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Oct 7, 2012 09:20 AM

PIg and Khao is AWESOME

This new Asian/Filipino spot recently opened. Top Chef's Leah Cohen is owner/chef ( her mom is Filipina), is there every night overseeing every meal that is cooked and expediting orders. It is located in the old Falai space on Clinton St. I was recently there and the place was packed. The sizzling sisig was excellent , as was the mango salad with chicken breast, and the coconut rice. The quail adobo was unbelievable. The crispy pata was delicious, but not served the traditional way , on the bone. Nonetheless, a fantastic dish. I watched them prepare other nice dishes , of mussels, a grilled pork jowl dish, a lamb dish and Khao Soi. they even have halo halo or turon .
The service is excellent. The staff very friendly. Basically, the place is awesome.

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  1. hmm very interesting, close to my place

    1. NY1 did a very complimentary piece on Cohen and the restaurant this morning; link is here -

      1. I'm dying to try it. No desserts?

        10 Replies
        1. re: H Manning

          I didn't have room for dessert, but they have turon and the most popular Filipino dessert halo halo
          I read the link Phil Ogelos posted above, i didn't know they were associated with the Fatty Crab folks. I personally don't like the food at Fatty Crab, but the food here is excellent and mostly Filipino food.

          1. re: foodwhisperer

            As soon as I heard they serve pancit palabok I tried to assemble a group immediately for my annual birthday serving. Sadly no dice, but I may have to make an exception for another helping of heart attack on a plate quite soon. Did the Filipino dishes hold their own against the Thai elements in the menu or were they lacking that lasang pinoy?

            1. re: JungMann

              I ate at the bar, but i had a choice of a table if i wanted it. I prefer the bar, since there were 2 of us. I like communicating with the staff , who cook in front of you. The menu changes, possibly daily , i'm not sure. They didn't have palabok or any kind of pancit when i was there. The Filipino dishes had " the right taste". They use the same suka most Filipinos use, Datu Puti. The owner's mom corrects or helps with fixing the taste right. Their liver sauce is fantastic. The quail adobo was perfectly seasoned. They hold their own , on the dishes i had. Although I like eating crispy para off the bone, not filet of crispy para, but non Filipinos, probably prefer it the way they do it. I went late on a weekend night.

              1. re: foodwhisperer

                What does suka mean in Tagalog? In Malay, it means "like," as in to like something. Is it a condiment?

                1. re: Pan

                  Suka is the Tagalog word for vinegar. Filipino food is usually presented with a variety of condiments for dipping and enlivening dishes. Suka at bawang (vinegar and garlic) is one of the more common options.

                  1. re: JungMann

                    Some varieties add onions, hot pepper and garlic. Datu Puti makes a really good one. At Maharlika i usually ask for some chopped chills to add to my suka.

                    1. re: JungMann

                      And bawang is the generic word for onion in Malay, though bawang putih ("white onion") means garlic. Thanks for the explanation.

                      1. re: Pan

                        There are several foods in the Philipines that are similar to those in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China etc. and i think have similar names i.e. Kang Kong ( water spinach)

                        1. re: foodwhisperer

                          Yep, that is the same name.

                          I used to go to Elvie's Turo-Turo, and a lot of her food was similar to the village food I used to have in Terengganu, on the East Coast of the Malay Peninsula, in the 1970s, except that her food wasn't halal and she served pork and pork sausage.

                  2. re: foodwhisperer

                    One or two of the press releases I got prior to opening were talking up the chicharron and shrimp noodles -- I'm going to have to hope they've maybe kept it on the menu as a special or under some hipsterized name. Of all Filipino dishes, I've got to think that pork crackling noodles with head sauce has got the makings of a future trend.

                    And thanks for the write up. The crispy pata and liver sauce sound mouthwatering.

            2. Did you have to wait for a table? I'm thinking about trying it tonight but I've read about horrible wait times.

              3 Replies
              1. re: rrems

                So, I called and asked about how long the wait would be at around 8 or 8:30. I was told there would probably not be a wait. We arrived and were given a choice of being seated at the bar immediately or at a table in 10 minutes. We liked the idea of bar seating better so were happy with that. We ordered 2 small and 2 large plates, plus an order of coconut rice, for the 2 of us, and we were stuffed. The quail, sisig and whole fried fish were delicious, the lamb good but a bit heavy and lacking in flavor, still a good dish but just not up to the level of the others. I would love to come back and try more dishes. Sitting facing the kitchen added to the experience.

                1. re: rrems

                  Glad you enjoyed. The quail adobo and sisig they do a great job. You should try the crispy para, even off the bone, it does have a lot of flavor. The coconut rice is really good. Was the owner expediting the orders?

                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                    Next time I will try the para. Yes, she was right in front of us running the kitchen, very efficiently.

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