This tiny restaurant is an offshoot of Rey's Place on Crown Street in Darlinghurst. There's a shorter menu with a range of beer, rice bowls featuring suckling pig and pork belly as well as sweet ube desserts.
"I got us seats at the bar," messages JY to me. I was worried that on a Friday lunch nabbing one of the reported 10 seats might be difficult. Luckily it looks like they've added some tables so your chances of getting a seat are higher.
I have a bit of an obsession with the Filipino obsession with pork and garlic rice. Both of the dishes we've ordered come with steamed rice but we ask for one to be upgraded to garlic rice. The chefs say that they can make it extra garlicky too if we'd like as it is made to order.
I love any cuisine that celebrates chicken skin. Sure pork rinds are a thing in a lot of places but crispy chicken skin? Yes please. These are served with a soy and vinegar dipping sauce on the side and are crunchy but not oily at all.
Lechon or roasted suckling pig is perhaps the most famous Filipino dish. Here you get crunchy squares of the crackling skin and soft pieces of meat. It comes with sarsa, a liver sauce that reminds us of pate, atchara or pickled vegetables and a fried egg. The liver sauce is nice although I do like the simplicity of pork and rice by itself (char siu and rice is one of my death row meals).
Both of our favourite dishes is the sisig which is braised pork belly cut into little cubes with calamansi citrus, onion, chilli and garlic with the addition of the garlic rice.
They were frying a batch of these spring rolls for another customer and brought out two for us to try. The spring rolls are filled with mince meat and are crispy and come with some ketchup on the side.
We always leave room for dessert and turon is a sugar glazed banana roll which is like a banana spring roll with ube or purple sweet potato ice cream, banana chips and a tangy calamansi sauce.
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever tried ube or purple sweet potato? And would you prefer regular rice or garlic rice?
This meal was independently paid for.
13 Little Hay St, Haymarket NSW 2000
Monday to Friday 12–3pm, 4:30–9pm
Phone: (02) 9361 5938