Food Review: Filipino Adobo! at Ali Baba Eating House, East Coast Road, S428810

Was kindly invited by Adobo! to do a food review last week. I was intrigued - I've never had Filipino  food before (or perhaps just once long ago), and what's even more special is Filipino food in a coffeeshop! You would think that there will be more of their cuisine in Singapore, seeing that there's quite a sizable population here.

Well I am going to give the meal a go at introducing and reviewing it to you now.

We started with the Bikol Express ($4.50) which is pork in a spicy shrimp paste gravy. The taste is strangely very similar to a thai Green Curry. The gravy was not too spicy and had a bit of a coconut milk taste to it. 

The pork was very generous (though there are quite a lot of fatty layers which some might not want) and I enjoyed it quite a fair bit. 

We were also given three types of chili for the dishes. 
The one on the top left is very spicy so be warned!

On to the main dishes! 

The namesake and the most famous item from the cuisine is of course, the Chicken Adobo ($4.00). It is stewed chicken thigh in gravy served with egg, garlic butter rice and sambal chilli. This dish is one of their cook's specialties, thus the Adobo! name. According to them, the cook only selects the chicken thigh area for this dish. 

It was served with garlic butter rice (additional $0.30), but you can choose to have it with white rice.

Well let's start with the chicken first. The meat was quite tender and the stew made it flavorsome, though perhaps dialing it up a little bit more would be good. 

What really gave my tastebuds a shock was the garlic butter rice. It was very strong on first taste, but not so much garlic but more of the bitterness. I guess I wasn't expecting it! After a few mouthfuls it got more acceptable for my palate, but I did not really like it. My dining companion however thought it was quite good, so it really is a matter of personal preference!

Next was the Lechon Kawali ($4.50), which is crispy pork belly served with egg, rice and chilli padi.

Actually among all, I thought this was the least well done because the pork was a bit dry, though still quite crispy. I would have preferred if there is some sort of sauce to go along with it. Like this on its own felt a bit like the roast meat rice we have, but without any excitement.

Then we come to my favorite of the meal: the Sinigang Baboy ($4.50) which is sour soup with an assortment of long beans, brinjal and chili with pork, served with rice (separate). 

The soup was very refreshing even though there was pork involved. It again felt like a Tom Yam soup, but Filipino style. I enjoyed the crunchy vegetables in there. This is perfect to share while having the mains.

Lastly, we had some dessert! We were really quite full from the 2 starters and 2 mains, but out comes this custard-looking thing in a cup. It is the Leche Flan ($2) which is caramel custard. Apparently it is the national dessert for Filipinos and no meal is complete without some leche flan. 

Well I agree! After all the pork, chili and rice, it was good to have a chilled custard for dessert. It is quite a firm and dense custard. I like how it is similar to the Italian version with the caramel syrup.

Try it! Step out of your comfort zone. It is not every day that you find Filipino food in a coffeeshop at affordable and real prices serving up non-pretentious and homely food from another country. Thus I would recommend it, but perhaps skip the crispy pork with rice and try something more exotic instead.


125 East Coast Road, #01-01 Stall No.2
Ali Baba Eating House, Singapore 428810
Opens daily 11.30am to 10.30pm except Tuesdays
Tel: 8169 0799 for takeaways

This is an invited food tasting but my opinion is personal and honest.

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