Posted in Restaurant Hopping

In Which a Touch of Garlic Gives a Boost…

Grilled garlic liempo from Pizza Niro

Pork, as I’ve mentioned numerous times before, is the meat of choice for many Filipinos unless – of course – one is from the Islamic South.

It lends itself well to a variety of cooking methods, both commonplace and for special occasions.  From bacon or tocino on the breakfast table, to the sahog (flavoring agent / textural interest) of a pan of sauteed veg, to the richly-flavored Spanish litany of menudo, adobo, afritada, and pochero – there are so many ways by which pork can make local mouths water.  And then, of course, there are the options of roasting, grilling, and deep-frying the meat.

The addition of garlic to any pork dish makes it gain a deeper, richer savor and a most appealing fragrance.  Case in point: pork adobo in its many versions, the unbeatable combination of tocino with garlic fried rice, and the roasted garlic liempo over at Pizza Niro in Makati.

In this dish (P 130.00 per serve), meltingly tender pork belly is rubbed all over with salt, cracked black pepper, and minced garlic before being slow-roasted in an Italian brick oven.  The deceptively simple marinade permeates the pork, making it deliciously fragrant and utterly tasty.  While not exactly melt-in-your-mouth tender, the meat is soft enough to cut with a fork and is absolutely delightful with hot rice and some sauteed mushrooms and sweetcorn.

I suddenly have a yen to try making this at home…  😉



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

2 thoughts on “In Which a Touch of Garlic Gives a Boost…

  1. garlic is a personal favorite!

    i put lotsa minced garlic when i cook ground pork adobo. yes, midge i love my adobo with giniling na baboy and my pinoy colleagues here in penang like it too. it’s a recipe handed down by my late grandmother.

    your plate looks expensive of its price, don’t you think so?

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