My cover is officially blown.
For the longest time, I’ve dined quietly and made little critiques here and there of the restaurants I’ve visited and the dishes I’ve tried.
It helps that after almost five years, Unlimited Grub Grabs remains a virtual unknown in the food blogging community. (Seriously though, I’m having a hard time sustaining a food blogger’s lifestyle, but that’s another story.)
Despite being a food critic, I do have my favorites. One such place is Silly Labuyo, a small restaurant along the Greenfield District, just across Shangri-La Mall at Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong.
I usually eat my breakfast at Silly Labuyo when I have time to spare before work. My favorite meal there is the Crispy Bacon breakfast meal, with an extra order of garlic fried rice.
I’ve also tried their Corned Beef and Bangus breakfast meals, though in the end I still end up eating the Crispy Bacon. It helps that they serve free coffee with their breakfast meals, so it’s a fulfilling meal all in all. Besides, hello? Bacon?
At one point I made it a habit to have lunch as well at Silly Labuyo. I frequently ordered their Bulalo Batangas, a big, hearty bowl of the classic beef bulalo, or the Atomic Chicken, the devastatingly crispy grandchild of the crispy fried chicken. The bulalo soup is thick and beefy, while the chicken is crunchier and more appetizing than your usual chicken meal.
I’ve also tried their Lamb Stew, the fatty and juicy cousin of the typical caldereta (besides, lamb), Adobong Kambing, and the saucy and tender Bronco Beef Ribs.
The common denominator in Silly Labuyo is that there’s always a hint of spiciness in each of their dishes (except the bulalo, in which case you can always crush a piece of siling labuyo to give it the kick you expect). Also, the servings are deceivingly small, but they’re so filling that you’ll want a lot of rice – and water – with your meal.
One day, a TV5 crew dropped by to make a feature story on Silly Labuyo. One of them was me.
The crew, headed by our feature reporter Roda Magnaye, met with the manager, Ms. Allen Aragones, to talk about Silly Labuyo’s dishes. It was then that they found out about me being their very frequent customer and all. Whoops, they finally know about me.
Anyway, we featured some of Silly Labuyo’s best-sellers and new dishes, such as the Crispy Dinuguan, the Super Dynamite (hot chili fingers with mozzarella cheese fillings), Bicol XXXPress (Bicol Express, duh), and the Belly Crackers (crispy chicken skin).
We also had a behind-the-scenes look at how the dishes (especially the Super Dynamite) are made. Everything is actually made fresh, and the cooking and waiting time is reasonable.
And then there’s the Wotda Duck, sizzling and saucy native duck served primarily as pulutan. The duck is plump, tender and meaty, and it coats your tongue with a tasty, fatty juice that leaves one craving for more of the damn bird.
Silly Labuyo now serves desserts too, courtesy of the adjacent Flour Power Bakeshop. It’s a 70s-themed small space that’s on its soft opening, which serves freshly baked cakes and pastries.
It’s nice to know that Silly Labuyo is open 24 hours a day, which makes it a perfect place to satisfy your cravings for something tasty and spicy. They also serve beer, so expect to see a group or two of yuppies with their beer towers especially in the morning.
By the way, the last time I had breakfast at Silly Labuyo, the staff were all smiles upon seeing me. “Uy, Sir Mark, may itinatago ka palang lihim sa amin, ha? Taga-TV5 ka pala!” they said.
I also remembered that Roda has outed me as a food blogger.
I’ll explain what I was doing with the TV5 crew at a later post.