Tasty little twists in Saffron's Boholano fare

  Rory Visco  /    Mar 5, 2015

My love for food is like my love for music—eclectic. I can go gourmet or traditional, plated to street food. If it looks palatable, then I easily go for a quick chomp. Meat, fish, veggies, you name it, and most likely I’d give it a go.

Amorita’s Saffron Restaurant, without a doubt, only serves the best of what Boholano cuisine can offer. Saffron is the only restaurant in Bohol that serves truly authentic Boholano dishes, according to its Executive Chef Raphael Ongchiong.

The Amorita Pork Sinigang is given a different presentation: a Lechon Macau style pork belly, with extra crisp skin. The meat is laid on a bed of the usual sinigang veggies like radish, eggplant, string beans, with tomatoes on the side. The sour broth is served separately. 

The “deconstructed” Binagoongang Baboy separates the bagoong (shrimp paste)-laced sauce from the pork, with the ensaladang talong (eggplant mixed with minced onion and tomato) on the side—technically three dishes in one.

A crowd favorite is the Grilled White Marlin. The original dish had Blue Marlin as the main ingredient, but some guests commented that the fish was dry. “I discovered the White Marlin's meat more plump and juicier, so we decided to switch to White Marlin,” Chef Raphael revealed.

A new personal favorite is called Halang-Halang. The grilled chicken is cooked until the meat almost falls off the bone and then stewed in spicy coconut milk sauce laced with lots of ginger, then sprinkled with chilli leaves and topped with luscious strips of fresh coconut meat.

"The Prime" is not for the faint-hearted. Made from over a half-pound of behemoth beef served on oversized buns and loaded with bacon, onion rings, fresh tomatoes, fried egg, and slathered with melted cheese, the mere sight can make anyone cringe in fear.

The Turon de Bohol (jackfruit and banana dusted with sugar, rolled in spring roll wrapper then deep fried) is served a la mode with vanilla ice cream and a dash of crushed nuts. Surprisingly, it wasn’t too sweet.

Chef Raphael is quick to emphasize that every dish had been “deconstructed” in order to offer something new for the senses. “We really didn’t change the taste; we just made the presentation a little different. As they say, ‘why fix it if it ain’t broke?’

  Magazine, Daily Chow