Tummy Picks : Red’s Fish Heads
When the weather sends you drizzles of rain and gloomy skies, all you will ever find yourself thinking about is food and sleep. This was proven true by my family and well, we chose food on one rainy Saturday. We went out looking for lunch to kickstart our weekend and since we live near the famous Lilac Street of Marikina, we thought, why not try that little restaurant that has that big sign: “If you’re crazy for freshness. FRESHEST SALMON ULO-ULO”.
Let me tell you this though, this “ulo-ulo” sign did not sound entirely enticing to my daughters before but when I told them that the resto had other dishes for sure and it was just sinigang, they were all onboard. I recall that every time we would pass by this place for dinner, there would be too many people dining and many more waiting, not to mention the issue with parking. Opportunity presented itself on this slow Saturday lunch service so we plopped ourselves down happily at their booth table.
First thing I noticed was the interior. There isn’t one theme in terms of decor but the place was very well lit, no fuss, simple dining experience was what’s expected.
Staff was very friendly and provided a simple old school menu for us to choose from. We opted for their house specialty: “Sinigang na Ulo ng Salmon” (Salmon Fish Head in Sour Soup) which you can choose to have as sampaloc or miso -based. I remember my dad taught me to always have fish head sinigang with miso only so that’s what I went for. When this soup dish came out, boy was I surprised! It was so delicious with the right amount of sourness + saltiness and did not have that funky fishy aftertaste (malansa, bes, in Filipino). It’s priced at only Php195 which is sooo cheap for its flavorful presentation. The fish head itself was fatty and had a lot of meat on it. Those who know how to eat fish head know how delicious the fatty part is that’s just below the gills. You know, the “sip-sip” factor is what you truly came for. One big salmon head was enough for me and the hubs while the kiddos enjoyed the soup and veggies.
Another dish we ordered was the Pinakbet. Their version had the bagoong in the middle of the dish so that when you mix the sauce unto the veggies, the bagoong would also find its way to the other ingredients. It was amazing! It had crispy lechon kawali for its toppings and yes, it danced beautifully with the vegetables. For someone who doesn’t like pinakbet, I think they just converted me then and there. If only it was always cooked like this at home, haha.
My daughter opted for grilled cheesy squid which shocked me to have a pricetag of Php300+. But as soon as it arrived, I was happy to see it was actually 2 stuffed squids making it a big yes in my frugality mental notebook. The cheese was oozing out of the squid and the stuffing mixture made it even more savory with the right amount of charcoal burnt taste. It was grilled to perfection and the texture was not tough to eat at all, unlike some grilled squids elsewhere wherein they usually overcook it, gets really chewy and instantly makes me regret my order.
They have many other dishes that we have yet to try like my fave Pesang Dalag, Gising-gising and even exotic ones like the Kalderetang Kambing. I also saw bottles of bagoong, spiced vinegar, atsara and pickled veggies up for sale in one corner of the restaurant.
It’s safe to say we enjoyed our meal tremendously, left with super full tummies and the hot soup cured our lazy bodies from the gloomy weather. I’m just dumbfounded why we didn’t go here earlier, like, seriously upon opening day. LOL.
Final Tummy Verdict: 4.25/5
’til our next tummy picks… c’est la vie!
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