The next few posts will be a feature of some of the places that we ate when we went to visit my brother in South Cotabato. I needed a quick getaway and a visit to see them and binging out on food is like an easy way to get away for a long weekend.
First of all, General Santos City is the tuna capital of the Philippines. A lot of it are exported frozen, packed and canned. And like all places, the “trimmings” end up becoming specialties of these areas to be eaten by the locals And this is a prime example of that.
Apparently though, Tiongson eateries started out with only regular pork barbecues that can be found on every street corner of the country. But eventually, it expanded to include a lot of seafood, most especially what they call the pompano (or talakitok here in Manila), and the trimmings of the tuna which include the panga (jaw), belly (not fancy enough for sashimi), bihod and bagaybay (eggs and testicles), heads and eyes. We decided to go for half of those for this meal. The other half was for the next major meal.
For this time, we decided to have the steamed pompano, some grilled tuna panga, three orders of pork belly, sizzling bagaybay, some clams in soup, and some grilled squid. That is a lot of food for 4 adults. But we wanted to try all of it. I was already curious about the fish eyes at this point, but was more of scared than curious. Since they cook everything upon order, it took about 30 minutes of waiting. This is a rustic place, with no aircondition, plastic seats, smoked wafting through the area, etc. but of course that’s part of the experience (like hawker stalls in other countries).
We ended up attacking the food once it arrived! And goodness! Everything was delicious. My favorite from this place maybe the steamed pompano and the sizzling bagaybay. The clams too, but I want more clams than soup :)And the bill for all of that was only $30! For those fresh seafood, that was truly a steal! 🙂
I remember my brother suggesting this place before. But we had kids with us and couldn’t really handle too much variety. Unlike now that we only have one kid to take care of (who was happily eating a McDonald’s take out and playing with her Happy meal toy). I will go back to this place again! Surely!