Laguna boasts authentic dishes from the Philippines

Tan (right) and his chefs Teofilo A. Santiago (left) and Joemar A. Jimeno (red cap) with some of their signature dishes.

Laguna Restaurant, 

3, Jalan Gereja, 

Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 011-1910 1661

Business hours: 9.30am to 9.30pm daily. 


MENTION Filipino food to any local and all they know is the mind-boggling balut (duck embryo), but there are more delicious dishes this archipelago has to offer.

With this in mind, Ronnie Tan, who has been in the food industry for more than two years now, decided to open a Filipino restaurant called Laguna.

“When I decided to open a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, I did some research and found there were no restaurants offering Filipino food. So I decided to introduce the amazing local delights from the Philippines for Malaysians to savour, all under one roof,” added Tan who has brought in cooks from the Philippines.

“The name Laguna actually refers to a province in the Philippines and it is also the birthplace of my chefs,” he said.

The Crispy Pata is a specially coated and deep fried pork knuckle that comes with a special dipping sauce.

Located in the heart of the city, Laguna offers a wide range of mouth-watering dishes, over 50 choices ranging from appetisers to lip-smacking desserts.

“Initially, we only had Filipino customers but now more locals are coming in almost daily to taste our food,” said Tan, who personally decorated his restaurant.

“Our menu offers authentic and original Filipino dishes.

“Our chefs have gone all out to ensure the food represents the Philippines in every way, from presentation to the taste,” he added

One of the must-try items is the crispy pata.

This very famous dish is made of pork knuckle that is simmered, drained and deep-fried until crisp.

The meat is tender and juicy inside, with a crisp, crackling exterior.

The meat is usually dipped in a simple yet flavourful sauce made of vinegar, soy sauce and chilli.

There is also the lechon, a gastronomic treat for pork-lovers.

The entire pig is spit-roasted over coals, with the crisp, golden-brown skin served with liver sauce, the most coveted part.

The Sizzling Stuffed Squid garnished with chopped tomatoes and onions.

The stomach of the pig is stuffed with star anise, pepper, spring onions, bay leaves and lemon grass, resulting in an extremely tasty dish, which requires no sauce.

No meal is complete without adobo, an ubiquitous dish that is served in almost every household in the Philippines.

It is also dubbed the “national” dish of the Philippines.

Made using either chicken or pork, this special dish is a burst of many wonderful flavours as the meat is slow-cooked in vinegar, salt, garlic, pepper, soy sauce and other spices to ensure it absorbs the spices.

Adobo is definitely something worth trying because the tender meat is full of spices and delight your taste buds,” he said.

Next, be sure to try the sinigang, a stew of fish, prawns, pork or beef soured by fruits like tamarind and cooked with onions, garlic or tomatoes.

A dish that is often accompanied by vegetables like kangkung, string beans and carrot, this stew can be eaten with rice or on its own.

“Most Filipino dishes, especially soups, are tamarind-based as they like their food with a tinge of sourness and mild spice to give it a perfect balance.

“The sinigang is a healthy and delicious stew as it is filled with vegetables and meat.

“Our sinigang is authentic and most of our Filipino customers have given it their thumbs-up,” said Tan.

Tan (right) and his chefs Teofilo A. Santiago (left) and Joemar A. Jimeno (red cap) with some of their signature dishes.

If you are squid lover than be sure to try the sisig that is made with a traditional touch at Laguna.

This sizzling squid dish is a pleasant-tasting dish made from chopped grilled squid, onions and seasonings topped with fresh scrambled egg. The crunchy and chewy texture of this appetiser is a perfect snack, especially during a rainy day.

The squid is grilled for a few minutes before it is placed on a hot plate.

It can be eaten with plain rice or with Pinakbet.

Pinakbet, a vegetable dish comprising okra, eggplant, bitter gourd, squash, tomatoes and bagoong (shrimp or fish paste) is a favourite in the Philippines.

“I can assure you all our dishes are cooked using fresh ingredients and special spices and seasoning from the Philippines to enhance the taste and freshness.

“I personally do the marketing early in the morning to get the freshest vegetables and meat,” said Tan.

At the Laguna, end your meal on a sweet note with the leche flan.

A popular dessert among locals, the leche flan is an egg and milk-based custard topped with glistening caramelised sugar, like caramel pudding.

Laguna also provides karaoke facilities for customers to enjoy.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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