10.326 Squid Pipian


27 (Wed) November 2019

Squid Pipian


at Purple Yam

-Malate, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines-

with the Family, In-Laws

IZ: “What, I don’t have a first name?”

To celebrate, both the joy of having the beloved In-Laws in town and the anticipation of soon seeing them off (Saturday), we went to Purple Yam.

Green Guava Slices in Vinaigrette with Cassava Chips (3.5): first time eating guava as whole fruit – loved it.
Sinigang sa Guava (3.5): rather than from the typical tamarind, the tang here was derived from guava, which I don’t like so much when ripe (see for example 7.234 Sikreto ni Maria Claria), but the green guava had a more subtle flavor; the expert plating executed the neat trick of serving soup with a piece of deep-fried fish and keeping it crispy; slices of raw radish provided a nice bittersweet counterpoint.
Squid Pipian (4.0): delicately deep-fried baby squid and perfectly parboiled snow peas and sitaw beans, brought together in a sublimely rich and nutty gravy – I was enthralled.

Pipian is a Filipino sauce.  Consists of stock, seasonings (e.g., soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar), and aromatics (e.g., onion, cilantro, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, kamias, annatto seeds), often greens (e.g., epazote, spinach), thickened with ground toasted rice.  Often cooked with chicken and served as a stew.  Some relation to a Mexican dish of the same name (which I am equally unqualified to describe).

I’ve never tried traditional pipian, and I suspect the pipian here is far from traditional.

Shrimp Dumplings (3.5): handmade wrappers were delightfully chewy; fillings were succulent – clearly Chinese-inspired, yet retaining a Filipino essence with the palapa.
Kamias Sorbet (3.5): excellent entremets – wouldn’t mind eating this for dessert, too.
Mixed Shell Curry (1.5): the clam that I tried seemed a bit off; the yellow curry tasted a tad bitter to my palate, though the others didn’t appear to mind; the first dish that I have disliked at this restaurant.
Mixed Fried Grains (3.5): when making the reservation, I insisted that this be included in the spread; MIL loved it, similar to her own multi-grain rice.


Beef Shank Adobo (2.0): beef was kind gamy; didn’t really dig the adobo sauce.

Overall, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the meal.  The In-Laws, as well as the W and Boys, were duly impressed by the food, the ambiance, and the weirdness of the experience – eating by ourselves in someone’s (former) home, the entire staff focused exclusively on us.  It was fun.

Forgot to take photos of the dessert, which was served as a fully prepared halo-halo (i.e., not as a DIY buffet as before).  It was awesome.


Out of curiosity, we requested 2 orders of the kid’s menu for the kids.  DJ was offended that he had to eat from a kid’s menu.  Ultimately, everyone ended up sharing everything.  So, we got 2 additional dishes, while saving 2,000 pesos (2,500 pesos per adult, 1,500 per kid).

Pan Fried Chicken

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