Filled and Fulfilled: Empacho

10 months ago

Empacho Lechon Belly

Have you ever had a meal where you can’t seem to stop eating even if you’re already full? We’ve all had experience—and we know exactly where to have your gluttony game on.

Empacho is the latest go-to pig out place in Tomas Morato. As you step inside the restaurant, you’ll be welcomed by a relaxed atmosphere, perfect for families or barkadas who wanted to catch up over good food. Their menu reflects this communal attitude as each dish is large enough to feed a crowd. As co-owner Paolo Barlis points out, “[Empacho’s] servings are big enough to keep you wanting more but you can’t also. It tastes so good so [you] get what you paid for.”

Salads are usually recognized as light fare, but Empacho still managed to make their portions big and indulgent. The Ultimate Empacho Salad, for example, can easily be shared among your friends or can easily fill you up if you eat it on your own. Crisp, fresh vegetables highlight the dish while the addition of sliced green mangoes and pickled red onions gives the salad an irresistible tang. The salad is then topped with roasted pork belly chunks for an indulgent touch, while the spicy calamansi dressing maintains the taste of freshness and helps marry all the flavors together.

Ultimate Empacho Salad

Their Ultimate Empacho Salad would make you feel a little guilty because of the fried pork chunks

First-time balut eaters would be able to get over their inhibitions with Empacho’s Balut Tempura since each serving is deep-fried with a crispy tempura batter. It is then paired with salted egg aioli that helps round out the flavors. Balut lovers and newbies alike would probably not be able to stop munching on this street-style bar chow.

Empacho Balut Tempura

This Balut Tempura is perfect even for balut newbies!

Pork is the star of the inuman table and what better than starting with the ubiquitous inuman classic, Tokwa’t Baboy. Instead of drowning the tofu and pork cubes in soy-vinegar sauce, Empacho elevated this dish by serving crispy chicharon bagnet bits on top of huge breaded tofu cubes. Each serving is placed on a pool of their housemade special sauce. The Empacho Special Sauce tastes similar to the usual soy-vinegar sauce but made with a hint of sweetness to balance out the flavors of the sauce.

Empacho's Tokwa't Baboy: A different take on the inuman classic

Empacho’s Tokwa’t Baboy: A different take on the inuman classic

Some would probably have bagnet as pulutan or some crispy pata, but Empacho gives us the best of both worlds with their Bagnet Crispy Pata. Everyone in the table would probably race against each other to get a pinch (or more!) of this marinated pork knuckle that is deep-fried until the skin gets its irresistible crunch. Served with Empacho’s Special Sauce, all you need are bottles of beer and you’re all set.

Another lively pork dish is the Empacho’s Lechon Belly . This lechon variation is flavored with lemongrass and other secret herbs and spices that’s been stuffed in the middle of the rolled pork belly. No dips necessary for this crispy porky delight, but if you still prefer a sauce to go with it, have some tangy sinamak on the side that’s made in-house.

One of our favorites would definitely be the Crispy Pork Kare-kare. The deep-fried salted pork chunks makes for the crispiest kare-kare meat we’ve ever had. Their sauce is also a stand out because Empacho made their decadent sauce from two main ingredients: peanuts and cashews.

Empacho also serves pasta dishes made with a local take. The Spicy Laing Carbonara Pasta, for example, gives the Italian carbonara a Bicolano twist using the creamy and spicy laing. Already packed-full of flavors, the laing pasta is even topped with crispy pork sisig to give the dish more dimension.

Another pasta dish on the menu that deserves a mention would be the Soft Shell Crab Aligue Pasta. Al dente spaghetti noodles are tossed on a creamy aligue-based sauce. To finish, it is then crowned with a generous portion of battered soft-shell crab.

Soft Shell Crab Aligue Pasta

You don’t need to go to the beach to get a taste of this Soft Shell Crab Aligue Pasta

Still have space for dessert? Then go for the Kamias Cheesecake. Though creamy and velvety in texture, the highlight is its zesty flavor sourced from the local kamias fruit. The nutty crunchy praline crust then adds a nice contrast in every bite.

kamias cheesecake

Who would have thought that kamias would fit well in a cheesecake?

To best explain why Empacho should be your next pigout place, part-owner Rocky Lubrico has the best answer: “If you are looking for a place to overeat, Empacho is the perfect place. Our ultimate goal is to serve the best-tasting comfort food because it’ll instantly recall you of your childhood. We are serving food that will remind you of home.”


Crispy Tokwa’t Baboy (P350)

Balut Tempura (P350)

Spicy Laing Carbonara Pasta (P390)

Soft Shell Crab Aligue Pasta (P420)

The Ultimate Empacho Salad (P390)

Bagnet Crispy Pata (P550)

Empacho’s Lechon Belly (P790)

Crispy Pork Kare-Kare (P395)

Kamias Cheesecake (P180)



170 Tomas Morato Ave., Diliman, Quezon City

(02) 642-2676


Words by Yllaine Sabenecio

Photographed by Miguel Abesamis of Studio 100

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