Many local celebrities are venturing into the food business nowadays. This rings true to celebrity couple Rommick Sarmenta and Harlene Bautista, who decided to open their own restaurant, Salu, in Quezon City.
Salu, according to ABS-CBN News, aims to serve uncommon Filipino meals. The name originates from the term “salu-salo,” which refers to a large gathering of people.
The restaurant does not serve typical Filipino meals like adobo, sinigang, and lechon. Instead, the menu is described as extensive, with various specialties coming from the region of Luzon and Mindanao.
Harlene shared in an interview:
“Sanay na tayo sa kare-kare, sanay na tayo sa mga sinigang at adobo na talagang mahal na nating lahat. Pero ngayon dito sa Salu, gusto naming ipakilala ang ilang mga putahe mula sa Luzon na hindi tayo masyadong familiar. Tulad na lang ng Hardinera.”
The source stated that she referred to a type of meatloaf that is popular in Lucban, Quezon. The meal contains pork, which is then steamed to an oval-shaped pan used for making leche flan.
The couple’s restaurant also serves famous Visayan meals such as the Balbacua (which is a soup that contains a slow-cooked meat) and Mindanao region’s Tiyula Itum or the blackened beef soup.
Apparently, Harlene and her husband traveled to different places of the Philippines to personally witness how these meals are prepared.
They also asked for the help of local culinary experts like Chef Janjie Ocoma.
Harlene Bautista added:
“Hindi po kami eksperto, pero ang masasabi ko we have the best team pagdating sa kitchen. Every day, may bago kaming dini-develop na pagkain.”
Since the restaurant serves entire Filipino food, the couple incorporated a “tusok-tusok” station where different street foods can be heartily enjoyed by guests.
The station serves fish balls, squid balls, kikiam, cheese sticks, and kwek-kwek.
There are also jars that contain unripe mangoes, singkamas, and santol on sticks. All of them are best enjoyed with bagoong.
Harlene shared that incorporating street foods into their menu is their way of introducing it to foreigners.
Their restaurant generally serves a variety of Filipino foods from different regions. The source called it a perfect example of “regional fusion,” where meals are traditionally prepared but with a certain kind of twist.
For example, the Binagoongang Lechon kare-kare has pork as its main ingredient, instead of the usual ox tail.
The Salu restaurant is located in Scout Torillo corner Scout Fernandez at Quezon City.
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