I have a confession to make: I went into this business fairly clueless about the who's-who of the culinary world. I just know that I am a lover of good food and consider myself a person with a fairly discerning palate, who is grateful to the good people who dedicate their lives to serving up a great meal. I didn't even really know much about our lovely Editor-In-Chief/Mother Hen until I had worked here for awhile. So when I decided to check out Wooden Spoon in Katipunan, I decided not to let its reputation precede me and see for myself what the fuss was all about.
(This is at the ground floor of Wooden Spoon. I took this shot at the end of the meal, but when D and I got here, the place was fairly deserted. It pays to come early, both floors fill up quite fast!)
Wooden Spoon is the brainchild of Sandy Daza, the older brother of my boss here at Appetite. The Dazas are a family that have culinary skills running in their blood, so it's no surprise that everything I've heard about Wooden Spoon was met with adoration and praise. One thing I found strange about Wooden Spoon was that it's not open on Mondays. Usually, D and I like to start the week by trying out someplace new, and I would often miss the chance to eat there. But I was thankful we were able to dine in midweek and grab a seat before the usual dinner crowd came in.
I'm a sucker for adobo flakes. Regular adobo is alright, I'll eat it when it's on the table. But when the leftovers have been shredded and deep fried for good measure, that stuff is pure poetry. I mean, deep fried adobo is a pretty straightforward and simple food. Anyway, Wooden Spoon's version of Adobo Flakes (P195) takes it up a notch, by serving it with garlic mayo dip (not pictured). Who knew that adobo flakes with a sauce would go so well? All you really need is to put a few drops on the adobo flakes to enhance their taste, and you've got a good thing going on.
I need to ask all the Filipino readers of this blog: Who doesn't like sinangag? Seriously. Who can say no to garlic fried rice?
I certainly can't. We ordered a plate of Garlic Rice (P100) to go with our viands - The serving is good for three, or for two really hungry people who love rice.
I have to hand it to Sandy Daza: Wooden Spoon's Stuffed Pechay (P155) is genius. SHEER GENIUS. If you've tried Turkish dolma before, the concept is pretty similar. Picture this: it's shredded tinapa mixed with ground pork wrapped in a cute little pechay parcel, bathed in spicy coconut milk. I need to tell you that it was abso-freakin'-lutely delicious, and I need to thank D for choosing it.
Did I mention that I got to meet and have a chat with Chef Sandy Daza himself?
From what I can tell, he's very hands-on in the restaurant, always going around to check if the customers are okay - and this is probably a reason why people keep coming back.
After our little chat, the waiter furtively placed a bit of Dinakdakan (sample size, regular size P195) on our table, compliments of the Chef. What a lovely gesture!
From what I understand, dinakdakan is the Ilocano version of sisig, but to my Tagalog taste buds, it seemed very much like kinilaw's porcine cousin. Unlike regular sisig, the Chef makes it with liempo, which makes for a very interesting gustatory experience.
If you are sick of all the student-centric eateries that are practically littered around Katipunan, go to Wooden Spoon. Take your mom, your, dad, your significant other. It's the kind of place that everyone of all ages can enjoy, and will want to come back to again and again.
Thank you to Sandy Daza and his wonderful staff for making our experience a great one. PS: I dreamt of the Stuffed Pechay for days after.
Wooden Spoon is located at 329 Katipunan Ave, Loyola Heights