September 4, 2018

Takaw Filipino Eatery Greenhills - For the #TakawwwNation

What is Takaw? I only know two phrases associated with it: sobrang takaw and takaw tingin.  Sometimes, I am sobrang takaw and sometimes I am takaw tingin. Hahaha! Kidding aside, Takaw is a Tagalog word which means voracious or gluttonous. For some it might give a negative connotation. But as for Filipinos, this word is more on the lightly funny side; especially Filipinos love their food, love to eat, therefore we are Takaw. 

Speaking of Takaw, there’s this restaurant named as such in Greenhills by acclaimed celebrity chef Tatung Sarthou offering Filipino comfort food. Ok, you’ll probably ask, why do you have to trek to Greenhills for Filipino food when you can get it just about anywhere in Manila. Well, it’s a Filipino eatery serving dishes with funny and quirky names, heirloom dishes and others that Chef Tatung put his spin on. 

Takaw Filipino Eatery is very Filipino in every single detail, as evidenced by how colorful the furnishings are and those jeepney route signs bearing the names of the dishes on the wall at the counter. One of the walls has a ceiling to floor mural depicting a funny quote and perhaps how we Pinoys are part of the #takawwwnation especially when #gutomisreal.

As we all know, Filipino food is one of the most flavor-packed cuisine in the world. We love spices and color as much as we all love good humor. Most of the time whenever I see memes and jokes on my social media feed by Pinoys, I can’t help myself but say, “ang taba talaga ng utak n mga Pinoy”. All those, you can find in Chef Tatung’s Takaw dishes. Check out the dishes that we got to try below, I'm also including the witty and funny descriptions of each dish:

Hipon Na, Utak Talangka Pa (Sizzling Gambas) - “Minsan being a hipon is a good thing, Have ever tried hipon na ginisa sa utak ng baboy at taba ng talangka? Now you can.” I love how flavorful this dish is. The shrimps were fresh and plump and the sauce was thick, creamy and mushy due to the pig brain and crab roe/fat. 

Pata Don’t Preach (Crispy Pata) - “May tama itong pata na ito, 'di lang crispy, spicy pa' at loaded ng fried garlic. Truth be told di sya guilt-free, pero must-order talaga when #TheGutomIsReal” don't panic, may regular version din."  For someone who's really not so fond of spicy food, I kinda like that this crispy pata is spicy; it’s not always that I get to eat spicy crispy pata. Well, I think this is actually the first time and it’s a good thing to try. Now I think I like the spicy version even more than the usual. The skin was crispy, the fat part was so soft and the meat was tender.

Kare Pa Teh? (Kare-Kare) - “Karen na Kare kahit anong challenge basta matikman ang aming classic kare-kare with tripe tail, tripe and brisket in our savory sauce made of ground rice and peanuts.”  I’ve always loved Kare-Kare especially if tastes like my Lola’s version or close to it. This reminded me of my lola’s because it’s made the classic way where the sauce is made of peanuts and rice grounded to become paste and not just artificial flavoring. And you can really tell the difference from sub-par Kare-Kare. The sauce was thick, creamy had a dense peanut flavor. The tripe tail, tripe and brisket were also cooked very well and very tender. 

I Love You Pangga (Chicken Pianggang) - “Find the love na matagal mo nang hinahanap with this classic chicken dish from Mindanao made with blackened coconut curry.” This is the very first time I was able to try this classic chicken dish of the Tausug people of southern Mindanao. I love the strong flavors of the burnt coconut and curry – it’s super smoky and earthy.

Escabetche By Golly Wow (Eskabecheng Tilapia) - “Baka pati si Prince mabuhay dahil sa sarap ng crispy fried tilapia with sweet and sour sauce!” Another dish that I like that we cook at home is escabeche. Takaw’s Escabeche’s sauce had more profound flavor than how we cook it at home though which I like btw.

Kaldereta ni Lolo (Kalderetang Antigo) - “Old school beef kaldereta with lots of cheese -- an old cherished recipe." Kaldereta is one of my favorite Filipino dishes, it’s actually on my top 3 fave comfort food of all time. I love this caldereta because its sauce had the right amount of salty, sweet and tangy flavors which is what I look for in caldereta. This  dish is just so hearty and takes me back to my childhood. I also love that they put cheese on top of it, some might find that odd but I actually like my caldereta just like that.

I Caught You Laing (Laing) - “Gata have it talaga itong laing with crispy dilis na masarap pa ex mong sinungaling sayo”. The name of this dish is just so funny, yet this laing is seriously good! A little bit salty and just the right amount of spiciness. This was one of my favorite. 

Nagbabagang Manok (Sizzling Spicy Barbecue Chicken) - “Half chicken served on a sizzling plate drenched with our special spicy barbecue sauce.” Not only that Filipinos love to eat, we also love to drink! if you ask me this is your perfect beer-pairing because it is on the spicy side of things. The sauce is so rich, you may want to order plain rice to go with it. 

Fresh na Fresh Bes! (Lumpiang Sariwa) - “Say goodbye to stress Drilon and say hello to a fresh new you with our lumpiang sariwa, siksik sa sautéed vegetables at sweet-garlic sauce.” A different kind of of Fresh Lumpia that I've tried only at Takaw. This is the first time ever that I saw and ate fresh lumpia with white sauce instead of the usual brown peanut one. I actually like it!

Turones De Laguna (Buko Pie Turon) - “Crispy turon filled with shreds of fresh buko meat and sweet custard, may kasama pang latik dip.” By far this is one of the best Filipino dessert snack I sunked my teeth onto! A different take on our beloved turon, instead of bananas it is filled with shredded young coconut meat which is super good. On its own it is already good, but paired with the latik it is a whole different story. I can see myself finishing two orders of these all by myself hahaha!

Cas-save The Best For Last (Cassava Bibingka) - “It pang Pinoy dessert combo na matagal mo nang inaasam: rich cassava cake with a creamy, torched topping to give that smoke-y bibingka taste. Also served with sweet corn custard sauce. A different take to another Filipino dessert: the combined goodness of cassava cake and bibingka flavors that you won't be able to resist. 

Premium Ice Cream - I love the flavors of the ice creams created by Chef Tatung: Chocnut, Kamote Q and Quezo de Bola. I mean hello, how can you get more Filipino than this? Especially that these ice cream flavors will definitely transport you back to your childhood. My personal favorite was the Kamote Q,it really tasted like the real thing! A must try!

After enjoying all the food that were served to us, Chef Tatung also gave us first dibs on his new book: Dishkarte sa Kusina – which showcases how to prepare and cook Filipino dishes. This book is perfect for those who want to learn how to cook and those who want to learn how to cook Filipino food. 

I love how Chef Tatung showcased in his dishes at Takaw the innovations and simplicity in Filipino food. Also how he was able to stage his love for local and regional cuisine in his Takaw menu. So if you find yourself in a situation where the #TheGutomIsReal, head on over to Greenhills and try this Filipino Eatery. 

GF, Theatre Mall, Greenhills Shopping 
Center, San Juan City
Contact Nos: 02 9034580

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Takaw! Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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