Masarap Filipino Cuisine at Lintas
21 August 2013 – Restaurant has ceased to operate! Sorry!
NON-HALAL (Review date: 15 Dec, 2010)
We were intending to eat at another place but the funky neon lighting from the nearby Filipino restaurant and the idea of a porky ethnic escapade lured us away. Upon entering Masarap, we were greeted courteously by the Filipino girls, who might have noticed my camera from the flash that went off while I was taking this shot…
The servers became exceptionally attentive, making sure to set our tables immediately and let us know that their fresh juices are neat and not diluted with water. So we ordered two glasses of carrot juice to start and proceeded to check out their menu.
After looking through their vast menu we ordered three dishes; Mangga Tilapia, Bulalong Baka Soup, Lechon Kawali, and some garlic rice to go with the dishes we chose.
First up, the Mangga Tilapia was sweet, sour and mildly spicy. We liked that the fish was fresh and was definitely deep fried using boiling oil. Fried fish just doesn’t taste that great without the crispiness and it definitely was a lovely crunch! The big slivers of mango was just that acidic touch that was needed to balance out the oiliness of the fried fish.
We liked it.
The Bulalong Baka Soup looks a lot like South American Caldo De Res. I was guessing that the Spanish presence in the Philippines may have inspired the soup, but it tasted nothing like Caldo De Res. The Columbian and Salvadorian variety has cilantro for their base flavor, but this Bulalong’s broth featured a distinct “fennel-like” aroma, which made the beef really gamy and ethnic-tasting!
I found the soup really rich because there were blobs of fat floating at the surface of the soup. GOURTMETSAILOR is familiar with Filipino food, and he tells me that the soft bone marrow is a delicacy and that I should dig it out and slurp the soft bits. It was… different. I definitely prefer the Spanish Caldo De Res to this. Saying that, I was told that a good bulalong would have marrow and fat floating on the soup.
What I was really impressed with was the Lechon Kawali. Served with a sweet liver sauce, this dish was just divine, sinful and heavenly at the same time! I loved that from the first bite I already could tell the pork belly has been slow-boiled and fried to crispy perfection. This dish is worth the extra workout at the gym.
The restaurant interior is clean and air-conditioned, though the general quietness of the place does require that you bring along a chatty dining partner. Or else, you’ll be met with an awkward silence between the staff and yourself. It seems like the restaurant operator is the shy-kind who likes to hide behind his little counter. Although it is on the pricey side (by local standards) the dishes we tried were pretty good. You just have to remember to bring a party to entertain yourself.
Masarap Filipino Cuisine
Block B, Lot 13 (a few doors down from Wojomama) Lintas Square,
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia