My tip for those people who are thinking of places to take their balikbayan relatives or friends is to forget about the high-end Italian, Chinese, American restaurants out there. The obvious answer to this is because... DUH, they have that in the States or wherever they come from. If you want to give them a one of a kind "back-to-home" experience, take them to comfort foods that they had when they were still staying in our country... like Ma Mon Luk, restos in Binondo, Aristocrat, Jollibee....
I'm sure you get the picture :)
Another is to take them to hole in a wall restaurants that would give them a one of a kind Pinoy experience.
And a good example of that is JT's CHICKEN INASAL!!!
I have got to say... their Chicken Inasal is the BEST. Though the place and ambience are not exactly at par (not by a long shot) with restaurants you could find at Serenda, Greenbelt, Eastwood, etc., your balikbayan loved ones will be wide eyed with the simple but ultra delicious Filipino food. May I also point out that the legendary JOEL TORRE owns the joint? Hence the name JT.
I don't know about you but I think Joel Torre is the Filipino Russel Crowe! Hi hi hi!
Oh well... you don't really have to have a balikbayan with you to enjoy the place... You may just hire one as an excuse to eat and savor the taste of JT'S INASAL. Ha ha ha ha!!!!
Come to think of it, just eat there and don't bring anybody. At least you will be able to eat everything on the table without sharing! He he he!
By the way, DON'T forget the extra chicken oil on your rice!!!!
JT'S MANUKAN GRILLE!
Let their logo serve as a warning to live chickens NOT to get too close to their grill. Otherwise their feathery butts will catch fire.
Poor little chicken being burned alive....
Don't say you were not warned. :)
In JT'S MANUKAN GRILLE, there is a diverse range of diners who eat and enjoy in their restaurant... You have the yuppies... the donyas.... the lovers on a budget... the artsy fartsys...
... the sneaky Chinese guy....
... and a hungry alien. Tee he!
Once seated in JT'S MANUKAN GRILLE, do not forget to prepare the condiments which you will dip your grilled chicken in.
My husband has mastered this to a T (Wohoo Top Chef???) by pouring some soy sauce on a small saucer then squeeze in 2 or 3 calamansi's for the juice.
Then, if you like all things spicy, crush 1 or 2 small chlies in your dipping sauce.
Actually you do not really need to be a Top Chef to master this. Ha ha ha ha! Just have the hunger and the adventurous (not to mention, strong) tongue and you are in for a tasty treat in JT'S MANUKAN GRILLE!
Believe me when I say that this dipping sauce will make you shovel in tablespoons of hot steamed rice in your mouth. It is such an appetizer boozer!!!
Not that we need one.
When you eat in JT'S MANUKAN GRILLE be prepared to enjoy your grub with the fresh air that vehicular traffic may bring -- yes, the restaurant is just by the streets. But you have to admit that it adds a certain je nais se quoi to the whole experience.
It is nice to be a like "cowboy" every now and then.
Forgive us for the blurry picture. It is not our fault the waiters were shaking at our gloriousness...
Ha ha ha! Kidding! For years I have been asking for a high quality camera from Santa. I guess last year, he has still counted me in the SUPER NAUGHTY list.
Like I said up above, do not forget to order JT'S MANUKAN GRILLE's chicken oil. I know it may cause a few doses of cholesterol in your system (a few????!!) but just try it at least once when you have a meal in JT'S MANUKAN GRILLE.
My husband ordered JT'S MANUKAN GRILLE's Pa- a (Grilled Chicken Drumstick and Thigh P85.00). It was very hot as it was fresh off the cooking station.
I loved that when we pierced the tender meat, some steam rushed out and gave us that wonderful "grill-y" aroma.
Aaaah! Life is GO-OD!
And we haven't eaten yet!
I would love to lick this the next time we eat here.
Lick it like a lollipop since it has a stick and all.
Garlic bits on top of rice and DRENCHED in chicken oil.
My husband's very oily rice!
Another teaspoon of chicken oil should do the trick!
My heaping spoonful of chicken, oily rice, and chili plus toyo with calamansi!
Then wash it down with an ice cold chug of Coke Zero!
As always my husband is light years ahead of me. I doubt if he chews his food at all!
I'm not really trying to kiss you here (you wish!). I'm just trying to show you how oily my lips are from all the chicken goodness!!!
If you are HENRY CAVILL or CHRIS HEMSWORTH, disregard that statement above. Yes that photo is FOR YOU.
And it tastes like chicken...
Oh yeah! We love sucking chickens dry!
The dogs will be angry with this picture... Sorry no leftovers for you doggies!
My husband wanted to show his oily lips as well...
Yes Zorayda Sanchez or Chewbacca ... that's for you.
Kidding! Ha ha ha ha!
Again, I am left behind eating.
Maybe I am not really a slow eater... Maybe I just love cherishing, relishing, enjoying (that's Thesaurus for you) the lip-smacking chicken that is from JT'S MANUKAN GRILLE!
And that is my honest excuse.
I am sure your balikbayan relatives/friends will do the same thing. They might miss their flight though. :P
JT’s Manukan Grille
Valencia corner Granada Streets, San Juan
Valencia corner Granada Streets, San Juan