Himself and I wandered in on a Saturday, when the place was hopping with people who all seemed to know each other. As more and more came in, there were hellos and hugs and the pushing together of tables. We were the only Anglos there, so we felt we'd hit upon a good place to have a Filipino lunch and enjoy the swirl of the community around us.
I'd never heard of milkfish until this meal, but apparently it's quite popular in the Philippines--and throughout Southeast Asia--and on account of its remarkably bony structure, having it served de-boned is a huge deal. What arrived at the table was half a milkfish, grilled and served in its skin which had the consistency of soft leather.
Half of a Milkfish
...the left half!
tasty, tasty milkiness...
Milkfish is milky appearance but not texture. Still, it was moist in spite of looking rather dry, as much white fish does. While it had a delicate flavor, it stood up well to the grilling, as the char enhanced rather than masked its flavor. In fact, it's some of the best fish I've ever had.
Pork is popular on Filipino menus and always a winner with me, so I got the pork skewers.
mmm, pig-on-a-stick...Like the fish, the pork bore a respectable amount of char. It was caramelized by the influence of fire and a lightly sweet marinade. We made our way through the meal with bite of pork--bite of fish--bite of pork--bite of fish...
I'll certainly be back for more milkfish. I even want to try the dinguan (okay, so you don't have to). With a menu filled with options for both meat lovers and vegetarians, it looks like I have a lot left to explore.