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