Friday, April 5, 2013

Neo Neo Grill House Restaurant

Some of you might have noticed that I've been posting more restaurant reviews than recipes lately. It's just something I had to do for work, a project we've been working on for the past few months that has something to do with food. I don't normally bring my baby (canon cam) when I eat out but I thought that it would also be nice to change things up a bit around here. This still counts as food porn, right? Plus it gives you a glimpse of the good and cheap eats around my city.

A few of my colleagues and I had lunch at a nearby restaurant about a few minutes walk from our office called NEO NEO GRILL HOUSE. It serves delicious, unpretentious native Filipino meals at very reasonable prices. Foreigners might even find the prices cheap. It's cheap but not cheap enough for me to eat there everyday if you know what I mean.

The restaurant has lovely dark wooden tables and chairs that look great in photos but not the most comfortable to sit in without a cushion. They have plenty of friendly waiting staff but unfortunately, service is slow. The restaurant was not even full yet it took almost half an hour for the food to arrive which is sad because the food was good. Maybe the kitchen staff is not that organized. 

My husband cannot stand the smell and taste of pork meat. He avoids it like the plague. However, most Filipinos are fond of pork. We use a lot of fatty meat in our cooking. I happen to like this one a lot. It's called Grilled BBQ Pork Belly. It's a thin cut of meat from the best part of the swine - the belly - (kind of like a thicker bacon) that's been marinated for a long time and then grilled to fatty perfection. The secret to delicious pork belly is in the marinade. Some recipes use soy sauce, garlic, sugar and other spices while I've seen others using Sprite and vinegar. Yes, Sprite. The skin stayed soft and chewy. The meat was tender and glazed with a sweet barbeque sauce. It's so unhealthy that you feel guilty afterwards yet it's so delicious. I always cut off the fat and skin before I eat it (Gasp! No, not the best part!). It's served with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce with Calamansi  (upper right in the photo above) and must be eaten with rice. Obviously.  :)

Again, the only way to eat it is with rice!

So what exactly am I looking at, you might ask (unless you're Filipino then you know this one)?  Sisig is actually a sizzling platter of a pig's face - the cheeks, the ears and probably the snout too. Sometimes they even put in bits of liver or other internal organs. Then crack an egg on top and mix it all up together. Don't worry. The platter is so hot, it will cook the egg. Not your type? You don't know what you're missing if you turn up your nose quickly. 

It's spicy from the green chillies, chewy yet crunchy at the same time, salty and very tasty. Sisig is a real mosaic of flavors, textures and cholesterol. Best paired with a nice cold bottle of beer. I've read somewhere that to prepare this dish, you have to cook the meat three times by boiling, then grilling and then frying. Now that's a lot of work for one hot iron plate!

Where art thou my veggies amongst all the fatties?  
I LOVE this colorful eggplant salad! A whole eggplant that's been grilled or boiled, peeled and topped with fresh chopped tomatoes and red onions in a vinegar dressing. Totally simple, healthy and unpretentious. Kinilaw na Talong is the perfect side dish for the sweet Grilled Pork Belly. 


My colleague ordered the Grilled Chicken Breast Set Meal that came with rice and a small bowl of hot broth. I've never really tried this so I cannot really comment on the taste or say if the meat inside was juicy but it was a freakishly big chicken breast.  


It's not a five star service nor anywhere near five star food but overall, we enjoyed our meal and left the restaurant satisfied.

Location: Ground Floor, Raintree Mall, Mango Avenue, Cebu City 
Contact Number: