Bagnet (deep fried pork belly) is a specialty of Ilocos province and it maybe more commonly known as chicharon in the country. Though I haven’t tried yet what I deem as an authentic bagnet, I think it is very similar to chicharon (pork cracklings) with ‘laman’ (meat). What I’ve tried is the one like lechon kawali and in comparison to it, the fat thickness of the bagnet is wow, overwhelming. So thick it scares me. Haha. Maybe the only difference is how thick they are sliced or nothing at all. I’m not fond of eating the ‘taba’ (fat) part but a little wouldn’t hurt. It’s the crunchy skin that I love and could eat all day. Kidding on the all day part.
Mmmmm yummy! Photo source
The place, from the tables to the utensils, gives you a feel of dining in a house. Nothing fancy, just a place sercing straightforward Filipino dishes. (sorry forgot to take a photo of the restaurant) With the word ‘bagnet’ in the name, you would expect the typical bagnet with the overwhelming fat. We ordered the one in kare-kare (peanut sauce) and spicy ginataan (coconut milk). I was ecstatic to try the one in kare-kare sauce because this is exactly what I do when eating at Dad’s buffet – get some lechon kawali and head off to the kare-kare to dress it up.
It was not what I was expecting – the fat was minimal but hooray for me! I’m actually happy with their serving size – seems appropriate with the price. In our words, sulit! But you know, the ratio of skin:fat:meat will never be equal in each servings but if you’re like me, just pray hard that it will always have more skin and may the odds be ever in your favor.
It was juicy and crunchy. Some of the meat were tough but it was chewable and some of the skin were a little bit burnt. Amongst the two I liked the one in kare-kare sauce better. The bagnet itself can be seasoned better though.
Will I visit again? The thing is, the cook from where I am living can also whip up a lechon kawali that is juicier, crunchier and tastier! I will settle for a home-cooked bagnet anytime in the comfort of our house.
Service on the other hand was fast for us but I can see the servers are struggling entertaining all of their customers. The servers will just get your orders and then they’re out – no time for chit chat here. But I can’t blame them because the place is jampacked for dinner on a weekday. People will definitely dine here because you can get a decent meal for a hundred and ten pesos (110php).8065 Estrella St
San Antonio, Makati