22 Jan2007


After a long stay at the beach, several waves of houseguests, meal after meal after meal of prepwork and cooking and clearing up and we are all typically wiped out. So on the way home, I like to leave the beach with the entire crew at around 9:30 am after a very lzm2light breakfast of fruit and tea and we head back to Manila at that odd hour to avoid traffic and better yet, to reach our favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Silang, Cavite called LZM. I wrote about them early in the life of this blog as having the best fried daing na bangus (fried milkfish) ever and I still believe that. Actually, it’s the BEST VALUE bangus since the price of the entire meal at LZM is a fraction of fancier Pinoy restaurants in Manila. At any rate, we typically get to LZM around 11 or just after, settle into a grungy table, deal with or just ignore the surly staff, hope the aircon is working and there are no cooties on the cutlery that is brought to the table in a glass that was once a Nescafe bottle and is now filled with lukewarm (not germ killing boiling hot) water. So lukewarm in fact that most bacteria would feel they were in a cozy sauna and they would multiply like crazy… We have never gotten sick there in many years of patronizing the place and we have always eaten very well for very little money…

While I can write about fabulous meals in Tagaytay that may run a couple lzm3thousand pesos per diner, I have to say that there is special place in my stomach for LZM and restaurants of a similar ilk…no pretense…good solid food…great prices. There aren’t too many restaurants that I have continued to return to several times annually for at least 7 years straight… On the most recent visit, we discarded our standard order of sinampalukang manok (chicken and tamarind soup)for an interesting sounding sinigang na bulalo (boiled beef marrow soup with tamarind). Egads, was that good or what? I am not sure if the bulalo was a leftover pot from the day before since we got there so early but it was flavored with sinigang mix or fresh sampaloc (though I suspect the former) and lots of vegetables. The beef was falling off the bone, the bulalo was literally heart stopping material and it was a great way to start the meal filled with fat after fat after fat… Don’t forget the sawsawan of soy sauce, vinegar and crushed siling labuyo (bird’s eye chilies)– yum!

After the soup, we got our standard 2 or 3 orders of deep-fried bangus (fat number two) that defies explanation. The fish were just THAT fat and meaty and though the quality varies slightly from visit to visit…it remains good to excellent no matter what. Plump lzm4and meaty, fried just right, with crispy salty edges…I could eat just this and rice and some sinigang. But why eat just that when you can get fat laden lechon kawali (fat number 3) (deep-fried pork belly), binagoongang baboy (number 4) (pork stewed in shrimp paste), pinakbet, adobong kangkong, grilled or sizzling tanguigue, pusit, etc.??? Yikes! Does that sound outrageous or what? But the table quiets down, and the eating goes on in earnest. I always thank the crew for another successful holiday at the beach and for all their help and we suppress the inevitable burp and worse, for the guys, the bizarre urge to rub one’s stomach like a jeepney driver that has raised his t-shirt over the bulge…heeheehee. I am joking, I DON’T DO THAT. Heeheehee. Do they rub because the skin is so stretched from pigging out? We have never tried any of the desserts at LZM. And frankly, I don’t think we ever will. For details, follow the link up top to the original post on this roadside eatery. Oh, total bill for say 8 hungry folks? Rarely more than PHP2,000, and trust me, we can eat a lot! Burp. :)



  1. edee says:

    just got back to work after 5 weeks holidays in the phils, and seeing these photos i wanna go back!…..

    Jan 22, 2007 | 7:34 pm


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  3. mikel says:

    i hate this post..cuz i love all these dishes and i can’t get any of it in paris, except the almost similar roast pork in chinese restos.

    Jan 22, 2007 | 8:17 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    mikel, you mean the lone mediocre filipino restaurant in Paris, was it called aux isles philippines or something like that, has closed? The last time I ate there many years ago, it had been purchased by jewish investors so they didn’t serve pork or shrimp…yikes!

    Jan 22, 2007 | 8:28 pm

  5. greengrapecake says:

    Unlike most who cringe at the sight of taba (fat), I don’t. In fact, I love taba. Anything oily is good to me. In fact when I buy chicharon, I buy those that have fat on it. I don’t like chicharon with just the skin, and the best chicharon with taba I tasted was in Cebu. Mmm, yum yum. So, this post I really like… with oil and fat dripping all over it.

    Jan 22, 2007 | 9:08 pm

  6. sister says:

    There was a turo-turo in Cannes named “Manila” near the train station, has anyone out there tried it? Every time I passed early in the morning on my way to market last June it was closed.

    Jan 22, 2007 | 9:34 pm

  7. enough with the chopsticks says:

    ok…now that lechon kawali picture just made me want to haul myself off to Cinta-J in Wanchai, HK. with that sort of name you’ll know it serves indonesian/malaysian food, but they also serve filipino food… and their lechon kawali is just, just perfect. order a side of laing, white rice and a bottle san miguel, it’s the best comfort food during the dreary “winter” season.

    Jan 22, 2007 | 10:48 pm

  8. lee says:

    too much fat from these eating places = carinderiac arrest.

    Glorious pork fat is such an amazing treat… enjoy life :)

    Jan 22, 2007 | 10:58 pm

  9. Marilou says:

    This post makes me want to get on a plane home right now. I manage a barely passable fried bangus with frozen ones from the neighborhood Asian grocery. Comming from Calasiao, Pangasinan, just a hop and a skip from the bangus ponds in Bonuan and Dagupan it almost feels like an insult! As far as grilled whole bangus, I don’t even attempt that with the frozen bangus. Ohhhh…I can almost taste it, grilled right on the beach. I think I need a nap!

    Jan 22, 2007 | 11:08 pm

  10. joey says:

    Oh my lord! My type of meal! :) My aunt also swears by LZM’s bangus…that lechon kawali looks wonderful!

    Jan 22, 2007 | 11:20 pm

  11. trishlovesbread says:

    Mmm…sinigang na bulalo. Sounds like perfect winter food. What veggies did they use in the soup?

    Jan 23, 2007 | 2:58 am

  12. Maria Clara says:

    Our classic foods truly our pride and joy! You have a jackpot lunch – comfort foods. For me the fried bangus takes home the trophy with vinegar,. crushed siling labuyo and lots of sautéed bagoong as a dipping sauce. I take a long pause when I see a place that offers the same food you have and debate at the back of my head. As usual fat overrides all my fear, very comforting and real satisfaction achieved. I guess the acid in vinegar and sinigang mix mitigates the ill-effect of fat.

    Jan 23, 2007 | 3:11 am

  13. Ted says:

    This is the reason i want to retire early and go home and eat all these yummy food everyday. Where can you get the best chicharon bulaklak in metro mla?

    Jan 23, 2007 | 3:13 am

  14. blackpearl says:

    After watching (making bantay) my daughter play a round of golf at Riviera Golf Club, LZM is always a must stop for teh family. Their fried bangus is really the best!

    Jan 23, 2007 | 5:27 am

  15. wil-b cariaga says:

    arghhh. . . I miss pork. . . we can’t eat pork here in Maldives, its against their religion, but its a good thing I work in the Kitchen, ’cause we have pork sometimes for guests. . .

    Jan 23, 2007 | 5:58 am

  16. issa says:

    MM why you’re posting my favorite dishes,i’m having a watery mouth right now. imagine it’s almost midnight here in zürich, for dinner just had chicken breast and veggies.now i’m starving to death because of those yummy,yummy dishes! This April i’ll try to visit that restaurant, thanks for the tip!

    Jan 23, 2007 | 6:44 am

  17. consol says:

    hahaha! ” … rub one’s stomach like a jeepney driver that has raised his t-shirt over the bulge …” that’s what the stereotypical ‘tomador sa kanto’ also does. eh bakit nga ba? to coax the recently wolfed-down food (or alcohol) to make its way gently into the recesses of the innards?

    oh dear … fat, glorious fat … especially the wickedly crisp-looking lechon kawali! MM, sadista ka, no?! now i wanna drop everything (at this early hour) and hie off to LZM!!

    lee, that’s a cute one — ‘carinderiac arrest.’

    Jan 23, 2007 | 7:37 am

  18. DivineG. says:

    I have a grandfather who likes “taba” with his meat and when he was 77 years old he got sick and went to the doctor. His doctor told him to stay away from all these fat and rich food. He told his doctor, I would rather die happy than live and be miserable by not eating the food that I enjoy. He is now over 90 years old and still enjoying his food. There is a town called Camiling in Tarlac and they sell these big slabs of meat with fat cooked like chicharon and are called “seseron” sounds almost the same so I guess they are the same. Whenever my relatives come and visit us in Quezon City they would bring this with them as pasalubong. We would chop them up in bite size pieces and fry them again to make it crunchier and to remove some more of the fat. I like mine dipped in ketchup but my sisters like theirs dipped in patis or suka. They also bring us the burong babi with taba of course and it really has that taste of having it “buro” It is good.

    Jan 23, 2007 | 7:51 am

  19. Jacqui says:

    I felt the tightening in my chest from just looking at the photo of the lechon kawali, and now that I have read the whole post, I think I am dying from a heart attack. :)) After that meal, I guess it is back to granola and salads for you, MM.
    Maybe back home with sweltering heat and the ensuing sweat pouring out of our bodies, we can afford to eat meals like these but with me bundled up right now and yet still freezing, these gastronomic delight have serious repercussions.

    Jan 23, 2007 | 8:55 am

  20. Jacqui says:

    It is amazing how we never (or seldom) get sick from the dreaded norovirus after eating in these kinds of dives back home. (The sauna-pampered bacteria in those utensils must have met a timely disease in strong-as-steel stomachs of Filipinos.) And yet here in the US, one little contamination scare escalates into a national hoopla.

    Jan 23, 2007 | 9:21 am

  21. Gigi says:

    MM — I take back my vote that you’ll lose the weight by May was it? ;)

    Jan 23, 2007 | 9:43 am

  22. teny says:

    I also like the special lechon they serve with the lechon kawali. The bangus is quite reasonable for the size and taste.

    Jan 23, 2007 | 10:41 am

  23. pam says:

    I love LZM bangus! I live in HK but I make it a point to bring back at least 10 whole frozen bangus whenever I can. They are just amazing. I have a friend who’s never liked bangus belly but she will eat the belly from this bangus. Now I share my bangus loot with her whenever I get some from the Philippines.

    Jan 23, 2007 | 10:46 am

  24. Ellen says:

    Damn MM! I love all those dishes u mentioned especially the lechon kawali. I love fat! As a chef, i believe that ‘fat is taste’. As long as you don’t overindulge then it should be ok. I loathe the drive for lean meat nowadays with most, if not all fat in meat trimmed into non-existence. This is just my opinion of course =) Hooray for fat! hehehe

    Jan 23, 2007 | 11:50 am

  25. chinkee says:

    Your post makes me crave for lechon kawali, oil splatters and ensuing stinky hair bedamned :) With vinegar and crushed siling labuyo for sawsawan and a glassful (and some) of Coke on the side to tone down the “umay”, it will be so worth it!

    Jan 23, 2007 | 12:08 pm

  26. lojet says:

    Luckily, where I am (NY) there is no dearth of these foods. Fried daing are about $9 for a large one and $7 for smaller ones.Can also get lechon kawali by the pounds. We can even order a cebu style lechon from a cebuano amd you’re right, pork fat rules!

    Jan 23, 2007 | 2:03 pm

  27. stadaenko says:

    that lechon kawali pic is just toooo perfect, i can almost hear them crackling!!! and don’t you just love that subliminal pork belly design of having the meat and fat layers stacked one on top of the other like a yummy dessert cake? just heavenly…

    and that picture (in my mind) of that guy rubbing his bare belly? well if i may add, he’s also nibling mindlessly on a toothpick sticking out of his lips, sucking loudly high-pitched through his teeth to vacuum-clean them of all those godawful ‘tinga’!ü and his moustache still has some beerfroth from his ice-cold san miguel. hehehe. hmmmm…. looks eerily like that space cadet in the mirror….

    Jan 23, 2007 | 3:17 pm

  28. ragamuffin girl says:

    Hey Pam! You finally left a comment here! When I was readng the first part of the blog I thought right away of the bangus I get from you… I was thinking, could it be from the same place? And lo and behold, it actually is!!!!! :)

    Yummy, yummy bangus my hubby enjoys with garlic rice. I love it with apple cider vinegar or Pam’s homemade atsara. I gave some to a Cantonese recently and she and her kids loved it! They fried it and made some into adobo. I had a killer bangus belly adobo made by an uncle last Christmas. I tried it here in HK and it is sooo good! Fatty, oily good! I also make bangus sisg with belly (Seaking brand). I tried the one of Dencio’s and liked it, but hubby says mine is better- guess that’s coz he can only get it from me here in HK so sipsip hehe.

    Jan 23, 2007 | 6:48 pm

  29. ragamuffin girl says:

    I’m also going to make bangus lumpia this week. This fish is so versatile. It is best fried of course, with sinangag and egg, but still… I like doing other stuff with it, like relleno, sizzling belly with gravy etc… OOOOH times like these I miss the Philippines! Gotta stock up again on tocino, tablea tsokolate – Antonio Pueo brand although I’d like to try Nana Meng’s, taba ng talangka {I always get Navarros brand in the can but couldn’t buy any last Christmas so I tried two other brands – Kitchen A La Ching and Blue Kitchen. I must admit Blue Kitchen’s one is better and I cooked it with prawns. Heavenly over steamed rice, but I digress :)}, and bangus, bangus, bangus!

    Jan 23, 2007 | 6:53 pm

  30. Rex says:

    Regarding sinigang na bulalo, I was able to sample “sinigang na lechon kawali” at a quaint little off-the-main-road eatery somewhere in Lucban, Quezon years ago. I was in the company of other neanderthal buddies at the time, and having endured a few hours of early morning drive from Manila, this curiosity on the menu got a unanimous vote (mind you, we were having breakfast). The dish was most probably recycled, unsold lechon kawali from the previous night. But what the heck, it was the most GLORIOUS sinigang i had ever had in my entire life!! You could see those little fat globules floating in the soup, the golden brown pork pieces still had a crisp despite being in the broth, and the whole thing had a curious “porky-sweetiness” to it. What an encounter! :)

    Jan 23, 2007 | 7:46 pm

  31. mikel says:

    yes MM, no other filipino restos in paris. i understand there was one near etoile in the mid90’s but has closed as well.

    Jan 23, 2007 | 8:06 pm

  32. sister says:

    lojet: Where can you order lechon Cebu style in NY- please can you share the resource. I used to have someone from NJ who would deliver a whole lechon, still hot, in the back seat of a Cadillac, much to my doorman’s amusement but he retired and went back to the Phil. Thanks.

    Jan 23, 2007 | 8:56 pm

  33. Ana says:

    this is what i miss most in Manila – cheap food, but oh-so-delicious just the same. i am counting the days now till i’m home. but i am on a diet! what to do? binge after the wedding?!

    Jan 24, 2007 | 4:04 am

  34. Ted says:

    Ragamuffin girl, how do you cook the prawns with talangka fat? Please share your recipe.

    Jan 24, 2007 | 4:21 am

  35. ragamuffin girl says:

    Hi Ted. I butterflied the prawns, added salt and pepper, calamansi juice then sauteed them in garlic and a little butter. I then poured an entire bottle of talangka from Blue Kitchen and let it cook for a bit- just until the sauce heated up because I didn’t want to overcook the prawns.Then I served it immediately with plain rice. You can use half a bottle and cook the rest with day-old rice to make Aligue Rice. Top it with chopped green onions for garnish.

    If you click on my name on top it will lead you to my blogsite, just go to Recipes and Tips(links on the right-hand side) and I have more, well, actually I am quite lazy to blog but I have 3 recpes there you might want to try as well. Pinoy fusion from the resto my friends and I used to run when I was based in Manila. :) enjoy!

    Jan 24, 2007 | 10:09 am

  36. nix says:

    you should try LZM’s chicharong bulaklak – the best

    Jan 24, 2007 | 10:27 am

  37. Filipeanut says:

    OH MY GOD. Thank you for posting these photos of “high-blood” inducing but highly appetizing heaven fat. I love fat. Who cares if it’s bad for you, everything is bad for you and you’re gonna die anyway.

    Jan 25, 2007 | 2:36 am

  38. stadaenko says:

    ted, chicharon bulaklak are in almost every filipino restaurant. i like them best in this place in greenbelt 4, in front of the water fountain/bathroom shower combo. i also enjoy their catfish served like japanese unagi.

    in fact, almost all malls here have these little foodcarts that sell crispy fried animal entrails (next to the ubiquitous peanut stand). they have pork small intestines (bulaklak)and big intestines (bituka), chicken intestines, chicken skin, etc which they sell by 100 gram increments. they’re good, with a sprinkling of salt and a quick splash of vinegar. every once in a while, instead of popcorn and chips, my daughter and i have chicharon bituka (mine) and chicken skin (my daughter’s) when watching a movie. yummmm

    Jan 25, 2007 | 9:48 am

  39. Dodi says:

    Hi MM!
    LZM bangus rocks and also their “fatty foods”! My father who just turned 95 last January 9, lives in Missouri but the first thing he does when he comes home is to go to the market and buy pork with lots of fat and cook adobo, chicharon, etc. As he says, you can eat all of these but with moderation and also eat lots of “gulay”!
    I also eat in LZM at least once a month.

    Jan 25, 2007 | 2:13 pm

  40. lojet says:

    Sister: I sent you a message thru this website .Hope it helps.

    Jan 25, 2007 | 2:31 pm

  41. hatari says:

    Like Rex, I got to taste this wonderful lechon kawali sinigang at the Masferre cafe in Sagada. Somehow, it didn’t seem that sinful despite all the bubbly fat since it was swimming in a well seasoned, sour-spicy sinigang broth. Add to this lots of fresh vergetables which hadn’t been boiled to death…sigarilyas, kangkong and sitaw….still had a little crunch to them. Fishing out the gabi from the broth, mashing it into my rice with generous spoonfuls of the soup and finally carefuly arranging the pre-fried but now so tender pieces of pork along the vegetables assured me of a truly memorable sinigang experience. My 11 year old daughter was watching me all this time and told me later I appeared to be in a trance…maybe I was.

    Jan 28, 2007 | 4:15 pm

  42. Arvi says:

    Great photo of Lechon Kawali. Worth framing!! I’m curious. Isn’t there a Tagaytay branch of LZM on the 2nd floor of the buiding where Figaro is? Has anyone been there?

    Jan 29, 2007 | 4:02 pm

  43. Marketman says:

    Arvi, I am not familiar with the other LZM branch, but if the food is just as good, that sounds like a nice, convenient location to be in in Tagaytay!

    Jan 29, 2007 | 5:38 pm

  44. zel says:

    its been years since i got a taste of my favorite fish dish in the world, fried bangus, paired with a warm cooked rice. also equally love sweet n sour fish, the filipino recipe, with vinegar, cornstarch, sugar, carrots, etc..

    Feb 1, 2007 | 1:30 am

  45. tinette says:

    LZM’s also got the best CHICHARON BULAKLAK! Nix said that too in another post. Just thought I’d say it again. My tita goes there just for that. ;)

    Feb 1, 2007 | 3:29 pm

  46. goodtimer says:

    The lechon kawali sinigang mentioned here is similar to our “ginisang sinigang”, where pork liempo is sauteed with garlic, onions and tomatoes til browned, then made into sinigang soup, though the veggies added are mustasa, sitaw and labanos with long chilies. Yes! It’s oozing with fat and very flavorful, so that we’d always serve it very hot.

    Feb 1, 2007 | 10:24 pm

  47. tisayathome says:

    this is a take off from the Shanghai Bistro blog, “what to do when food is good but service sucks?” I am a golf widow on weekends and the only thing that perks me up when my husband is absent on a Saturday (because he is out golfing)is seeing him home carrying a sando bag containing an aluminum wrapped boneless bangus from LZM. He would narrate time and again everytime we would gobble down a full bangus from LZM, how he discovered this hole-in-a-wall through his golfer friends. This scenes happened many times in the past until he shifted golf courses and that started our craving for the best boneless bangus we ever tasted. Until recently when we took a drive to Tagaytay for a Sunday brunch, we excitedly dropped by the main restaurant in Silang to take out the famous bangus. I first looked at the menu to confirm if indeed they were still making the same kind of breaded bonelss bangus that we wanted. When I confirmed the order, we sat down, looked around and told myself that I can never get myself to eat there because the place was not clean enough. So “taking out” their food is the best. The waiter asked us to wait a while because the kitchen still has to prepare the bangus. While waiting, I pulled out a P500 bill to pay for my order. The menu said P220. When my change came and saw that I was given only P260, it was explained politely by the waiter that the price for take-out is P10 higher and that there was a price increase of P10. My husband who couldn’t let this pass told the waiter that he should have told us about this when we first placed the order or upon making the payment. Paying P20 more for something that was well worth it was not the issue. It was the way this restaurant badly communicated to their returning customers that was the problem. The waiter was very apologetic and said he was just following the order of the owner who at that time was in the kitchen. We calmly told him to please tell his boss that they should honor the prices that are stated in their menus. At the very least, tell customers at the onset of the transaction of any changes in the price. When the waiter came back with our order, we asked what the owner said and he merely apologized again. Our discussion with him went on until the owner came out and overheard what we were saying. The old hag, instead of politely explaining and apologizing, demanded for us to give back the bangus and she will return the payment!!! Can you imagine how hungry this entrepreneur is for education on customer service? And all we wanted was to give some constructive criticism so they could improve. And this was the reaction by no less than the owner. My husband threw the poor boneless bangus wrapped in aluminum on the table and we stormed out of the dingy resto in a hurry and swore that we will never ever go back. Poor us, we never got to taste the good old bangus that day. So what to do when food is good and service sucks? My hope it to go back to Tagaytay and visit their branch there hoping that the owner won’t be there to recognize us. Moral of the story is give unsolicited advice only to educated people.

    Feb 22, 2007 | 12:25 pm

  48. o says:

    i would just like to add to ragamuffin’s directions on how to cook prawns in aligue (talangka fat). you may add some sour cream to the mixture and serve it over pasta.

    Feb 28, 2007 | 6:15 pm

  49. Kulinero says:

    hey! watch out for the opening of LIME88, street style with a twist. u guys are all invited!

    Mar 25, 2007 | 10:28 pm

  50. bottomsup says:

    Arvi and MM, yes another LZM has opened right in the heart of Tagaytay! (Since early last year I think) It’s in the same building as Mocha Blends, across from Leslie’s and the Cliffhouse. The food’s as good as in the first branch, but if you’re going there on a weekend for lunch or dinner make sure you go early as there is usually a long line of hungry vacationers waiting for tables. The branch also happens to have a small Rowena’s store across from it which is supposed to be famous for its pies and tarts but their absolute MUST-TRY are these espasol-type small ube malagkit balls that are to die for! Haven’t tasted anything quite like it in all my forages for Tagaytay pasalubongs… very soft, smooth, chewy and ube-y without that artificial ube-powder taste.

    Apr 25, 2007 | 11:21 am

  51. Roberto Vicencio says:

    LZM restaurant is our favorite stop after playing at the Riviera or SOuthwoods Golf Course. I think I might have been looking forward to the daing more than the golf itself. The golf just being an instrument to evacuate any food that might take up precious space set aside for the LZM feast.

    Your articles are always entertaining and a pleasure to spend time on.

    Jul 20, 2007 | 7:40 am


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