Thursday, July 31, 2014

Jeepney

I don't have much experience with Filipino food. Sure I've been to a few restaurants here and there. But I certainly cannot call myself well versed in it. So when a friend wants to do dinner at a Filipino restaurant, I'm always game. The food intrigues me and I always want to know more. For this food adventure, it was TT's birthday. The FBM crew sat at a large table, ordered too much, them watched as our table was piled with every inch of space with food.
And here we go... This is the Chicaron Bulaklak ($10) which is described on the menu as crispy pork ruffle fat. While most internet definitions will say this is fried intestines, it is indeed not. It is actually the membrane that keeps the intestines attached to the abdomen. It's naturally tough so boiling then frying is a necessary to get it crispy. The version served here was a bit heavy and greasy. One basket was enough to feed the 8-10 of us that night. It's certainly not something you can eat a lot of. At least not me.

Another similar appetizer that we tried that night was the Fried Tripe ($9) with spicy banana ketchup. The tripe was much better prepared making it super crispy and light. It was easy to eat a lot of these much like funyuns. As for the tripe, I believe this was honeycomb stomach.
Whenever I go have Filipino food, I definitely like to order the Lumpia ($8) which is like a spring roll but much better. The Filipinos know how to deep fry. These little cigar shaped rolls are filled with beef, pork, carrots, and a bunch of other vegetables. The preparation here was decent but I preferred the lumpia at Maharlika instead.
Okay, enough with the deep fried stuff for now. Here are some other things that we shared like the Sisig Tacos ($13) with cooked pig ears, snout, cheek, belly, chili, onions, kalamansi, cilantro, and avocado crema. This was delicious. Tender meat and parts with the fresh spicy chilis and onions. The avocado cream on top cooked it off just enough. I would definitely order this again.
The Batangas Bone Marrow ($9) seemed a bit out of place on the menu. There was nothing special about this dish even though it came with a bowl of garlic rice and patis (Filipino fish sauce). I would skip ordering this next time. There is more interesting food to come.
The Tokwa't Baboy ($9) is a dish of cooked pigs eats, pig belly, and fried tofu in a vinegary sauce. I really liked this dish. Both of the texture and flavor was pleasing. And if you can believe it, this was a bit lighter than what we already had. It was probably the tofu. I would definitely order this again.
Here are the Adobong Hipon ($15) which are head on prawns in a sauce of soy sauce, vinegar, black peppercorn, and bay leaf. These were a nice change in pace of all the meat we've been eating so far. Unfortunately, I think these were a bit overcooked making the meat a bit crumbly.
There were a couple of special items on the menu that night like the ribs which unfortunately were overly sweet for my tastes. So sweet that I actually disliked them. The meat was certainly tender but I couldn't get over the flavor. A pass for me.
And the snails. Unless you're ready to really work for your meat, don't bother. These tiny little shells needs a small needle to get to the meat. Well, unless you have powerful sucking abilities like Dessert Zombie that just vacuumed the small tiny string of meat right out of the shell with his mouth. Impressive food eating skills!
Phew! I think that's it for the appetizers. Yes, that was all the starters up above. I told you we over ordered, didn't I? The Bicol Express ($17) is a slow roasted pork shoulder with a coconut milk, chili peppers, shrimp paste, and sausage sauce on top. It's garnished with bok choy and pickled peppers. This tender piece of meat was quite nice. It's meat covered in a meat sauce. What's not to like? Tons of flavor was the spices and sauces.
The Pancit Malabon ($17) is a rice noodle dish with different kinds of seafood, eggs, chicharon (fried pork skin), and tofu in a red pepper sauce. I didn't really love this rendition of the popular noodles dish. The ingredients seemed a bit distant from each other and I'd rather have a much more homogeneous dish.
The Menudo Pie ($19) with pulled lamb shank, vegetables, and a white sweet potato mash on top. And if this dish wasn't hearty enough, it also came with a side of longanisa sausage. At this point, I was so full that I couldn't even eat much of this. I do remember especially enjoying the sausage while the Filipino shepard's pie was a nice play on sweet and savory.
The last main course to share was the Dampa Fry ($39) which is a whole fish scored and deep fried with a light sauce of chilis, scallions, and vinegar. The garnish of salad was a god send. We needed what little vegetables that was offered. In hindsight, we should have ordered some salads.
And finally the Garlic Fried Rice ($6) which we used to sop up all the fried goodness and meat. A fragrant bowl of rice indeed.
Oh gosh, what a meal. So much food. Too much food. Lots of frying involved and lots of meat involved. Be warned, this is not for the weak of heart. Nor of the weak stomach either. Anyway, I enjoyed Jeepney. The food was decent while I enjoyed some dishes over others. If you go, it's a good time to spend with friends and the staff will laugh right along with you.

Happy Birthday, TT!

Jeepney
201 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10002
(212) 533-4121
www.jeepneynyc.com

3 comments:

  1. Thanks guys for an excellent birthday dinner!

    Yea we went more overboard than usual on the ordering. I think we got 2 each of the tripe and ruffle fat, way too much..

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I think we ordered too much. The waiter should have told us though.

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  2. agree. it is nice when waiters tell you that they think you ordered too much. at least give the option of cancelling some things.

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