When I first discovered Pugon Roasters, it was love at first bite. First, I was amazed that the famous celebrity chef – Chef Lau owned it and that the dishes were surprisingly affordable – even outright dirt cheap! Second, I was amazed at the food choices and more so at the succulent tastes of each. And lastly, it was located in my favorite park in the city.
And so it came as no surprise that every chance I got, I would invite friends to meet at Pugon. I loved bringing them there and suggesting my favorite dishes. But lo and behold not all of them loved Pugon as my as I did. And when I probed deeper, it was because their taste buds cannot appreciate the intricate flavors Chef Lau mixed into his creations.
The flagship product is, of course, none other than Pugon Roast Chicken (P99 with rice). It is actually served with artistic flair as would befit any chef. Their chicken is best paired with the vinegar that comes with it. It actually taste was better than Mang Inasal or any other common chicken place but my friends simply didn’t have the taste buds to appreciate the Indian-inspired cuisine. Their claim is that the chicken is roasted in a pugon and as we know anything cooked in an actual pugon is well-worth the taste (think Pugon Pandesal).
But what I love about them is their version of chicken liver and isaw. The Chicken Liver Surprise (P75 with rice) has this distinctive spice taste reminiscent of Indian cuisine. The liver is so soft you can just bite and swallow. But of course who would do that? Best chew the food slowly first and savor its rich taste. Another rather unique dish is Chikenini (P65 with rice). It’s chicken intestines (isaw) fried then cooked in adobo sauce. There are times when it would be so salty but most of the times the taste is just enough. It’s pretty strong taste but to me it’s what keeps me coming back because I find it ingenuous that there is another way of cooking “isaw” (in fact, I should just refer to it as intestines because it is not really “inisaw” (grilled)).
They have other good menu items like the Chicken Croquetas (P85 with rice) which I recommend you share with a group as one order has 5 big pieces and eating all of them can get “nakakaumay”. The barbeque sauce that comes with it though is divine.
The place also serves alcohol such as beer served really cold and hence dubbed beer zero because it is cooled to almost 0 degrees. Of course the have pulutan like Chicken Sisig. They also carry desserts such as cheesecakes, halo-halo and carabao soft ice cream. If you like dark chocolate, I recommend their dark chocolate cheesecake (P130). I’m sure you’ll love it!.
There are other menu items such as a baked bangus and angus beef. I didn’t really try them hence I can’t give a verdict. I merely go back for the chicken liver and chikenini most of the time but I must make a mental note to go back more often and try the other dishes.
Final note: Pugon is a fantastic resto. Their claim of #FastGood is true. Food is served fast and it tastes – and look – good. I love the food and I love their service. But I know the taste is not for everyone so if you are not that adventurous with your taste buds, or you do not prefer Middle Eastern tastes, then proceed with caution. Yet, as they say, YOLO – you only live once – so why not try the sumptuous meals at Pugon Roasters. (Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored review though it might sound like one because I just so love the place!)
The Chikenini – Fried Adobong Chicken Intestines
Drop by and you might just meet the famous celebrity chef and his wife.
The very unassuming menu board which is chuck full of other dishes to discover like the Kalderetang Lasagna.
Baked Potato Wedges. One of the many sides availbale for P19 (half) and P25 (full). Verdict: so-so.
Ensalada. Another side. Verdict: so-so.
My all time faves – Chicken Liver Suprise and Chickenini!
Pugon Roasters by Chef Lau is located at Ayala Triangle, Makati and McKinley Hill, Taguig. Visit their Facebook Page at Chef Lau’s Pugon Roasters.