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Dundee Delicious

6 months ago

Dundee Delicious

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Look through The Glass Jar and find yourself sampling some crocodile meat.

 

Words by Angeli De Rivera

Photographed by Ed Simon of Studio 100

 

Crocodile meat—now that’s something I don’t have on my dining table every day. I once read somewhere that eating crocodile meat is a great protein option with lots of health benefits. But as much as there’s enthusiasm in eating food that could be good for you, the idea of consuming something that can scare the lights out of you (when it was still alive) is a bit unnerving.

We found ourselves in The Glass Jar, which is located on the second floor of the Wilcon IT Hub in Pasong Tamo Extension. The restaurant looks quaint and relaxed, the perfect place where you can take a break after running your house errands. By night, it transforms into a watering hole offering mixed drinks and good eats to office workers looking for a nightcap after a long day of work.

Once you get to check out the menu though, you’ll be surprised: The Glass Jar’s house specialty is its line of crocodile meat dishes. One thing you’ll notice though is how the crocodile meat is transformed into just about any comfort food we know like Southern-style pulled pork, barbecue, chili con carne, chorizo, kebabs, and even bacon. The Glass Jar owner Careen Belo gives the best explanation to describe this unique meat,

“The best feature of crocodile meat is that it, takes on whatever flavor you put on it which makes any cuisine fit perfectly.”

If it were up to Careen, she would even recommend adding the exotic meat to one’s regular diet. “It’s white meat and low in fat. You can actually see that [the meat] doesn’t have a lot of fat nor marbling in-between,” Careen explains, “the fat itself is high in omega-3, 6, and 9, which is actually good for the heart!” The crocodile meat used in the restaurant is supplied by Coral Agri-Venture Farm Inc., which is internationally certified, guaranteeing the quality of the meat.

In charge of the croc creations is Chef Allen Levanza who learned about the versatility of the meat when he came onboard as head chef of The Glass Jar. From grilling to frying, smoking to sous vide, Chef Allen has cooked crocodile meat in so many ways—and the results are impressive, not to mention fun and tasty.

Our first croc dish was the Greek Spanakopita. The tiny triangle filo bites stuffed with a combination of spinach, mozzarella, and braised crocodile meat filling were juicy and flavorful. Another definite crowd-pleaser is the Carbonara with linguini noodles tossed in light cream sauce that’s cooked with croc bacon then topped with a perfectly poached egg—both dishes certainly got us excited for the next ones to come.

Greek Spanakopita

Greek Spanakopita

Carbonara

Carbonara

For the breakfast lovers do try the Baconsilog. This big plate of sunshine consists of strips of croc bacon fried with tempura batter for extra crunch, java rice, sunny side-up egg, and a side of veggie slaw that can fill you up for the day. But for the adventurous bunch, be sure to order the Southern-style Croc Platter which could easily feed a group of three. Plated on a wide chopping board, it includes a serving of the following specialties: barbecued crocodile ribs, slices of croc chorizo, the six hour- braised “pulled croc”, croc bacon, and a bowl of chili con croc. Don’t forget to pair each viand with the amazing bibingka bread toasted with mozzarella and quick melt cheese.

For those who opt to skip the croc creations, The Glass Jar also offers other comfort food favorites. The Shrimp Pomelo Salad is great for those looking for a light yet flavorful option with its assorted greens, tangy pomelo bits, and smoky grilled shrimps tossed in a lovely Asian cilantro dressing. Fair warning to those who will order the Bulalo Wings—those things are nuclear hot! Don’t forget to dip them in the savory blue cheese sauce and wash them down with a mug of ice-cold beer.

Buffalo Wings

Buffalo Wings

One of the resto’s best-sellers is the 24-Hour Bone-in Pork Belly and it is downright delicious. Marinated for 24 hours, this lovely piece of pork is grilled to perfection and plated on a bed of fluffy java rice with a side of French beans, corn, and salsa.

Eating crocodile meat can be intimidating, but looking back, after trying out the dishes in The Glass Jar, I think it’s best to just throw the skepticism away and dig in. I’m happy I did.


The Glass Jar

2F Wilcon IT Hub

2251 Chino Roces Avenue, Pasong Tamo Ext.

Bangkal, Makati City

(02) 802-4703

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