Just when you thought Filipino food couldn’t get any more exciting beyond the sizzle of sisig on a hot iron plate, The Bistro Group cooks up a homegrown restaurant concept that is sure to enkindle one’s appetite for Pinoy cuisine.
Opening its doors at the 3rd level of Greenbelt 3, SIKLAB forays into the array of Filipino restaurants in the metro, offering local comfort food that are expected to be a notch or two higher.
|Siklab opens its doors at the 3rd level of Greenbelt 3|
What’s in a name?
With a restaurant name that literally means “to catch fire” or “burst into flames,” the dishes served here are in their best hot-off-the-grill goodness like the staple Filipino Chicken Barbecue which happens to be one of the restaurant’s “must-try” items on the menu. Guests can also look forward to nothing less than an explosion of flavors even in the most simple of dishes.
|Siklab’s Chicken Barbecue is a bestseller|
“At Siklab, the story doesn’t end with serving all-Filipino dishes but we present these dishes creatively, the Bistro way,” Chef Josh Boutwood says. “Both usual favorites and some unique Filipino dishes will be served with interesting twists. The taste, however, is still traditionally Filipino — but richer and more flavorful,” he further hints.
The restaurant’s interiors are accented with wooden planks and black droplights that lend a laidback, almost rustic vibe to the place. But it’s this homey and inviting ambiance that heightens the dining experience at Siklab, creating just the right kind of setting for a satisfying meal.
Flavorful Filipino food fare
Choosing what dish to order from Siklab’s menu might prove to be a challenge as all items – from salads and appetizers, to entrees and desserts – are delicious and worth second servings.
Chef Josh personally recommends the star of the menu, the Chicken Barbecue. Chicken pieces are smothered in Siklab’s marinade made of coconut soy sauce, citrus and other spices and the meat is grilled to exact temperature and tenderness. The smokey aroma and intense flavor of the chicken plus its juiciness and succulence, bite after bite, will delight even the most discerning palate.
Salads are prepared with fresh ingredients that are truly Filipino: salted eggs, green mangoes, pako, kesong puti and grated coconut. Greens are the leafy malunggay and kangkong as well as other vegetables that make up dishes like Pakbet, Pako Salad and Monggo Soup. For appetizer, Kuhol Sa Gata (local escargot drenched in coconut cream and spicy ingredients) is a winner.
|Kuhol Sa Gata, local escargot drenched in coconut cream and spicy ingredients|
For entrees, the barbequed Liempo, a slab of perfectly grilled juicy pork belly best eaten with piping hot steamed rice and condiments on the side, is a crowd favorite. The adventurous eater may order Grilled Pig’s Ears, a not-your-usual grilled fare but equally tasty and enjoyable. A healthier alternative is the Tuna Belly, a juicy and tender chunk of tuna sprinkled with chilis and garlic.
|The tender chunk of Tuna Belly, sprinkled with chilis and garlic|
Of course, what’s Filipino cuisine without the usual highlights: Bulalo, Molo Soup and Sinigang na Baka. Perfect for any kind of weather, these flavorful stews complement the grilled items on the menu.
Meanwhile, skewered beef and pork specialties are not to be passed up if only for Siklab’s signature basting sauce. “Roasted seafood are dipped in blended soy sauce and lemongrass, while beef, pork and poultry are brushed with a tomato-based basting—all rich and homemade barbecue basting,” Chef Josh explains.
Desserts at Siklab are mostly childhood favorites prepared in a playful way. If you enjoy a slice of sweetened glutinous rice or sweetened banana in your younger years, then you will surely love Siklab’s versions of Caramelized Banana and Biko. Even the ordinary Turon 2.0 becomes fancier as it comes adorned with homemade sugar snap cones and topped with banana ice cream with banana compote.
As part of Bistro Group’s portfolio of restaurant concepts, Siklab carries the same brand of customer service, great food and friendly ambiance that the chain is known and loved for. In the local food scene, Siklab distinguishes itself as a blazing new venue where families, friends, expats, urban professionals and balikbayans can enjoy an authentic Pinoy dining experience – proof that Filipino dishes are definitely worth dining for.