Sartin: experience three flavors in one plate!

Last weekend I was in Tagaytay City upon the invitation of Sartin Filipino restaurant.  Sartin is a newly-opened Filipino restaurant located at the ground floor of the Summit Ridge hotel in Tagaytay City.

Sartin prides itself in offering authentic flavors from the Visayan isles, Kapampangan plains and the Southern Tagalog.

Sartin got its name from the tin plates and mug. Originally it was taken from biscuit cans our grandmothers grew up with known as SALTINE.

Later on the word got changed to SARTIN and now refers tin plates and mugs.

The foods in Sartin (restaurant) is basically Filipino. Nothing fancy.  It’s simple cooked the right way. That’s how the beauty of s sartin plate is. It’s plain and simple. Nothing fancy.

Upon arrival we were served with tsokolate. A perfect compliment to the cool climate of Tagaytay. The hot chocolate is not too sweet.

Then comes the best part. You know what’s next!

First to arrive is apan apan. Then escabeche na mahi mahi.

I was a bit caught off guard when we’re served with apan apan. It’s a lowly Ilonggo Heritage Dish. Made with blanched kangkong and flavored with ginamos. This humble dish had some makeover to make it more pleasing and palatable. Instead of just the ginamos, pork liempo is also added for flavor and extra crunch.

Next to be served is the classic Ilonggo soup KANSI. i was screaming with delight when I saw the piping hot bowl served in front of us.  Kansi  is somewhat similar to bulalo. Except thst kansi has a hint of sourness mainly due to Batwan  a souring agent fruit common in the Visayas.  The broth is ilso yellowish in color mainly due to the added anatto seeds.  A real deal kansi uses beef shanks and the prized part? The bone marrow.  The meat  is then boiled for hours to achieve that fork tender consistency.

And what’s an Ilonggo fiesta without VALENCIANA? we were served in one small paellera full of fancy stuff. Valenciana is Ilonggo’s version of the popular Spanish dish paella Madrilña. Our version at home though uses simple ingredients like chicken bits liver bell peppers boiled eggs for decór. Our has no seafoods. But sartin version has mussels shrimps and everything else. We dont use saffron to color our rice. We use KALAWAG or turmeric to make it yellow. And it is much drier. Sartins version is much like of a risotto consistency. But the flavor is the same though.

Another Ilonggo classic served to us is the CARNE FRITA. carne frita is somewhat similar to the Tapa of Metro Manila it’s  thinly sliced beef deeply marinated cooked in soy sauce and calamansi. It is served with a little sauce just enough for the rice.

We were then able to sample some flavors of the Kapampangan plains like the heritage dish Quilayin.  It is somewhst similar to the popular dish sisig, but this one uses pork lungs and offals. A perfect beer match, I must say.

Another dish served is escabeche na Mahi mahi.. Escabeche is somewhat similar to the Chinese Sweet and Sour. Not sure though what’s the difference. But escabeche prides itself to have come from the Southern Tagalog region. I love the fesh zesty and tangy flavor of the sauce, knowing that I am not really a big fan of sour foods. This is a big hit!

The highlight of our lunch is the pritong ulo ng baboy. It’s so good. Not much fat. Well marinated. The mear is oh-so-tender And the crunch of the skin resembles that of a chicharon. Truly divine!

And to cap our fiesta, we had tibok tibok. Its a Kapampangan dessert flan made entirely of pure carabao’s milk. It’s soft and gooey and not too sweet. Just think of maja blanca.

It was truly a wonderful lunch experience despite the cold weather. And as what they say, we got to experience three island flavors in one Sartin Plate!

Manamit. Mayaman. Masarap!

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