Everyone who is craving Ilocano food need not go as far north to satisfy himself. One just has to go to Manganen Bagnet House, an Ilocano-inspired Restaurant, located on Marikina’s famed restaurant row Lilac Street. Indeed, from its name, the restaurant’s focus is on the Ilocos famous Bagnet.
For those who don’t know what Bagnet is, it is a deep fried crispy pork belly dish. The owner, comedian Wacky Kiray, chose to focus on such since he not only loves Ilocano food but pork as well. What sets them apart is that they incorporated authentic bagnet to classic Filipino dishes.
DINAKDAKAN, PHP 218 (or USD 4.3)
For an appetizer, get this Ilocano delicacy usually made of boiled and grilled pig parts often the face, eats, liver, and tongue. Normally pig brain is used as thickening agent for it. However, mayonnaise is also a good substitute for it which they generously used here. The dish has a savory, at the same time, creamy taste that goes well with the pork’s chewy texture. Chopped green chilies, onions, and spring onions certainly added a depth of flavor to the dish.
BAGNET KARE KARE FOR SHARE, PHP 298 (or USD 5.81)
Manganen’s Bagnet Kare Kare has a nutty taste thanks to the use of real ground peanuts instead of ready-made peanut butter. Bagnet certainly replaced the usual ox-tail and beef tripe. However, it wasn’t stewed in the traditional peanut-based stew. This includes the vegetables so there is a crisp from the pechay and string beans. To tone down the richness of the sauce, enjoy it with their sweet and salty bagoong (or shrimp paste).
BAGNET BINAGOONGAN, PHP 278 (or USD 5.42)
Bagnet is drenched with sweet and salty flavors from the shrimp paste. I love how the spices complemented its texture.
SINIGANG BAGNET FOR SHARE, PHP 268 (or USD 5.23)
Instead of regular pork meat, bagnet swims in a Filipino tamarind soup. Manganen’s version has the right amount of sourness that goes well with the bagnet.
BAGNET EXPRESS FOR SHARE, PHP 278 (or USD 5.42)
The popular Bicol dish also became a bagnet version. Fresh coconut milk is utilized with chopped chillis. It is not spicy as it seems so everyone will still enjoy it.
LECHE FLAN, PHP 78 (or USD 1.52)
It is a sweet and firm flan but the white sugar sprinkled all over it seriously bothers me.
UBE, PHP 88 (or USD 1.72)
Manganen Bagnet House Menu
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Manganen Bagnet House
116 Lilac Street, SSS Village, Concepcion Dos, Marikina City.
Operating hours: 11 AM to 10 PM from Tuesdays to Sundays; closed on Mondays.