22 Nov2010

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Recently, a reporter for the food section of a well-known international newspaper asked for my opinion regarding the “single best dish” that I would pick right now in Manila, for a possible feature in her paper along with other favorites from around the region. I presumed this meant (1) a Filipino dish (2) at a readily accessible restaurant (as she wanted to know where and how much) (3) that would be palatable to local and the foreign readers of the newspaper and their well-read website as well. I responded that I didn’t eat out that much and perhaps wasn’t the best person to ask, but when pressed, I knew exactly which dish I was going to mention.

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Mrs. MM’s and my current obsession is Mamou’s Kurobuta Pork Sinigang… it is wonderful! We make pork sinigang at home all the time, but let me tell you, this restaurant version consistently blows our socks off, despite it oddly being a little bit different every time we seem to order it… We had it when it was in the “testing” phase, or the “hmmm, what do you think, maybe it will make it to our menu stage” and it was thick and sludgy with taro root and you practically needed a knife to work your way through it. Then recently, we have had it where it is a little more orange, possible from having riper tomatoes in it, and the pork appears to have been pre-caramelized in some cases. Whatever the method, the result is worthy of mention, and I guess you will have to try it for yourself to see if you are a fan or indifferent…

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I should mention that I know the owners of Mamou and consider them good friends, so you can take this endorsement with a grain of salt. But if you have any doubts, and eat at Mamou anyway, tear yourself from your regular favorite dish and try this one. Just the right hint of sourness. A thickened broth. Enough veggies to balance the guilt. Nice pieces of the justifiably famous Japanese pork (though these pigs raised in America). I have it with red rice, probably to mitigate pangs of fatty guilt, but I imagine it is great with white rice as well.

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And if the restaurant is full, just order take out and pig-out in the comfort of your own home. :)

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While I sent my pick and photos to the newspaper in question, it seems the article may not push through, or at least my pick won’t be published as I did not agree to have my real name used. Serious papers probably think it’s absurd to print “Marketman recommends…” sort of along the lines of “Batman drives the Batmobile himself, no chauffer to park the oversized winged vehicle in tight mall parking spots… (imagine what a spectacle it is when he tries to load premium gasoline at a self-service station)…” :) At any rate, if you were wondering what to have for lunch or dinner during the cool days before and during the Christmas holidays, try Mamou’s sinigang. Gosh, I hope this means they ramp up sinigang production or I will get a “Sir, out of stock” answer the next time I visit. :)

A previous post on Kurobuta pig’s jowls/cheeks, here.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. tipat says:

    Thanks for the recommendation MM… looks like I’ll be asking hubs to eat at Mamou when we celebrate our wedding anniversary. :-)

    Nov 22, 2010 | 10:38 am

     
  2. Rona Y says:

    Mmmmmm. . . pork! What makes that look particularly good is that the vegetables don’t seem to be overcooked–a common problem with Filipino dishes!

    By the way, I think it’s supposed to be “kurobuta”–“buta” is Japanese for “pig” (“kuro” is “black”).

    Nov 22, 2010 | 10:49 am

     
  3. sleepless in Seattle says:

    Soo Good!! My Hubby and I dine out a lot, albeit, a lot good place to eat here in Seattle and Portland area,its really hard to find a good Pilipino Diner,wish we can fly home soon!! so we can dine at Mamou,but we have to wait till summer):

    Nov 22, 2010 | 1:11 pm

     
  4. happyman says:

    Mmmm… looks so yummy…cold rainy day, steamed milagrosa rice and a bowl of sinigang.

    BTW should the word be ‘he’ or ‘she’ under the line “… accessible restaurant (as the wanted to know…”

    

    Nov 22, 2010 | 1:11 pm

     
  5. Marketman says:

    happyman, thanks for catching that, poor editing on a rapidly written post. Rona Y, thanks so much for that, have edited the post and my brain, which was steadfastly sticking to the wrong spelling… geez, I probably gave the newspaper the wrong spelling as well… Oddly, I had it mostly right on my first post on kurobuta. :(

    Nov 22, 2010 | 2:00 pm

     
  6. Mila says:

    Hi MM, there’s another spelling type: “Indifferent” (currently – “if you are a fan or indiffirent…”)

    Your Marketman/batman reference nearly made me spit out my milk tea in laughter.

    Is it just the lighting or does the sinigang look like kare kare to anyone else? Times like this I really miss home.

    Nov 22, 2010 | 3:27 pm

     
  7. Trin says:

    WOW, MM! There’s even a tiny sawsawan (of bagoong?) on the side!

    And is that a little sprig of cilantro in the soup?

    I’m thinking of a Pinoy thanksgiving menu to give some pork-deficient friends their monthly dose of taba.

    Soup course is down to either this sinigang or corn & clam soup.

    This blog is a treasure trove of entertaining ideas!

    Thanks!
    :-)

    Nov 22, 2010 | 4:12 pm

     
  8. Anything Under the Sun says:

    Thank you for sharing. You’re the best.

    Nov 22, 2010 | 4:20 pm

     
  9. KUMAGCOW says:

    I guess I’ll be spending my birthday in BHS! =)

    Nov 22, 2010 | 4:33 pm

     
  10. eD says:

    ‘Was watching “The Next Iron Chef” finale on the food channel tonight and got introduced to a new ingredient chosen for chef Ming Tsai: “Mangalitsa Pork” — sourced from a lardy-type breed of pig (more info here). One article says it’s like the Kobe Beef of pork because its meat is well marbled and has a red color (read more here) … so I’m just really curious to find out how good it is.

    For now though, I’m willing to settle for a steamy bowl of Ramen noodle soup with some Kurobuta meat toppings when I have my lunch tomorrow :). But yeah, I’ll try and find some Kurobuta meat and cook a sinigang version of it one of these days. Thanks for this post.

    Nov 22, 2010 | 5:01 pm

     
  11. Marketman says:

    eD, yes, I have heard of Mangalitsa, but have never tried it. KUMAGCOW, sorry, BHS? Anything Under the Sun, thank you for returning again and again. Trin, you realize I know all too well what “pork-deprived friends” means… we “lived” in Indonesia for several years… Mila, thanks for that, edited. I am sure many folks wonder why I don’t write my posts in word first and copy to wordpress so I can spell check. The reason is I visually have to keep referring to the imbedded photos to decide what to write next. I am glad regulars pick up the most obvious mistakes…thanks.

    Nov 22, 2010 | 5:08 pm

     
  12. www.triportreats.com says:

    Market Man:

    Question: Do you use external light source for your photos? if you, which would you recommend that’s handy and can be brought to a resto. I don’t want to hit flash but I also don’t want an umbrella of a reflector.

    Your photos are fantastic!

    Ciao
    ToT

    Nov 22, 2010 | 6:34 pm

     
  13. Marketman says:

    ToT, funny you should ask that. For these photos, it was overcast and raining lightly, so the natural light was already bad to begin with. So when I set up to take the photos, I specifically asked to be seated outdoors, just under an awning, to get the most natural light possible. Otherwise, my indoor restaurant photos are almost always substandard/horrific as I try to NEVER use a flash inside a restaurant.

    Nov 22, 2010 | 6:45 pm

     
  14. jonathan salas says:

    well the food looks delightful and delicioso at far, what is the basic concept here is it a filipino dish with a twist of……hopefully it would be not that diverse from its original taste because the sinigang term itself makes it really a very typical and favorite filipino dish…hopw to do it im our own kitchen…more great meals….

    Nov 22, 2010 | 7:12 pm

     
  15. Junb says:

    Look nice and I’m sure it taste good as evident on the ingredients. This should be able to compete with Asian soup such as Tom yam and Assam.

    Nov 22, 2010 | 7:52 pm

     
  16. Tricia says:

    I saw this kurubota pork sinigang on Mamou’s menu but haven’t tried it yet. Will eat there this week! Can’t wait :))

    Nov 22, 2010 | 9:14 pm

     
  17. Marketman says:

    Oh, I think I should mention that the photo isn’t of one normal serving, I think that is a double portion. I state that because I don’t want readers to be surprised when they get a smaller bowl when they order it. I can’t recall the price right now, but it is very reasonably priced for a single serving.

    Nov 22, 2010 | 9:16 pm

     
  18. chreylle says:

    mm, whats the other dish beside the sinigang? it is bagoong or the red rice? just curious

    Nov 22, 2010 | 10:46 pm

     
  19. tonceq says:

    wow! if looks alone could kill then this sinigang would be convicted of multiple homicide (with bagoong on the side, hehe!) thanks again for sharing MM! will try this out if we get the chance! :)

    Nov 22, 2010 | 10:56 pm

     
  20. betty q. says:

    Hay, naku…guess just have to content myself with home cooked version of this…but will definitely frequent Mamou when we go back home!

    CWID…if you want to make this one Sunday, Kurobota prok is available at Nikuya Meats in Richmond. They have a retail outlet though they are more of a wholesaler. I am going there this week-end to stock up. There could be other specialty stores but that is the only one I know off the top of my head at this very moment.

    Nov 23, 2010 | 2:46 am

     
  21. edee says:

    with all your post on mamou, it’s on my list of where to go/eat when we go home this xmas, can’t wait ….. we miss home so much !

    …… and sana ma-meet kita MM , any eyeballs planned around january ? :)

    Nov 23, 2010 | 3:24 am

     
  22. Ley says:

    Had a dinner meeting last month at a Thai restaurant in Serendra. When I saw Mamou just beside it, I was tempted to ask my clients to transfer but I realized it would be inappropriate:( Will definitely try Mamou next time I’m in Manila. Thanks MM!

    Nov 23, 2010 | 8:46 am

     
  23. joey says:

    This dish rocks…agree 100%! We love it too :)

    Nov 23, 2010 | 8:48 am

     
  24. millet says:

    MM, re KUMAGCOW’s “BHS” – i think he/she meant Bonifacio High Street.

    Nov 23, 2010 | 10:26 am

     
  25. cecille says:

    I can’t wait to try this out! Thanks MM.

    Nov 23, 2010 | 5:27 pm

     
  26. iFoodTrip says:

    thank you for the recommendation. I’m always visiting a friend in serendra and i’m always wondering what to eat there.

    Nov 24, 2010 | 12:06 am

     
  27. franz says:

    where’d you get the kurobuta? wahhh i want some. lol. berkshire pigs from the uk grown in japan.

    Nov 24, 2010 | 12:03 pm

     
  28. awi says:

    Hi MM– was in Manila over the weekend and had dinner at Terrace at 5th, where I had their absolutely stunning sinigang na lechon kawali. Aiya! So delicious.

    I don’t think they used Kurobuta meat, but the pork was pretty amazing, to say the least. And the broth was spectacular!! Malapot (I assume because of lots of gabi) and just the right asim.

    Nov 24, 2010 | 1:22 pm

     
  29. Raymund says:

    Wow that sinigang looks delicious, the king of all sinigangs!

    Nov 24, 2010 | 4:52 pm

     
  30. shalimar says:

    My ticket to the Philippines been booked, confirmed , paid… oh well might as well visit this place ;-)

    Nov 25, 2010 | 4:19 am

     
  31. Marketman says:

    shalimar, are you going to be in Cebu at any point?

    Nov 27, 2010 | 9:59 am

     
  32. Joy says:

    That looks great. I have never heard of that before.

    Nov 28, 2010 | 11:00 am

     
  33. chibi says:

    hi, just want to share that yes, the Kurobuta Pork Sinigang made it to the feature article =)

    http://blogs.wsj.com/scene/2010/11/30/bloggers-pick-the-best-asian-food/tab/slideshow/

    Nov 30, 2010 | 1:46 pm

     
  34. iFoodTrip says:

    Tried it last Sunday and it was excellent! I’m dreaming of it right now. Thanks Marketman for sharing it.

    Nov 30, 2010 | 5:56 pm

     
  35. Marketman says:

    chibi, thank you very much for that bit of information, did a quick post on the WSJ feature… thanks.

    Nov 30, 2010 | 6:29 pm

     
  36. Angela says:

    It’s a very cold and rainy day in Seattle today. As my daughter would say, that bowl of soup looks “awesomely good”. It is warm and comforting enough to chase the chills away.

    Dec 1, 2010 | 5:31 am

     
  37. Hazel says:

    We just HAD to eat at Mamou after reading this. Ate there on Monday, and it was sooo good… :P The waitstaff said we were the first to order it that day (we had dinner at 8 or so), so I guess it’s not that popular yet? :)

    Dec 1, 2010 | 12:31 pm

     
  38. franz says:

    mmmmm….mamou….. dry aged beef, and now kurobuta? holy smokes!!!!

    kurobuta, pigs praised by the japanese like wagyu beef. originating from the UK. pigs called berkshire pigs that have descended directly from wild boar. awesome stuff.

    Dec 2, 2010 | 10:12 pm

     
  39. mari matsuo says:

    ask ko lang po kung saan ang address ng mamou (the kurobuta sinigang)kc po pupuntahan ko sa pag visit ko sa pinas is it in the phils.?

    Feb 6, 2011 | 8:49 pm

     
  40. Marketman says:

    mari, mamou is in the Serendra complex in Taguig (formerly Fort Bonifacio), Metro Manila.

    Feb 6, 2011 | 8:57 pm

     
  41. Mira says:

    Thanks for your recommendation! I always like to try the yummy Filippino food when I visit Philippines ;-) I am going next next Thursday! I can’t wait!!

    May 26, 2011 | 9:51 am

     
 

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