This restaurant with a long name occupies a small space at the HRC Building along Rada St. in Makati. The cozy place seats about 20 persons and I heard is always full on weekdays.
The menu is simple and a straightforward selection of heirloom recipes. My friends and I started off with the complimentary pan de bonete, a traditional dinner roll popular in Southern Luzon served with locally made mantekilya, salsa fresca and sinantolan (fermented santol fruit).
First up was the Pako Salad. Pako (young fern) picked from the mountainside is washed and blanched, topped with kesong puti (white cheese made from carabao milk), julienned singakamas (turnips) and drizzled with a calamansi-based vinaigrette.
We tried out a truly Filipino food combination: Sinigang na Baboy, Adobong Pusit and Fried Lapu-lapu with Mango.
For the Pork Sinigang, the food servers will let you taste a sample of the broth to get your approval for the level of sourness. The pork cuts were chunky and tender (but the fatty bits were not melt-in- your-mouth the way I usually like it) and served with slices of gabi (tuber), sitaw (string beans), okra and kangkong (water spinach). A side of Crispy danggit (salted, dried fish) is partnered with the steaming soup.
I was surprised that the Adobong Pusit was dry but whatever inky stew it had was really tasty.
The most interesting dish was the Fried Lapu-lapu with Mango. The deep-fried fish was smothered with an escabeche made acidic with ripe mango slivers and colored with diced red bell pepper.
The Rural Kitchen of Liliw Laguna
Address: HRC Centre, 104 Rada Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
Telephone: 02 7798073; +63 9258470493