Sir Manong – Eastern Creek NSW Restaurant Review

I don’t have great familiarity with Filipino food, but after a somewhat frustrating experience at the local FedEx station I decided I’d give it a go. I ordered two items that were warmly received by Sir Manong’s Google reviewers, though I should’ve known from the number of times my waitress checked that it was must me dining that two dishes at this restaurant was far too many for one man.

The Crispy Beef Kare Kare ($28) was a very large pot of thick and oily peanut sauce, filled with beef brisket that had been fried with some kind of tallow-like coating, accompanied by some most welcome fresh bok choy and beans. I must admit that whilst I enjoyed the peanut sauce, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the beef. The white stuff coating the beef pieces just felt like I was eating lard or tallow, a memory that is evoking feelings of nausea as I write this. The parts of the beef that weren’t coated in white stuff were thankfully spared from this, and the fresh vegetables were also a redeeming feature. I did enjoy the meal with a bit of fishy bagoong paste, though I found it too salty to use very much of.

The Crispy Pata ($27) was again huge, but actually quite excellent. In thinking about how large these dishes were, I guess the alternative would’ve been that I would be here complaining had I spent $27 on pork knuckle and not received an absolute feast. I don’t know where they were able to find pigs with such large feet, but this plate was gigantic. The pork knuckle was quite well cooked, with a hyper crispy skin with some of that characteristic collagen-aided stickiness and a moist muscle interior. The serving of sauerkraut-like pickled cabbage was extremely welcome, its acidity helpfully cutting through the fat, as was the excellent vinegary dipping sauce.

Though I wouldn’t go back for the beef kare kare, the crispy pata was actually quite wonderful. Just remember to bring at least three friends or be prepared to pay 50 cents per takeaway container.

Sir Manong
Eastern Creek Quarter, T16/159 Rooty Hill Rd S, Eastern Creek NSW 2766
(02) 8608 3734


Smoky Cravings – Belmore NSW Restaurant Review

My nightly drive home from work is punctuated by a number of smells, and a recent addition to this olfactory journey is that of Smoky Cravings, a relatively new Filipino BBQ joint in the vicinity of Mcdonald’s Lakemba (where we parked). Though we normally look at distaste at people who do not order the culturally significant dishes at ethnic restaurants and only order what’s easy and safe-feeling, this was me this time. I just wasn’t in the mood for any kind of intestine. I’ve had them, and just don’t generally enjoy them and felt no need to again subject myself to them.

Instead, I went with some safe options, like these battered and deep fried quail eggs (kwek kwek – $5), which were not super special, but came out quickly and had a great batter for us to munch on whilst awaiting the rest of our food.

As far as grilled meat went, we had the Pork BBQ skewer, Chicken BBQ skewer, BBQ Chicken Wings, Adidas, and BBQ Lamb Cutlets. The skewers were $3.50 each, whilst the lamb cutlet was $5.

Most of their food actually had the same sweet and salty flavour from the basting, which was quite enjoyable and not too unfamiliar tasting. The chicken BBQ skewer was a bit more substantial than the pork in terms of size, but both were quite juicy and flavourful. The BBQ Chicken Wing was quite large, consisting of both a drumstick and the wing in a three-part type deal, and made for good value, probably the best of the bunch, especially with its semi-crispy skin. The adidas (chicken feet) came as two feet on a skewer, perfect for sharing with your partner or nursing colleague from the local hospital a few minutes down the road. The lamb cutlet was my least favourite of the bunch, with a different flavour that I no longer remember. I only remember that I didn’t like it.

The chicken inasal ($12) was really big and juicy and perfectly marinated and grilled. It was one of the best things we ate, good value, and really well cooked. Juicier and moister than other forms of BBQ chicken in the local area (dominated by Middle Eastern-style charcoal chicken), very worth a go.

My partner liked the buko pandan ($5). It was not too sweet. Very viscous, our first ever with nothing else to compare it to.

OVERALL Smoky Cravings was a source of enjoyment. I haven’t always loved every Filipino restaurant that I’ve tried, but I’m glad that my nose led me to this one. The staff tried to talk to me in Tagalog, but despite deep workplace immersion neither my partner nor I have been able to pick up anything of note.

Smoky Cravings
851 Canterbury Rd, Belmore NSW 2195
0404 327 788