I had the rare treat of dining out on Filipino food this weekend. Unlike Korean or Malaysian food, for instance, Filipino food hasn't become mainstream (though it's only a matter of time). So when I have it, it's usually at home or with family.
I've been dying to try Purple Yam, a reincarnation of the now closed Cendrillion restaurant in SoHo. They opened in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn — out of the way, but I knew it would be worth it. I read about their tocino sliders a couple of weeks ago and could not get it out of my head. So our menu for the evening was as follows:
1) Tocino sliders (sugar-achuete cured pork) in purple yam pan de sal bread, served with pickled persimmon
2) The special dumplings – with shrimp and water chestnuts
3) Pomelo, green mango and jicama salad
4) Chicken adobo (braised in vinegar, garlic, soy sauce and coconut milk)
5) Pancit bihon (Philippine rice noodles with chicken, pork and veggies)
1) Halo halo (Philippine iced dessert with sweet beans, palm seed, cocogel, coconut sport [macapuno], jackfruit, topped with flan and purple yam ice cream)
2) Champorrado with coffee ice cream (sweet rice in chocolate and cream)
My friends and I LOVED it – even more than the original. It was such a treat for me and the best meal I've had in a while. It's as tasty as home cooked meals but with an occasional innovative twist utilizing all the authentic ingredients. The staff was sweet, as was the owner and gracious host, Amy Besa. My favourites had to be the sliders (we had three orders of it), the adobo and the desserts. Their house made ice cream is to die for, especially the coffee one. Purple Yam is so worth the trip out. Think of it as a mini-field trip, it's only a few stops past Park Slope on the Q train. Their back patio area surrounded by bamboo looks really lovely too. I'll definitely be back.
Loved the lighting sculpture at the front of the restaurant