I first heard about it while watching Kris TV. Yes, I sometimes do. Very rarely, but I do.
I wanted to try it out asap but as it isn’t in a mall, that was rather difficult to do. We’re a one-stop family more often than not. where we shop, we dine or vice-versa. SO if a resto isn’t in a mall, it takes a while, some effort too, to go there.
Last Monday, I was with my best friend who told me about having dined there the day previously. So I felt I had to go. And I laid down the law for yesterday, days in advance: we will eat in Sarsa, I told husband and son. To be sure, I googled and saw rave reviews about it. Someone also suggested reservations should be made. I did that too. I didn’t want to leave anything to chance.
Son was unfamiliar with Forum, the building where Sarsa is located. Waze to the rescue. It took us 25 minutes from QC to Sarsa on a Sunday. Parking is available at the back of the building, behind Arya a condo on the opposite side of the block.
Whitney took our orders: chicken skin, chicken paa for me, chicken breast for son, tuna sisig for husband (there was a quote from Ces Drilon on the blackboard, singing praises re the dish). Son mentioned that when we were outside, he had read a quote from Erwan Heusaff, a chef himself and brother of Solenn, extolling virtues of sizzling kansi. And I also read about the kansi and decided to get that as well, after being reassured we could take out any unfinished portions. For rice, we each ordered differently from each other: son had the garlic red rice, I the bagoong rice, husband the regular garlic rice.
Some pictures before the verdict:
The cornicks – we asked for seconds because the food took a while to come:
The condiments: See the orange liquid? That’s sinamak made from tuba. I told son about this, how the mananguete goes up the coconut tree to extract the same. We used to have a houseboy who’d do this in the coconut tree at home.
The chicken skin. We got two orders each consisting of three sticks. Before the paa got to the paa, the chicken skin had made me full already. Got this because I read a rave review about it. Namit!
The kansi. Wasn’t too impressed. It wasn’t sizzling when it reached our table and I’ve tried better – in Gaita Fores’s Grace Park, for one, and in Rambla. Kansi is bone marrow, hence the comparison though cooked differently. I much prefer kansi/bulalo/bone marrow sans gravy.
My bagoong rice. Quite good but it doesn’t suit the inasal, much less the kansi. Might have been better with grilled pork?
Sorry, no picture of the sizzling tuna as it came rather late.
And below the piece de resistance (I’ll do a YES magazine here, and only because typing the term didn’t put accents anywhere). From Wikipedia: Pièce de résistance (French pronunciation: [pjɛs də ʁezistɑ̃s]) is a French term (circa 1839), also called plat de résistancein France, translated into English literally as “piece of (or for) resistance,” referring to the best part or feature of something (as in a meal), a showpiece, or highlight.
That’s piaya ice cream. Two pieces of piaya made by the resto with vanilla ice cream by Big Scoop – I tell you this brand is the best! Or it is the one that reminds me most of my childhood. Very simple taste, still creamy but not overly so, just right. The chocolate looking lines are of muscovado and caramel. I see some small things atop the concoction now, but I don’t remember what they tasted like.
Son said he’ll bring his girlfriend over. I just might my sister, but next time, I will no longer order chicken skin if I’ll order inasal later as the taste is the same anyway. Namit but too much of the same is nakaka-umay.
Incidentally, again because of reviews I read, I ordered the roasted kalabasa (squash/pumpkin) takeout. Sorry I forgot to take a picture. But essentially, it has dilis on top and I noticed a taste of bagoong again!
basta, next time, it will just be inasal for me. Or maybe, I’ll order some pork dish? And just garlic rice, not bagoong rice any longer.