Chef Myke “Tatung” Sarthou became very rememberable to me when I met him at the recent Luzviminda Independence Day feast at F1 Hotel Manila. He was one of the 3 featured guest chefs but he struck me the most because of his playful & jovial personality. He bantered with us & treated us like long lost friends instead of guests he met just then. Of course, that his culinary creations were simply delightful added to his magical persona.
When he invited us for a sneak peak to try out his then barely 3-week old resto Alab by Chef Tatung in Quezon City, we knew in our hearts that we couldn’t say no. No matter the distance. And no matter my disrelish for Filipino food. We simply HAD to go.
Literally a Sneak Peak. Photography by Mr. Spice. ;) Alab takes the place of the now defunct Chef Tatung restaurant giving way to a revamped, mas maalab dishes bursting with fire & passion. Hence the name.
And so, on a Thursday morning last week, Kap & I braved the traffic & 90-minute ride to QC just so we can partake of the feast he cooked for us with love & passion. Alab, if you don’t know it yet, is fire. And Chef Tatung has plenty of that. Alab by Chef Tatung servesFilipino food with burning passion.
Just look at that cheerful disposition. Tell me, how can you not fall in love with him.. and his cooking? ;)) Of course, FC na naman ako at naka-angkla sa kanya. Parang gusto ko lang iuwi so I can continue to enjoy his cooking haha! :P
Alab by Chef Tatung
67 Scout Rallos (near corner Tomas Morato), Quezon City, Philippines (02) 962-1176; 0915-290-1001
Alab by Chef Tatung is an ideal venue to hold small and medium-sized events in any of the four (4) private function areas. Alab by Chef Tatung can accommodate a total of 185 persons with the main and private function areas combined.
It’s already June but the weather is still as hot as if it were still summer. These refreshing Iced tea & Dalandan cold drinks were truly God-send. Meanwhile, the men enjoyed the sour TUBA shake.
Alab’s menu is set on a “dose-dose”(12-12) framework which features two sections of twelve dishes each which guests can simply point on the item on the menu ala turo-turo.
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
The first section called Hinahanap-hanap kita features the classics or the “Must-haves” of any Filipino restaurants such as the kare-kare, Crispy pata and adobo.
Kare-Kare 450 php. Classic kare-kare made with beef trotters, tail and tripe thickened with ground toasted rice and peanuts.
Crispy Pata 580 php. Roasted crispy pork leg stuffed with lemongrass and leeks. Ito ang crispy pata na magbibigay ng nawawalang lutung sa buhay mo. :)
Adobong Pula 280 php. Chicken and pork stewed in vinegar. One of the oldest documented versions of the classic adobo. At dahil hindi lahat ng adobo ay may toyo. :P
While the second section called O Lumapit Ka features must-try regional favorites and modern Filipino dishes such as the Pianggang, a Tausug dish using burnt coconut; Penuneng, an ilocano blood sausage and Calderetang kanding, classic Cebuano version of the stew. —
Pianggang or Chicken in Roasted Coconut Sauce 440 php. Pan seared chicken breasts served with a smoky roasted coconut cream sauce with okra and chilies.
Penuneng or Dinuguan Sausage 260 php. A uniquely Filipino take on morcilla: Spanish blood sausage is filled with dinuguan (Filipino blood stew), char-grilled then served with garlic vinegar. This photo belongs to Alab.
Calderetang kanding or Kalderetang Kambing with Quezo de Bola 680 php. Tender goat meat in a mild spicy tomato sauce with carrots, potatoes, mushrooms and olives covered with topped with grated quezo de bola and finished with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Guinataang Monggo 80 php/bowl. Hindi lang pang-Biyernes, puwede ng araw-arawin. Monggo beans in a light coconut milk broth with smoked fish flakes and amplaya leaves. Kap & I loved this, I promise you, there is nothing simple about this dish when it comes to taste & flavor. This photo belongs to Alab.
Tinumok 150 php. Coconut noodles and chopped shrimp wrapped in taro leaves stewed in rich coconut cream and flavored with bagoong alamang. Babalutin ka into sa sarap. <3
Sugpo sa Palapa 560 php. Prawns in spicy palapa, a Maranao spice mix made with sakurab – a kind of shallot from Mindanao, and enriched with crab fat.
Slow Roasted Lechon Belly 540 php. Delicate slices of melt –in-your-mouth pork belly, slow roasted in a brick oven for 6 hours on a bed of garlic and lemongrass and glazed with wild honey before serving.
Personally, I prefer white rice when eating Filipino food which is always maalat at ma-sarsa (and also a reason why I try to stay away). But for the more adventurous folks, these flavored rice will surely tickle your fancy & is actually a meal in itself. Bursting with flavors!
Aligue Fried Rice 210 php. A decadent mix of crab fat, vegetables, dried fish, and scrambled eggs.
Tatung’s Fried Rice 210 php. Loaded with shrimp, vegetables, peanuts, egg, and spring onions. Sure to be a family favorite.
Alab by Chef Tatung also features a Filipino deli in one corner selling an array of products from around the country. As well as Signature Alab cakes, pastries, breads and Alab signature Filipino ice cream flavors.
Possibly my favorite at Alab, and one that will get me to travel far & wide, this Bibingka Cheesecake 150 php. It’s sorcery I tell you. You MUST try it to believe. <3
Warm Tsoknut Chocolate Cake 110 php. Here’s one for the chocoholics: warm moist chocolate cake bathed in a chocolate sauce and tsoknut crumble.
Pichi-Pichi with Quezo de Bola 130 php. Pandan-flavored cassava dumplings blanketed with brulleed lecheflan sauce and covered with grated quezo de bola.
Suman sa Lihiya at Manga 130 php. A classic Filipino sticky rice cake served with latik (a sweet and smoky coconut sauce) and slices of sweet ripe mango.
Alab Ice Cream 210 php/tub. Premium sweet savory homemade ice cream from locally farmed fresh cows milk. I found the Laing a bit weird but my tablemates loved it. I preferred the Kamote Q & QDB with bits of QDB you can actually savor & taste.
Thank you so much Chef Tatung for having us. Here’s to the success of your new restaurant, and wishing you many more productive & creative years ahead! :-*