Little Ongpin

When I first met Marie, I would accompany her and her Filipino friends to their favorite Filipino restaurants. So it seemed that they all ate Filipino food at home and when they went out they ate more Filipino food! It was fine with me as I was discovering a new and tasty cuisine that I knew very little about! One day, I commented that I almost never ate at restaurants that served what I had grown up eating and could cook at home. I said that I always looked for something different or exotic (in my mind). It seems my partner bought into that philosophy and now I have trouble getting her to Filipino restaurants. Little Ongpin is definitely one of the favorites of this community though.
We have eaten there quite often and it always seems to be packed! As is often the case with Filipino places, not a lot is spent on decor but the emphasis is on food and friends. This time we were there with Marie's kids for an early Christmas dinner (you could say). We ordered and the food arrived when it was ready! Nothing is waiting under heat lamps but is cooked to order!
Sisig is one of my favourite Filipino dishes. As with so many great cuisines of the world, the best dishes are those where creative cooks take what they can afford and what is available to make something delicious. The main ingredient in Sisig is pork face (jowls, snout, ears) but it arrives at the table redolent of garlic and is wonderful and crispy on a sizzling platter! Get past any squeamishness you may have and try this wonderful dish! 
Bicol Express is another one of my favorites. Pork in coconut with vegetables and chilis. It came with a nice little bite from the chilis but the pork was a tad chewy in this case.
Lechon Kawali might just be the national dish. Wonderful deep-fried pork belly, crispy on the outside and tasty and tender inside. Served with a tasty vinegar based sauce.
One of Marie's favorites is the Stuffed Squid. It is a little too far on the fishy side for me. Filipinos use a lot of shrimp paste and fish sauce and sometimes dishes are a little too strong for my palate. I have learned that a side of shrimp paste, judiciously added to things can be quite amazing. Still, after tasting it, I left the squid for others to eat. 
No Filipino meal is complete without rice. This time everyone wanted fried rice. There were lots of tasty shrimp in this version.
I was happy that some veges were ordered. There was a nice bit of variety and they were not overcooked. Not bad!
Finally, more squid! This was not exactly life altering but it was nicely cooked and crispy!
Little Ongpin is a good place to be introduced to Filipino cuisine. The menus come complete with pictures so you can know what you are ordering even if you do not speak Tagalog. There is something available for the adventurous and not so adventurous!
Little Ongpin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Are you guys eating again? At some point Marie and I became the kind of people who take pictures of everything we eat, whether in a restaura...