Filipino food at Ilhwan
- Seth Ditchik
Craving new and different tastes, I ate at Ilhwan
(sp?) last night, recommended in Jim Leff's Eclectic
Guide. I can't say that I was impressed. As advised,
I had the BBQ pork; it was OK, but nothing special,
certainly not among the best BBQ of any style, as Jim
writes. It was certainly cheap - $6.25 for the pork
and a melon juice, and it was a pleasant enough place
to eat. I dunno - was this an off night? Has the
place gone downhill? Or was I just expecting too much
from the experience? It certainly was not on par with
other restaurants I have checked out on Leff's advice,
like Kebab Cafe or Pio Pio.
I've really liked Ihawan both times I've eaten there
(both were over a year ago, so I have no clue whether
it's gone downhill). I go mainly for the sour soup
(Sinigang), which has a flavor I've never found in any
other cuisine (the closest is Indian jal jeera). I
don't consider it a barbecue destination, though as you
say, the pork is fine, nothing special. Jim has said he
does not trust the fish there (does he say that in the
book? I can't remember); but I think they make
Just my $.02
sorry you guys weren't wowed by the pork bbq...I thought it was a sure thing; might have to rethink my opinion...or at least resample the 'cue.
But did you (or anyone else) try the longaniza sausage barbecue? If that's not a sure thing, I don't know what is!
Yes, I've had weak fish experiences at Ihawan. I've found that it's best to keep it simple there, ordering stuff like soups, bbq, maybe krispy pata. Glad you've had better experiences, but I had to warn readers after having some not good experiences with fish and more complicated dishes
re: Jim Leff
I went there yesterday for lunch. I thought the BBQ glaze on the pork a bit sugar-y for my taste. I had the pancit with chinese sausage as well. The latter was ok at first. However, as I got closer to the bottom of the dish, I grew less and less fond of it. Something about the sauce was not quite right.
Frankly, I'd go there again if I were in Jackson Heights for another reason but I probably wouldn't make a special trip just for that restaurant.