar and Grill is beefing up its catering service to address the needs of clients by bringing the restaurant to their home or any venue. The restaurant can now accommodate parties for up to 300 guests in-house or at a location of their choice.

We were welcomed by  Ms. Suzette's and her staff with a feast which included the following mouth-watering dishes: 

Ultimate BBQ Platter - contains 16 mini-BBQ, 8 tengaQ, 1 chicken leg, 4 balunan, 2 atay amd 4 chicken ass. Who doesn’t like anything grilled? I know Filipinos do love them especially if their streefod grilled meats and other exotic innards. These juicy cuts are super tasty and smokey. I personally love the chicken ass as they were super tender (no pun intended) and not so greasy. These are perfect with generous serving of Pepeton’s house-blend dipping sauce and endless serving of plain rice. 16 mini-BBQ, 8 tengaQ, 1 chicken leg, 4 balunan, 2 atay amd 4 chicken ass. 

Bandehadong Sarap #1 - contains Kangkong Tempura, Camaron Rebusado, Crispy Tawilis, Chicken Wings, Lumpiang Shanghai, Tengaling (crispy tenga) and Nilasing Na Hipon. I’d say this is not just your serving of all the best-selling appetizers from Pepeton’s but can already serve as your beer/alcoholic drink pairing or with any of their flavored rice and you’ll be solved.

Gising-Gising - I love this dish! This is one of my favorite Ilokano dishes. We even cook this at home. Coconut cream dishes always never fail to put a smile on my face. Pepeton's version is a bit spicy btw.

Kapalmuks - one of Pepeton’s best-sellers: "Kapalmuks" or fried pork face. This unique dish is what patrons go back for at the restaurant. This fried pork face artery-snagging masterpiece masked in maximum crunchy golden skin. It’s fried to perfection which makes the fat almost melts-in-your-mouth and the meat still tender. You can pair it with Pepeton’s Kapalmuk’s Sauce or bagoong isda (fish sauce) as how the Northerners would do.

Crispy Kare-Kare - rich peanut sauce stew topped with Bachichay (Pepeton’s zero carb bacon chicharon). This kare-kare received my two-thumbs up because the sauce was rich, smooth, creamy, had a good texture and distinct peanut taste. Make the explosion of flavors complete by mixing a good amount of bagoong (fermented seafood paste) with it.

Sinigang Ulo ng Salmon - salmon head with sour broth. Fish heads used to be thrown away in the Western part of the world but thanks to the innovative minds of Asians who prize this part of the fish for its healthy, gelatinous, collagen-rich, fatty meat and packed with essential Omega-3 fish oils. Of all the favorite food that I have, Everytime anyone would ask me what's my comfort food, I would immediately and in a heartbeat would blurt out "Sinigang!" I always eat too much when sinigang is served. Sinigang for me is always very comforting and hits the spot Everytime I love my sinigang super sour and Pepeton’s did not disappoint with their version. The salmon was good too and the meat had that authentic and fresh somewhat sweet taste. This is perfect to have for lunch or dinner on cold days.

Chicha Sisig - chopped pork ears served on a sizzling plate topped with liberal amounts of chicharon. Talk about heart attack and strokes! If you want anything but putok-batok this is the dish to order. Surprisingly it wasn't that overwhelming.

Bundok Rice to Share - mountainous serving of flavored rice topped with mango strips, chicharon bits and egg. Best to be paired with all the savoury dishes offered by Pepeton’s.

Palabok Rice to Share - Pepeton’s latest rice dish cooked in palabok sauce topped with shrimp, egg and chicharon. Palabok is one of the Filipino noodle dish that I love to eat and I was surprised to learn that its sauce can also be used to flavor rice. This rice dish tastes just like your well-loved noodles. Vibrantly orange and jam-packed with different textures and flavors. It’s good and definitely a keeper. 

Pinasingawang Gulay - steamed kang-kong, talong, ampalaya, sitaw, okra, kalabasa, kamatis, sibuyas and a variety of dips. This came with 2 types of bagoong: bagoong alamang (shrimp paste) and bagoong isda (fermented fish paste/sauce). This I think is a deconstructed pinakbet dish which is a well-known and favorite Northern dish.

Porketta Ball - - crispy and juicy pugon-baked/roasted marinated pork belly stuffed with herbs and spices. Who can ever say no to rolled roasted pork belly? I know I can’t! The skin was super crispy and the meat and fat sections melt in your mouth. One of my favorites during our lunch that was fit-for-a-king.

Bachichay - Pepeton’s zero carb bacon chicharon. I love these! I don’t know though if they are really zero-carbs but all I know is that they are nice and crispy and not that greasy. It’s a chicharon of wonders with a succulent crunch.

Sinuman Tyan ng Bangus - bangus belly wrapped in banana leaves stuffed with tomatoes, onions, and spices simmered in soy sauce, bistek-style. This was my favorite of all the dishes that we ate at Pepeton’s. It’s a dish that won’t make you look twice. But as the saying goes, never judge the book by its cover. This doesn’t look so appetizing because of its monotonous color but this was super good! Like 1000x good! It is a delicious blend of salty, sour, and sweet flavours. The onions are just sweet enough to cut into and balance the strong salty and acidic tastes infused into the boneless milkfish meat. Did you read that? The milkfish is boneless! Hooray for that!

Tofu Sisig - generous serving of cubed tofu on a sizzling hot plate. This dish might be of Chinese influence but Filipino all too well. It was tasty, good and healthy alternative. No one can go wrong with tofu. Being a little bit biased here because tofu is one of my faves. LOL!

D’Best Inihaw na Pusit Ever - I wouldn’t attest to that claim of being the best ever! These squids are marinated in a sweet-tangy sauce and then stuffed with onions and tomatoes, it is then grilled to a juicy and flavorful perfection. The squid is not overcooked, easy to chew and not rubbery or gamey. It’s a savoury and smokey dish that definitely pleased the crowd. 

Sabanana Caramel - fried saba banana with caramelized sugar topped with ice cream and latik. If that description ain’t making you crave, well I don’t know what can! It is super good and I can see myself finishing the entire plate by myself. This is a must try!

Mini Turon - these little turons is sprinkled and cooked with sesame seeds giving it a great nutty flavor.

Besides selling and delivering Kapalmuk’s frozen or freshly-cooked, Pepeton's also offers their house-blend inihaw sauce, Kapalmuk’s sauce, Special Bagoong, Bachichay and Sago’t Gulaman. By the way, the customer favorite refresher, Sago’t Gulaman, is also their original recipe that you can bring home and can last for three days with refrigeration after opening.

For the prices of the dishes, I believe they are very reasonable with the amount of serving that you’ll get and the taste of the food. Also, forget about if the Pepeton’s is not as fancy as the other grills in town, if you’re going to visit, you better get your tummies ready because here you will feast with some of the unforgettable food you will ever devour. 

109 Mother Ignacia Ave. cor. Scout Borromeo St.,
South Triangle, Tomas Morato, Quezon City
Contact Nos: 02 2469069 ext. 876 
0917 460-6039 / 0922 897-9639 
02 376-5302 / 02 546-4742 

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Pepeton's Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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