Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ilocos Norte's Bistro 51 for Crispy Binagoongan and Poki Poki

In my last visit to Laoag, the capital city of Ilocos Norte, we were fortunate to be billeted at a hotel near Bistro 51. The place reminded me of Baguio City's Cafe by the Ruins, re-imagined as a beer garden. The dishes border on the very tasty, best paired with your alcohol of choice. 

We had an excellent dinner there, but the following are the stand-outs. 
The excellent spicy-sweet crispy binagoongan, pork sauteed in shrimp paste. Very tasty, the pork and innards envelope your mouth in umami goodness. This is a unique take on the binagoongan--I love the  mix of textures.
Another winner is the poki-poki, a vegetable dish made of grilled eggplant, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and egg. It is like tortang talong, only less dry and without the chopped meat. Bistro 51's poki poki is smoky and tasted like it was cooked on fire.

If your trip to Laoag  will revolve around food, here are my recommendations:

Bistro 51
Escoda National Highway
Laoag Cioty
(-63) 77 670 6607

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