We all have lives that revolve around something or someone. Same with real life scenario, Gata’s very essence revolves around gata or coconut milk, hence the name. Not sure if you agree, but it’s somehow true that — EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH GATA. #BicolPride
Gata restaurant just recently opened its doors to the public and they are actually situated across ABS-CBN, beside PhilHealth along Mother Ignacia avenue. A few public figures from the nearby station have started patronising some of the restaurant’s recipe acquired from the owner’s family and the Bicolano chefs. Their way of home-style cooking truly gives comfort especially to Filipinos who are fond of the Bicol’s meticulous way of preparing their dishes with lots of gata in it.
What’s more interesting is that Gata is sourcing its ingredients from the independent farmers and fishermen in and around the Bicol region. These small suppliers still use the traditional ways of producing their products which allows for a much better quality.
Some of the ingredients that are being locally sourced are the laing, tinapa, and vinegar. I was very keen and excited to dig in and try some of their recipes because I’d like to know the difference, but then I realised that you would only know the unique difference if you’ve lived long enough in Bicol and grew up eating their own version of our favourite dishes.
The Crispy Okoy with Sukang Tuba (Php 150) is a classic Filipino invention that is ideal for “Pangpuon” or appetizer. Gata’s okoy has got to be the crispiest and crunchiest version I have eaten perfectly paired with sukang tuba or coconut vinegar. I wouldn’t mind ordering 2 of this and have it with a cup of rice! The restaurant takes pride of its Laing (Php 235) because it is often attempted by others but not perfected, and after trying it I’d say that I couldn’t agree more! The Tinapa Rice (Php 180) that is good for sharing, but not to me! The Bicolano Tinapa is smoky and flavorful that it goes well with any fried dish like the okoy.
The Kinunot na Pagi is made of flaked stingray with malunggay leaves simmered in gata. It’s funny because as a foodie, you need to be somewhat adventurous in the sense that this type of dishes may come up and of course you need to try it! And I absolutely did not regret trying this incredible recipe of Gata!
These two are for the people who are drawn to the burning sensation! The Beef Kaldereta with Gata (Php 380) is clearly the winner in this FMU! Most of my friends agreed that this underrated dish is their best pick and all I can say is that putting gata in this typical example of Filipino dish is very intriguing and interesting! The Bicol Express (Php 250) made the whole experience complete, because (DUH?) what’s a Bicolano restaurant without the Bicol Express? 😀
I know that there are a lot of variants of pikadillo but Gata’s version, which is the Pikadillo na Tilapia, is the first of its kind that uses fish. This is one of their special dishes that is stuffed with onions and tomatoes, wrapped in pechay leaves and of course, simmered in gata.
The Twice-Cooked Binagoongan (Php 260) is easily one of my favourites since I often request this dish at home. The perfectly cooked pork with a resemblance to that of a Lechon Kawali was a blessing in every bite together with the bagoong or fermented condiment. The Chicken Binakol (Php 320) is close to the well-known Tinolang Manok, but this has a sweet broth due to the young coconut meat and juice.
The Sizzling Kandingga is a native Bicolano delicacy made from pork heart and lungs. If you know me personally, you’d know that this is the last thing I will eat on earth! But guess what? It turned out to be my favourite among the rest! I honestly finished this one together with the Laing while we were giving feedbacks. LOL. Definitely a must try!
Gata is a restaurant that I know, by heart, my parents will love. I’m pretty sure that with consistency and continuous affable treatment of the staff, Gata will flourish in no time! Kudos!
Gata Flavors of Bicolandia Atbp. Unit 3, The Grandia Place, Mother Ignacia Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City Mon - Sun 11 AM to 2 PM; 3:30 PM to 10 PM Website: http://www.gatarestaurant.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/gatarestaurant/ IG: https://www.instagram.com/gatarestaurant/