About a month ago, my family and I ate at this BF Parañaque ribs place that left us feeling cheated. The place had a high Zomato rating, which naturally raised out expectations, but it didn’t follow through. I wrote about my experience on Zomato, turned off the pc, and forgot about it. (My brother-in-law, who was with me during that fateful dinner, also wrote about his harrowing ordeal on Zomato.)
Then one day, both of us got an email from some guy who has his own smoked meat restaurant. Butchik, as he introduced himself, said he’d read our reviews and was looking to “redeem the cuisine as it were”. The first thing that came to my mind was, “this guy’s got balls.” Inviting me over to change my mind about smoked meat? I’m no Anthony Bourdain, but for someone to just go and say to you “my food will change your mind”, either this dude’s good at bullshitting, or his food is actually crazy good. But what the hell? Might as well give it a shot. We called up this guy Butchik and requested a table for three. (We didn’t tell him who we were so we could experience the place as regular customers would.)
Fat Butchik’s is a very laid-back, sit-around-with-friends-drinking-beer-talking-shit kind of place. Kind of like “Cheers” minus the cheesy theme song; as the night went on, it became more apparent that Butchik knew each and everyone of his customers well. Plastic chairs and wooden tables were set up, rock music was blaring from the stereo, and the whole place is lit up with a string of Japanese lanterns. We were the first ones there, and we were met by the owner himself, who had one of the servers take our order while they continued setting up.
The menu’s really short, which should cut minutes from your decision-making. I personally like it that way; it gives me the impression that having just a few items on the menu means more time and effort spent perfecting what they do have. We ordered the Here Piggy platter (smoked pork belly), the A Cheese Sausage platter (smoked Hungarian), a Chicken Dinner, a Bowl o’ Red (chili), and two Bowls o’ white (a kind of cheese and stock soup). While stating our order, we could tell right away that service needs quite a bit of a tune-up. I’m not sure what the server was smoking, but it can’t be just the meat. He kept forgetting orders, asking to repeat what we wanted, and couldn’t get my sister’s name right for the receipt even as she was spelling it right into his ear.
To wash down the meal to come, we asked for the house’s iced tea. I honestly didn’t see anything special about it (it tasted a bit watered down and I couldn’t find the Calamondin oranges they supposedly used to sweeten the brew), save for the mason jar that looked like it was built for a hulk of a hipster; theirs are biggest mason jars I’ve seen used in a restaurant.
After some time (yeah, get ready to wait a while for your orders), the Here Piggy and A Cheese Sausage platters made a landing on our table and we eagerly pounced. One bite proved that Butchik does walk his talk. With the tender meat and crunchy skin, the Piggies were soft, flavorful chunks of heaven on a plate. Equally a palate-pleaser were the cheese sausages. Each weighing in at 125g and coming in twos in every platter, these juicy, cheese-logged sausages will take you on a long and tasty journey leading to sure satisfaction. I don’t know who the pig was that offered his life for this feast, but his death was not in vain. To honor his passing, we asked for another round of both orders. And I found myself chowing down more food than I normally can, which, if you’re a frequent reader of my blog, you know is quite a feat.
The chicken platter took the longest, prompting many jokes of the “chicken’s still being chased down” nature. But when it finally reached us, it was yet another proof that all good things are worth waiting for. Each chicken quarter had a nice, crispy skin that was flavored so well, I wanted to ask for a platter of just skin, heart attack be damned. Underneath, the meat was so tender, I was afraid I’d be met with a curtain of red when I reached the bone. But the chicken was cooked through and through. Sorry if I’m going for the obvious here, but I have to say it: the Chicken Dinner was a winner, winner. (Cue tired groans here.)
All platters were served with a bit of grilled vegetables and roasted garlic cloves, both of which work well in adding depth to the meat, not that they needed any more flavor enhancement. (I wish the sausage came with the promised side of smashed potatoes and chili, though.) Oh, and don’t expect to find a bowl of dipping sauce with these platters. They don’t offer any because you won’t need it. Trust me.
The bowl of chili was very filling, nicely seasoned (though it needed just a tad more salt), and had a nice amount of kick, and they serve it with some pandesal that’s great for dipping into the concoction. The Bowl ‘o White tasted pretty much like the chicken sopas your mom would cook on a cold day or when you’re sick minus the elbow macaroni. I was fine with that… until I discovered a tiny, six-legged guest doing backstrokes in it. The owner was nice enough to comp the soup, but that doesn’t erase the fact that I did just ingest some essence of bug.
So… you’d think playing the waiting game and unearthing an antennaed Michael Phelps in my soup would keep me from coming back, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be stopping by again. They may have stumbled in a couple of aspects, but they excelled in the area that mattered most: delivering smoked meat the right way. Tender? Check. Tasty? Fucking check. Redeemed? I’d say so. So, yeah, count me in as a regular. (Maybe I’ll just stick with their meaty offerings from here on out.)
Overall rating: ★★★✭☆
346 El Grande Street, BF Homes, Parañaque
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