There are two things you’ll definitely find in all the tiny island towns of The Philippines: pork and karaoke. Sizzling Fillo might look a little dated, but it serves only the most popular and delicious Filipino staples, these included.
Try crispy pata, a mound of fatty pork-leg chunks with luscious centres and layers of skin that audibly snap. It’s served with a dipping sauce made from a mixture of common Filipino seasonings, vinegar, garlic and soy. Although commonly served in restaurants in the Philippines, it’s usually reserved for special occasions. At Sizzling Fillo it’s on almost every table. The karaoke is open all day on Saturday or by special request.
Vinegar is central to most dishes in the Philippines, either for preserving, as a marinade or a tabletop condiment alongside soy and banana sauce. The banana sauce, made with pureed bananas, vinegar, sugar and spices, looks and tastes remarkably like ketchup. Like vinegar and soy, it can be poured over almost anything, but it’s particularly good with the charcoal barbequed pork skewers or the sizzling plates.
The sizzling plates are salty, sour and intensely savoury. Tapa, cured meat crisply grilled with carrot strands, is usually eaten for breakfast with rice. Sisig, a mixture of raw egg yolk, pork head meat, crackling and spices is a common beer accompaniment. They’re both ubiquitous in the Philippines for good reason, they’re so basically enjoyable, and a perfect match for the human palate.