Thursday, May 19, 2011

Best Lechon in Metro Manila

Whenever there is a party to celebrate a milestone in one's life like weddings, baptisms, debuts, birthdays, graduations or special occasions like Christmas, anniversaries, corporate affairs,  the lechon or roasted pig is sure to be the main attraction on the buffet table.  It is the star of the dinner table.  In our family, no party is complete without the lechon.  

Our love affair with lechon started when I tasted lechon Cebu at the Christmas party of my husband's company.  That was 1994 and it was the first time I tasted the Cebu version.  I fell in love with the lechon and I managed to get the contact details of the supplier.  It came from a Cebuano whose outlet was located somewhere in N. Domingo St., near Cubao, Quezon City.  Their lechon was best eaten with vinegar with garlic, not the liver sauce that usually goes with those that come from La Loma.   From then on, no more La Loma lechon for me.

It became somewhat of a tradition every time our family was celebrating something.  To celebrate the coming of 2010, we decided to order lechon from my old supplier from N. Domingo.  Alas, the old lechon house was sold and is now under new management.  I wasn't comfortable with that.  My daughter, Nina, suggested that we try the one that was featured in Yummy magazine, General's Lechon, of the Negros Occidental variety.  Negros lechons  have been slowly eating the market share of the Cebu version.  I placed my order but no available stock was available.  It was intended for New Year's eve and they can't accommodate my order.  We were disappointed.  We just had the usual New Year food like hotdogs, pasta, ham, fruits, salads.  No lechon.

The Yummy article that led us to General's Lechon.
After the disappointment on New Year, we trained our eyes on my son Marco's 21st birthday on January 26.  What a perfect occasion to have lechon and this time I did not pass the chance.  I ordered early enough so I can choose the size.  Come Marco's birthday dinner, everybody was raving about the lechon that my father overlooked the viands that I cooked.  My father is a very obedient patient of his cardiologist but he threw caution to the wind when he ate General's lechon.  You won't be needing the liver sauce that usually comes with an order of lechon as each bite is so tasty.  It has been marinated in lemon grass, star anise, salt, and other herbs then allowed to sit for two hours before being put on the fire.  The best part, aside from the crunchy skin (it remains crunchy the longest among the lechon that I tasted so far), is the ribs.  There were other occasions that we had the same lechon and every time, it did not fail our expectations.

This is how the lechon looked like after being delivered...

...and this is how it looked like after almost an hour.
I was able to do an online interview with the enterprising couple behind General's Lechon, Bryan and Lynne Ong of Paranaque City.  Bryan said that getting into the lechon business was more of a fate.  His wife, Lynne, is not a lechon eater but was raving about it while on a family vacation in Negros Occidental.  When they got back home in Metro Manila, they decided to have the cook fly in to roast the lechon for them.  A business was born and after more than 50 pigs, they were able to come up with their own original flavor that in Bryan's words was "approved and sealed" by their friends.

According to Bryan, the process takes four to five hours to get the perfect lechon.  They use pigs of native descent and medium-sized ones are the most salable.  You need not have the lechon flown in from the Visayas as General's Lechon is just a phone call away.  When in Metro Manila, dial 408-6850 or you can send a text message to 0917-8975966.  You have to allot time though if you are ordering during major occasions like Christmas, New Year.  Bon appetit.

Disclaimer:  I was not paid to write about General's Lechon.  I am just one satisfied customer.
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