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Best sinigang in the Philippines named |

Sunday Lifestyle

Best sinigang in the Philippines named

OOH LA LAI - Lai S. Reyes -

Sinigang, the lightly boiled, sour broth which makes for a delightful dish when served with steamed rice, is undoubtedly one of our best meals — so much that it is practically a staple in every household’s weekly menu — and even then, it is still the top choice when dining out!

It is the favorite of my 13-year-old son Karl so I have memorized the recipe by heart and prepare it whenever I can. For beef ribs or pork sinigang, he prefers a thicker, cloudier soup. To achieve this, I sautee the meat with garlic, onions, tomatoes, bunga ng gabi (taro fruit) and Knorr Beef Broth before adding water. To make the broth thicker as Karl prefers, I add mashed gabi and Knorr Tamarind Soup Base.

Thing is, I can be a very busy mom and many times, I need to eat out with my husband and son. And when the sinigang fancy strikes, well, we go where our taste buds take us. We’ve eaten sinigang at many restaurants we’ve heard people say served the sourest versions, and yet, there have only been a few that lived up to their hype.

Seafood-based sinigang dishes such as sinigang na salmon belly and sinigang na maya-maya sa miso is an enduring specialty of Café Juanita.

Thankfully, sinigang is the first featured dish of the Sooo Pinoy movement of Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) and The Philippine STAR. The campaign’s Facebook page is currently rife with feedback about restaurants serving the dish — all from the mouths (or rather keyboards) of sinigang fans like Karl and my family.

According to the online votes and feedback from the Facebook page, these restaurants are popular for their own signature versions of the dish. A tweak here, a special ingredient there, and, voila, inspired, innovative sinigang!

The house that fried chicken built, Max’s Restaurant takes pride in its pork sinigang. Served steaming hot in a palayok, the sour soup dish — loaded with nutritious greens — reminds us of the home-cooked specialty we look forward to every time the family gathers for Sunday lunches.

Max’s Restaurant’s reputation may have been built on fried chicken, but its pork sinigang also keeps customers digging in.

Hapag Vicentico’s is a must-stop food joint in Nueva Ecija. It is known for tickling the taste buds of local and foreign tourists alike with its wide array of delectable Pinoy fare and uniquely Pinoy ambience.

“Our sinigang is delicately cooked using only the freshest and finest ingredients perfected with home-grown techniques; a sip of the steaming sour broth would not only comfort one’s palate but also bring back delightful and flavorful memories of their lola’s kitchen,” shares owner Pia Salazar.

Corned beef sinigang is undoubtedly Sentro 1771’s signature dish. Foodies and bloggers keep raving about chef Vicky Pacheco’s tender chunks of corned beef soaked in a delish sour broth with choice veggies. Sentro (Greenbelt 3, Makati), a part of the Chateau Group of Restaurants, positions itself as a haven of contemporary modern cuisine.

The freshest, finest ingredients and the steaming broth combine to make Hapag Vicentico’s sinigang na hipon a must-try.

In Serendra, Fort Bonifacio is Abe (Ah-beh), the restaurant dedicated to restaurateur Larry Cruz’s father, the late artist-writer, gourmet and bon vivant E. Aguilar “Abe” Cruz, serves traditional Filipino food, mostly of Capampangan origin. At Abe, food is served with so much passion that every dish is considered an art. Their pork sinigang is simply unforgettable.

And for Café Juanita in Pasig City, their sinigang na maya maya sa miso is their pambato. It has a unique sea saltiness and sourness that can be customized according to diners’ preferences. The fish and veggies are fresh, while the broth is cooked like how it’s done in the comforts of your home.

“The freshness of the ingredients is very important. For sinigang, I think it is about being able to produce that delicate balance of sourness, saltiness, with a little bit of sweetness and spiciness. It is a distinct taste,” relays owner Dr. Efren Vazquez.

Fork-tender pork chunks and fresh vegetables swimming in a rightly sour broth make up Abe’s now-classic recipe.

Unilever Food Solutions and The Philippine STAR encourage you to dine in these restaurants together with five more — Apag Marangle, Matutina’s Seafood Restaurant, Bagoong Club, KKK Food Revolution and Silverio’s, whose sinigang have been declared the best in the Philippines and share your thoughts and experiences on featured dishes such as sinigang on the Sooo Pinoy fan page at Keep reading STAR for more delicious updates on the campaign.

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