Episode 40: Celebrating the love for adobo with Adobo Connection

If there’s one Filipino dish that can be called a “national dish,” aside from lechon, it’s adobo. Adobo is the ultimate comfort food – it’s filling, delicious, and easy to prepare for feasts or packed lunch. It’s one of those dishes that evoke memories of home-style cooking and dining with one’s family and loved ones.

The traditional adobo recipe involves meat, seafood, or vegetables marinated in vinegar, peppercorn, bay leaves, soy sauce and garlic, after which it is browned in oil, and simmered. Other regions in the country have their own variations like adobong dilaw (with turmeric), adobo with mashed liver, and even adobong kamaru (crickets). No matter what version it is, adobo is simply loved everywhere.
In my continuing search for great food, I discovered a place that serves some of the best adobo here in Metro Manila, and that’s Adobo Connection.

Adobo Connection is the brainchild of business partners Meredith Ngo, Jerome Uy and Kellda Centeno. Their dream to spread the love for this truly Filipino dish inspired them to open this restaurant chain.

The business was first launched on November 2010 in Makati. Now with over 20 branches and more to come, it takes pride in serving some of the best adobo varieties in the country and other Filipino food at affordable prices.

Adobo Connection recently opened its newest branch at Robinson’s Forum, reaching out to office workers, students, and other busybodies in the area. Despite being in a mall setting, the restaurant’s ambience reminds one of eating at home with your family on a weekend.

There’s something in the menu that will suit anyone’s taste. Among their best-sellers is their Chicken Adobo sa Gata, hailed as “Ang pinakamasarap na adobo in the Metro” (the most delicious adobo in the Metro) in a blind taste test by GMA News TV.

Kuya’s Fried Chicken Adobo is for adobo lovers who want their dish dry with that extra flavor and crunch in every bite. Those who want to nurse their sweet tooth will enjoy Mama’s Sweet Chicken Adobo, chicken with a sweet and tangy adobo flavor.

Then there’s the newly launched Lola’s Classic Adobo, the traditional savory recipe everybody grew up with. Add to that their unlimited rice and you’re in for a great meal. Of course, you can order your adobo with pork, chicken, or both!

You can also find contemporary adobo-style dishes like Adobo Flakes, Fish and Tofu Adobo, Adobo Pao, and the all-in-one meal Adobo Rice.

Add in some of their Filipino favorites to make your meal more special, like Gising-Gising, Beef and Vegetable Kare-Kare, Sizzling Sisig, and Leche Flan or Flan Turon for dessert.

The best thing about Adobo Connection is that it’s open for franchising to anyone who’s interested in traditional Filipino food, and who hopes to develop this love into a business venture.

There’s surely an Adobo Connection branch nearby that will satisfy your cravings for home-cooked food. It’s definitely a great place to enjoy all things Filipino and adobo. (If there isn’t one nearby, who knows, Adobo Connection may find its way into your neighborhood soon.)

For more information, visit:
For franchising and other inquiries, email: franchise@adoboconnection.com


Aikyatchi: Happy Birthday, Ryback!

Today is the birthday of WWE Superstar, Ryan Reeves, AKA Ryback. He’s become one of my favorite WWE wrestlers so far. If you’re following this blog’s Facebook page, you’d notice the Twitter hash tag #FeedMeMore. That’s his chant.

This massive wrestler from Las Vegas stands 6’3″, and weighs in at 291 lbs. He started out as a contestant in the WWE reality series “$1,000,000 Tough Enough” in 2004. After working with several wrestling outfits, he joined WWE in 2008, first under the ring name Skip Sheffield, and then under his current name Ryback.

His Twitter profile describes him thus: “A mental machine and a psycho for success, Ryback has arrived to do things nobody has ever dreamed possible. His life, his rules, there is no stopping Ryback.”

Ryback is known nowadays for his insatiable appetite for destruction, mowing down everyone in his way. Everyone he faced so far had been brutally laid low by his attacks and body slams. But during his stint at Tough Enough (he lost but still got a developmental contract), it was revealed that he also has an insatiable appetite… for food.

So that must be where his “Feed me more” chant came from!

It’s not surprising given the kind of build Ryback has. I guess the best explanation for this is that he has a very fast metabolism, which is good for him since he works out really hard. (It helps that not only did Ryback actually train in professional wrestling and other sports, but he also studied fitness management.) And as far as I know, fast metabolism = faster burning of calories = weight loss = less fat = more muscle.

Anyway, as a tribute to this hungry (food-wise and fame-wise) wrestler, I made this music video featuring his theme music. Now that I think about it, this is probably the one thing people who work out shouldn’t do to boost their metabolism: all-you-can-eat buffets. (Okay, maybe once in a while, but still.)

I wish Ryback would come visit the Philippines. We’d love to see him in action, and he’d love to try out our local cuisine.

Happy birthday, Ryback!

Side Story: How to eat Pho

As I said before, Vietnamese cuisine is one of the healthiest in the world. The Vietnamese always cook with fresh ingredients. They use sauces, herbs and spices in everything. Seafood and vegetable dishes are aplenty. Oil is sparingly used. Every meal is nutritious, filling, and complete.

And then there’s pho.
Pho is a noodle soup dish made of clear broth, rice noodles, meat, and garnishes like spring onions, bean sprouts, and herbs. Varieties include beef pho, chicken pho, and pho tai (pho topped with sliced raw beef). It’s a complete dish with the right balance of flavors and ingredients. It is also a popular street food enjoyed anytime of the day.
This noodle dish originated in northern Vietnam in the early 20th century. It was sold by vendors from large boxes, until the first pho restaurant opened in the 1920s in Hanoi.

Pho was originally served only with noodles and beef, but variations were created when it was brought to South Vietnam. It was, in turn, introduced worldwide by refugees of the Vietnam War.

Pho was listed at number 28 on CNN GO’s “World’s 50 most delicious foods” in 2011. It is called the national dish of Vietnam, and recognized as a delicacy that “represents the heart and soul of the Vietnamese people.”
I realized that pho is to Vietnam what lugaw is to the Philippines. Never mind what people say about lugaw being a poor man’s soup dish. Both are street food and night food, they are served everywhere, they can be served plain and simple or flavored with the garnish of choice. Both are filling, invigorating, and delicious.
It’s really interesting to see how the cuisines of two different countries can cook up something so similar, yes?
One does not simply slurp and sip his way through a bowl of pho. Pho enthusiasts say there’s a proper way to eat and enjoy this dish.

Pho Fever gives us these tips:

Step One: Season your pho
Sample the broth. If the broth is a little bland to your taste, add a dash of fish sauce. Next, add a sprinkle of black pepper and squeeze a wedge of lemon or lime.


Step Two: Add herbs and sprouts
Add a handful of beansprouts to your pho. Add some Thai basil leaves. Add three to four slices of chili pepper if you want it spicy (or throw everything in if you dare). You may also add coriander, saw herb, onions, or cilantro if available. Remember to submerge everything and any piece of beef that are still pink in the broth.
Step Three: Prepare dipping
Squeeze some hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce into a small saucer (add less sriracha if you don’t like it too spicy). Mix the two sauces together. Your mileage may vary on whether you will add hoisin or sriracha to the broth.
Step Four: Get ready to eat!
Use your chopsticks and spoon to evenly mix all the ingredients in your bowl. Pair pieces of meat with Thai basil, saw herb or a slice of chili, and dip into the dipping mixture. Remember to eat your noodles, meat, and broth alternately.
Step Five: ATTACK!

Admittedly, I haven’t really eaten in any Vietnamese restaurant around Metro Manila. So if you spot a good place where I can enjoy pho and other Vietnamese dishes, tell me so I could see for myself how good it is, okay?