The other day, I was invited to the 16th anniversary party of Reyes Barbecue, which was held together with the launch of Republic of Taste, a book by Ige Ramos which traces the history of Cavite cuisine and shares heirloom Caviteño recipes.
New Dishes at Reyes Barbecue
It was a Manila-style barbecue party! As Reyes Barbecue reached 16 years, they also used this opportunity to introduce new menu items aside from serving their classic offerings of Boneless Chicken Barbecue (P175), Pork Barbecue (P145), Grilled Liempo (P195), Grilled Tuna Belly (P195).
Their Boneless Chicken Barbecue is the type we have come to know and love – with atchara, java rice and peanut sauce. Apparently, this is called Manila-style barbecue. And you know what, I think they sell jars of the atchara, barbecue marinade and peanut sauce! 🙂
Some of their new dishes are Barbecue Nachos (P105), Chicken Barbecue Burrito (P159) and my favorite dessert at the party – the Caramel Cheese Squares! These are like cheesy cheese cupcakes, but chewier and sweeter. You must try the Caramel Cheese Squares once they’re already available!
Price-wise, Reyes Barbecue’s offerings are pocket-friendly, but come from a long tradition of barbecue expertise.
All About Reyes Barbecue
Reyes Barbecue was established by Mr. Francisco “Frank” Reyes of the famous culinary family of Manila. Frank’s maternal grandmother was Engracia “Asiang” Cruz Reyes, the pioneer restaurateur of the Philippines and founder of the longest surviving restaurant in the Philippines, The Aristocrat, along Roxas Boulevard. She is recognized in local history as the “Mother of Filipino Cooking.”
Frank worked in his Lola’s restaurant as a teenager and was exposed to the numerous dishes on the restaurant’s menu, particularly to the house bestseller – chicken barbecue with java rice, peanut sauce and atchara. It was during this period of his exposure to his Lola that Frank’s passion for cooking and for the food service business grew.
By 2002, Frank registered his own brand name, Reyes Barbecue. With his own recipes, formulations and operating manuals, he later on opened the very first Reyes Barbecue outlet at the SM North EDSA Foodcourt.
Now on its 16th year, Reyes Barbecue has launched a campaign aimed at evolving a classic Filipino favorite to stay relevant to the young generation of Filipino consumers, by adding new dishes to their menu, while keeping the classics everyone is familiar with.
They are also updating their stores, starting with the SM Mall of Asia flagship branch, with a new facade and lighter interiors.
Republic of Taste
Reyes Barbecue is also supporting Filipino writers and artists, so they also mounted the book launch of “The Republic of Taste: Untold Stories of Cavite Cuisine” by Filipino culinary historian / writer and award-winning visual artist, Ige Ramos, on the same event.
I have always been interested in cooking with indigenous ingredients – it’s definitely cheaper and more convenient because they are easily accessible and fresh.
I browsed the book and I found the recipes convenient enough attempt to cook. The anecdotes of how the dishes came about also helped flesh the recipes out in my mind – it’s not just a list of ingredients and procedures anymore, but a story.
Recipes range from atcharas, adobos and pancit to halayang sampalok and paella valenciana, with photos of the dishes and the markets where the ingredients can be bought from.
Hardcover edition available online from:
The Kitchen Bookstore
Softcover edition available from Ige Ramos’s Food and Culture Tours by Explora.ph:
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