Going Loco, Going Local: Locavore

10 months ago


Modern Pinoy at Locavore                                                                                                                                                                                                 


Words by Fatima Potenciano

Photographed by Ron Mendoza of Studio 100


THE METRO MANILA DINER IS INSATIABLE, ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A NEW CULINARY EXPERIENCE TO EXPAND HIS OR HER DISCERNING TASTES. However, a pleasant surprise is in store for those who seek new and exciting dining experiences, because the equation for a delicious meal doesn’t always have to come from far away. Locavore opened in Barrio Kapitolyo, Pasig City in October 2014, adding to the already glittering roster of Kapitolyo’s must-try food destinations.

The restaurant takes its name from a word that describes a diner who makes a conscious effort to eat food that is locally grown or produced and doesn’t require long distances to transport. The concept of “farm to table” features heavily at this restaurant, and understandably, Locavore specializes in Pinoy fare with a decidedly modern twist.

Chef Mikel Zaguirre is quick to point out that the food at Locavore is not fusion, however. “You need to be able to master a cuisine before you can start playing around with it.” The dishes Chef Mikel creates play around with local flavor, presented creatively, so you know that what you’re eating is still uniquely Pinoy. Living up to its name, Locavore’s ingredients are carefully selected and locally sourced and sustainable, from local farmers and fishermen. The condiments at each table are those you can find in any Pinoy’s kitchen, from the pinakurat vinegar to the patis and toyo. The cocktails served play around with local fruits and vegetables, such as calamansi and siling labuyo.

One of the more creative dishes to try at Locavore would be the Kare-Kare Wings. Inspired by Western buffalo wings, the Kare-Kare Wings are glazed with a sweet peanut sauce, and served alongside strips of fresh manggang hilaw and singkamas (with the requisite side of bagoong, of course). The show-stopping (and heart-stopping) Sugpo con Mayonesa is an heirloom recipe adapted from one of the co-owners. Fresh, fat tiger prawns float around in a rich sauce made with Japanese mayonnaise, aligue, garlic, and butter. It’s best to split this dish with someone, and pour the sauce over rice.

Another standout dish is the Sizzling Sinigang, essentially a play on Pinoy classics sizzling bulalo and sinigang. Fork-tender beef shortribs accompanied by sautéed haricot verts, a juicy confit of cherry tomatoes, shallots and garlic bulbs, covered with a tangy, sinigang-esque gravy make for a dish that is memorable and will have you fighting for the last scraps. The Lechon and Oyster Sisig is also another must-try, composed of fresh oysters and lechon bits fried to a crisp, covered with the traditional chicken liver sauce that makes sisig taste so good.

At the end of such a heavy meal at Locavore, it only makes sense to dive into their dessert menu. The Turon con Leche plays around with childhood favorite turon, jazzed up with a hint of rhum and made decadent with salted egg dulce de leche. Lastly, their Pandesal Pudding,a Pinoy version of traditional bread pudding served à la mode and practically drowned in dulce de leche, is a great way to end a meal at Locavore.

True to form, Locavore is doing great things to bring back the love of Pinoy food to the Manila dining scene, with its unique take on beloved dishes and flavors, because one doesn’t have to go far or go crazy trying to find an amazing meal.


Cook Chef Mikel Zaguirre’s dishes at home!

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