I love Filipino food. However, I tend to exclude it from my list when dining out to deviate from mediocre food typically served at home, and explore other cuisines. Some menu prices are overrated for such ordinary execution and of course you want to get your buck’s worth. But Sarsa Kitchen + Bar in MOA made the difference and practically changed my impression on mainstream Filipino food.
SARSA embodies the Filipinos’ undying love for a variety of sauces, condiments or sarsa which enhances the food taste. It was the product of Chef Jayps Anglo‘s passion for food, as seen in Master Chef Pinoy Edition where he was a renowned judge. Sarsa specializes in Negrense food using the best local ingredients, with a dash of creativity and special interpretation in each dish.
The SARSA Batchoy Special (Php 285) was not too far from what I have tasted in Netong’s in Iloilo, although I still prefer the original one from the Netong’s which was well- seasoned and abounding with crazy ingredients. It comprises of egg, bone marrow and bacon-cut liempo. The broth was flavorful and the meat was tender.
What made their Dinuguan distinct is the chicharon bulaklak toppings that added texture and extra flavor to the dish. You can tell that the pork organs and blood were thoroughly cleaned and cooked well, a nice rendition of the usual Dinuguan.
The Bihon Guisado (Php 285) was one of the top favorites of the group. Aside from the traditional toppings, the liver puree and chicken inasal added depth of flavor to the noodle dish. It was a bit sour, and I prefer the classic recipe of Pancit. This however was a winner among my friends.
The Tuna Sisig (Php 365) was my favorite that day. The fish was seasoned well, and I can’t explain the goodness in the medley of flavors brought about by several ingredients in the sizzling platter. It had tuna chicharon, bellpeppers and achuete aioli.
The Crispy Dilis (Php 130) was a delightful appetizer and quite addicting when you start munching it. It comes with two sauces, Cheesy/ Pineapple and Chili Glaze.
The Inasal Sisig (Php 350) was crunchy, moist and a bit sour. You can taste the blend of marinade sauces that was absorbed well by the chicken.
The Bugtaw-Bugtaw or Gising Gising (Php 190), was another appetizer which was topped with Ginamos or Negrense Bagoong. It was creamy, slightly sweet, and the taste of Bagoong was very pronounced in this dish. Not too much spicy, contrary to what I thought about the typical Gising Gising.
Among the rice choices, I picked the Ginamos Fried Rice (forever fan of fried rice, LOL) but later realized I should have ordered the plain rice instead because all of the dishes in the table spread were too flavorful already. It was interesting though, to have tasted the Negrense version of bagoong in my meals.
The SARSA Chicken Barbecue (Php 250) reminds me of the famous lechon manok, with a sauce mixture seethed within the tender boneless thigh. It was extraordinary. However, We were somewhat expecting for a larger size for its price.
The ambiance was good, nothing too flashy or exceptional, nevertheless sporting a simple industrial feel. Some of the displays were notable comments from their customers.
SARSA is good for dining with big groups such as families and friends. Each serving is good for 2 to 3 people.
What I love about SARSA is that it gives a new definition to Filipino food with its unbridled streak of creativity and experiment in each dish, maximizing the use of local ingredients that you didn’t think would make a beautiful output. Another bold rendition of taking Filipino food to the next level, a worthy Pinoy pride.
SARSA KITCHEN + BAR
Second Floor, Entertainment Mall, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
Phone Number: +63 9153071426
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 10 PM