Once in a while, we stumble onto something that enriches us – a book that somehow empowers, a movie that educates and entertains, a place that we visit again and again.
One recent discovery that has been added to our list of go-to places is Rekado, a new restaurant in Marikina City that is slowly making a splash among foodies because of its glorious fares that can transport patrons to gustatory heaven.
The dishes are simple enough and so Pinoy – bulalo, crispy pata, pinakbet, laing – to name a few. But these “common” dishes become uncommonly (and unbelievably) good, thanks to Chef Marco Bitong, who, by dints of hits and misses, had come up with flavorful recipes that sometimes leave customers licking their plates (which we did).
The brainchild of Bitong and his school buddies Franz Calara, Santiago and Sandino Lumiwan, Rekado opened in October 2016. Since then, it has offered delightful and filling Filipino dishes with a twist.
Who wouldn’t be tempted by crispy pata? But ah, Rekado’s version is a rung higher – it is boneless. Ilocanos love pinakbet, but Bitong threw in a big bonus in his dish – bagnet!
My favorite though is the laing, which bowled me over at first taste. It is bursting with flavor because on top of the creamy coconut milk, Bitong added a dollop of bagoong (shrimp paste) for a perfect spicy blend. Laing lovers will turn into addicts once they sample this version.
The proof of the pudding, so they say, is in the eating. Eat you will with gusto at Rekado, which also offers old-time Filipino favorites such as kare- kare, sinigang na hipon, dinuguan, lechon, bicol express and sisig.
Craving for bulalo? Rekado has three versions – classic bulalo, sizzling bulalo and sinigang na bulalo.
It also offers dishes for those who loathe meat – steamed okra, mixed vegetables, pakbet, sigarilyas sa gata, laing and ampalaya bangus.
The place may be small, but Rekado is homey and its dishes are affordable.
Rekado is located at Lot 17, L-2 Cornerstone Residence, Katipunan St., Concepcion Dos, Marikina City.