Filipino Cuisine Throwback Thursdays at 1521

It's throwback Thursday in the Philippines today, and what a way to cherish it by featuring 1521, one
of the very best Filipino restaurants that I've tried just yet.
 
I assumed it's named 1521 after the year where a Spanish voyager named Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Philippines. Although the restaurant name definitely rings a bell, wait til' you visit 1521 at Burgos Circle in BGC, Taguig as you start your lunch/merienda/dinner with great friends and a good laugh.

 
1521 rediscovered Filipino cuisine like no other. Furnished with locally made furniture, with an interior design that boasts of modern Filipino Spanish times, you are in for a travel back in time. In-house music are of local Filipino folk singers, and the menu is but fantastically outlined with the Filipino sense of humor that we are most known for.

 
Simply put, 1521 put the fun with menu items! Are you in for some Bulalost for Words, Gata Get This Chick, Satay Kang Bata Ka and Talong Ranger, perhaps?
 

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The minute I walked inside 1521 and worked my way upstairs, I saw Senator Manny Villar and his family was just about to finish dinner. As I rested my tired legs from walking a few kilometers from the bus stop at BGC, I refreshed myself with 1521's fruity drink called Melon Melon Sinta.

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I didn't mind my famished self, because I can sense that a lot of dishes were in store for me tonight, as I tried the sumptuous food served to us by 1521. We started off with this appetizer called 'Dinamitang Keso', which has a double meaning if you have a Filipino tongue, as it can be either cheese 'dressed' in lumpia wrapper, or, as a 'dinamita', which is the tagalog word for dynamite. To shorten it, these are very creamy, hot and crunchy dynamite cheese sticks served with a tangy yet balancing mustard dip.

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I started off with Pinalutik na Inantala, which are freshly fried pork rind from their kitchen and served with three different kinds of sauces, made with buro, preserved kamias and sinamak (Iloilo's vinegar mixed in with chili and spices). Inantala, or interrupted in english, is what we define with the big crispy pork rinds. The technique here is to wrap it in mustard leaves, pick and put in whatever dip that you prefer, and eat it like a boss. The taste is exquisite but local. It reminds me of my family reunion in San Miguel Bulacan where I get to appreciate buro for the first time. Buro, by the way, is preserved cooked rice which is icky to look at but it basically adds the salty and tangy elements to the appetizer.

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Ka-musta-cat, is one of my favorite appetizers though. A salad made with fresh mustasa leaves (mustard greens), topped with eggplant, onions, tomatoes and crunchy catfish flakes and dressed in a thai inspired dressing. You can mix it in with the julienned green mangoes on the sides, and I can just eat this dish all by myself while no one was looking. The pungent taste of the mustasa pairs so well with the sweet tomatoes and eggplant, as well as provides an acid balance with the green mangoes. The taste is simply irresistible!

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I wasn't through with the first few appetizers and yet this other favorite of mine came on our table. Swak na Swak Chicharon Bulaklak is love...especially with beer! These are deep fried pork intestines which are not the usual, because of it's deep dark glazed color. It's marinated I assume, and it did not felt fatty to the tongue at all. It was uniquely sweet, and I loved it when it gets dipped in sinamak! If only I can say “beer please!” But they say that it's better when you eat it with a piece of preserved kamias. And yes, it did hit the spot. Just magnifico.

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Just when I thought I've had enough, it was then that I realized that I didn't get to start on the main courses yet! This really proves that 1521 serves up some mean servings, so I'm pretty positive you get more than what you are paying for.

And so we got to try the following at 1521: Talong Mo Kay Tulfo, Pochero ni Tankeko, and Binusog na Bangus with locally grown white rice. Sounds simple, eii? Why don't we discuss it one by one, shall we?
 
Talong Mo Kay Tulfo is not at all disappointing, and I am sure that this dish would just smack your tastebuds alive. Who would have thought that you can use sisig as replacement for ground beef for tortang talong? This dish is definitely the works. Although I, like all other torta dishes, really like eating it with banana ketchup, and 1521 understands me with this, because they serve this dish with it.
 
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Bonggang Bonggang Binagoongan is crispy pork pieces on a bed of shrimp paste based sauce and topped with green mangoes and green onions. The presentation is amazing. You can really tell that each dish is made with so much effort at 1521 that you can taste it. Although this one is not at all too salty, and it is actually cut through with the help of the green mangoes.

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1521's Pochero ni Tankeko is unique in its kind, because I only know Pochero as a tomato based dish and where veggies are most dominant. This dish, meanwhile, is heavy and filling, and served with Talong Ranger, which is a mashed eggplant with garlic and vinaigrette. For me, I think it's like a sweeter version of mechado, and the meat pieces are so big that it really took a lot of time to finish this with rice. Why the name Pochero ni Tankeko? It's actually named after one of the owners and chefs at 1521.

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Binusog na Bangus from 1521 is also not your usual stuffed bangus. Unlike my mother who usually stuffs the inside of the fish with an ample amount of tomatoes and onions, this one is basically smothered with the veggies, as well as green finger chilies and salted egg! I admit, I got the belly part first. Contrary to fatty beliefs, the fish belly is one of the tastiest and healthiest things that I know of.

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If you think that I'm done eating, think again! As they say, there is always room for dessert. But just in case there's no more room, find some!

I tried two from 1521's line of desserts, one is the Nilasing na Saging (Drunken Bananas). Banana cooked in syrup and a bit of booze. I'd really like this as a topping for vanilla ice cream. Refreshingly yummy and sweet!

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And what better way to end a Filipino meal than with a cup of coffee and some deep, golden brown 1521's Family Llanera Baked Leche Flan (egg custard)! This is everyone's favorite. Dense and heavy, sweet and tangy from the citrus zest on top, this capped off my night! It's perfectly cooked, without the scrambled egg taste that you usually get with other leche flans. And it's not light, I must warn you guys, but it's a good choice for dessert that's good for about 3 to 5 servings.

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Dining at 1521 is truly satusfying, and I highly recommend it to those who wanted to try Filipino food at its finest. You see, what's great about 1521 is that as much as possible, the medley of flavors should be present yet balanced. Call it a fiesta of flavors on your palate. That is how our very own Filipino cuisine is celebrated everyday at 1521. 

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1521 is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and late night drinks. Credit cards are accepted.
For more information, menu and promos, please like their page below and visit them soon!

1521's Official Facebook Page









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4 responses

  1. Ohh I sense rustic ambiance. :) Of all those treats, I think the bangus dish is most appetizing. How about the prices?

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    1. Prices are surprisingly affordable despite the fact that 1521 is located in the posh Burgos Circle area. A lot of the dishes range from P130.00 - P350.00, and the best thing about it is that most of their dishes are served family style, so it probably serves 2 to 3 per dish :))

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  2. the names of their dishes are quite catchy haha! serving looks big too.. i'd love to try that Bonggnag bonggang binagoongan :)

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    Replies
    1. They sure are! I really admire their creativity about the names that they have given to each dish. And yes most dishes have big servings, so don't hesitate to try 1521 soon.

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