While I was growing up, there was one fish that has politically been used as a benchmark in terms of determining my country’s economic inflation rate and the people’s purchasing power. It was a Filipino staple that resulted to having the first female president in Asia and the Time Magazine’s Woman of the Year awardee. It was the increasing price of this measly poor-man’s fish that was used to ignite in toppling a dark authoritarian regime that resulted to the triumph of a peaceful people power revolution.
This fish was the mundane and inglorious Galunggong (known in the US as the Round Scad Fish). This fish is so cheap, so common and so trivial you will never see this served as part of the menu in any grand or special Filipino banquet feast. Some Filipino folks would not even eat it because they consider it as the fish of the poor and the low-class.
But the sordid, meek and lowly fish seem to have an ally in revamping its unfortunate and underprivileged image. It is the 35-year old Filipino restaurant called Bistro Remedios.
I think Bistro Remedios is the only prime-quality restaurant in the metro that carries a Galunggong dish in the menu. I have yet to know or encounter an equally ingenious restaurant of the same caliber that serves this variety of fish.
Bistro Remedios serves Galunggong and they simply call it Piniritong Galunggong. I recently got an interest of trying one and it was one surprisingly beautiful dish that was served on my table.
I consider Piniritong Galunggong to be the chic and dashing version of this common fried fish. It is actually a complete meal. It is served with a special rice cooked in coconut milk and also comes with the savory-flavored Filipino shrimp paste mixed with crispy tiny anchovies.
The presentation, the plating and the big portion definitely exceeded my expectations. Those fresh sliced tomatoes and banana leaf bedding definitely added beautiful colors to what could have been a plain looking dish. The sautéed shrimp paste with anchovies was packed with flavors while the special coconut milk rice was a real big surprise to the palate.
The Galunggong fish was definitely the highlight of this dish. It was crisp, meaty and flavorful. And for those who hate eating bony fish, Bistro Remedios’ kitchen painstakingly got rid of the fish bones! The fish served were boneless!
Bistro Remedios (who was the inventor/creator of the now-very-famous Binukadkad Na Plapla which almost all Filipino restaurants seem to serve now) definitely did a great job on introducing and carrying Galunggong in their menu.
Chomping on the fish seem to brought back childhood memories and of living simple and joyous lives in the past. This dish was a definite glorious gastronomic experience! And after having my last bite, I was already planning on when to order it again.
Bistro Remedios branches are
are at Adriatico St, Remedios Circle, Malate
and at the Grond Floor, The Block, SM North EDSA
Pinasosyal na isda…