Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pig Out

What is the difference between lechon kawali and bagnet?   Aside from the fact that bagnet is Ilocano while the former is a more generic Filipino form of deep-fried pork belly, bagnet has a more intense flavor.  While most people say that bagnet is the Ilocano's version of lechon kawali, I say it is a cross between chicharon and lechon kawali. You get the crisp crackling on the skin like chicharon and the luscious striations of meat and belly fat like lechon kawali.  Bagnet is dry and a dark caramel brown while lechon kawali is golden and juicy.

8065 Bagnet has bagnet as its centerpiece.  The menu is everything bagnet, from Bagnet Dinuguan 

to Bagnet Sisig and Bagnet Karekare.  I wanted to see what the fuss was all about so one wet Saturday, we tried it.  They said it was a hole-in-the-wall.  Well, it was out of the way but not too much of a hole.  The restaurant is air-conditioned and seats 50 comfortably.  

Decor is quirky, adding to its charm.

But then, you ask me, how is the food?  Ummmm... it isn't bagnet, it's lechon kawali.  Is it any good?  Ummmm... Beau and Enky said they were having an off day on the day I choose to try it for the first time.  So, the best I can muster is, it is edible and cheap.

Aside from the Bagnet Dinuguan, we had Pakbet Bagnet.  I asked the waitress if they were doing an Ilocano pakbet or a Tagalog one.  She got flustered so I restructured my question.  "Are you using fish bagoong or alamang?"  Her answer, "Bagoong ho."  So much for that.  I had my answer when the dish was served.  They used bagoong alamang.  It would have been okay except that their bagoong was dark and sweet.  Disappointing.

Enky had the Classic with sliced green mango and achara and that dark glob of sweet bagoong.

The skin was soggy and not crisp at all.  An aberration, Beau and Enky claim.  Maybe, it wants me to come back.  I don't know.  Maybe you should try it and your first try will be much better than mine.  As for myself, I think I should plan a trip to Ilocos.

8065 Bagnet
8065 Estrella St., San Antonio Village, Makati City
Telephone: +632 519-6511
Operating Hours: 
Monday to Saturday 11am – 12mn; 
Sunday  5pm – 12mn