My guest was craving Filipino cuisine, so we sought a table at Klasik Inasal, however the tiny spot for made to order Filipino cuisine was fully seated. And we were too hungry to wait, so decided to just order for take out.
Having very little experience with the cuisine, I allowed my guest to decide what was good; and he ended up ordering dishes I had tried before and liked at other places, so I was optimistic.
Pork sisig is a dish made from assorted pig parts, seasoned with lemon, onion, and chilli peppers. It was greasy and gritty with the pool of oil it sat in, but if you were able to skim the meat and squeeze some of the calamansi fruit that was included, you were able to cut some of the oiliness out. This and the rice below were needed in this endeavour. But overall the spicy and zesty flavours were there, the meat was chopped into easy to eat pieces and it kept you coming back for more small bites.
Bicol Express is a catchy name for spicy pork simmered in coconut milk. It doesn’t look all that appealing with its ashen appearance, and the fact that this too sat in a pool of grease. Once again, after picking the pieces of meat out I did like what was on my fork. The meat was on the drier side, but the flavour was there. Subtle on the coconut milk, and similar in tone to the black bean spare ribs I am a fan of at Chinese dim sum.
But without Java rice the meal would not be the same. My experience with Filipino cuisine thus far has taught me that majority of the cuisine is on the heavier, greasier side. So a starchy base such as rice is needed to soak up that extra grease and flavour as balancing agent. Unfortunately no one has been able to tell me what the java in the rice is.
Overall the food hit my guest’s craving. It was good enough, but I missed vegetable and a certain freshness with all the grease. The meat could have been done within more tenderness in mind too. Unfortunately they did not make my list for top Filipino restaurants in Vancouver.
Klasik Inasal and Noodle Express
650 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5T 1X6