I have always found cauliflower to be an inane vegetable. It is usually dumped in a group with it’s kissing cousin broccoli, who always seems to hog the spotlight. Texturally, its crunch is appealing, but the flavors never seem to be distinct. It usually needs a lot more to it—the addition of cheese or spices such as the Indian aloo gobi.
Recently however, the vegetable has become one of the “it” ingredients of restaurants abroad, with some magazines calling it the kale of 2014. The most famous versions of this include Dan Barber’s essential take, where they are treated like steak, served on a cart as you would roast beef and prime rib. Noma serves it after it has been sitting underground, then braised in butter, and Daniel Humm had it ground up and eaten like steak tartare. Nearer to our shores, we have the famed Yardbird, whose Korean Fried Cauliflower (or the wittily named KFC) was catching the attention of many.
In the metro, cauliflower is slowly becoming a favorite ingredient of local chefs. It is punctuating menus, and has now become quite the exciting vegetable. Here’s a rundown on where it has been sprouting in the city:
1. Buttermilk Fried Cauliflower from The Girl + The Bull
Fried cauliflower coated in buttermilk breading, tossed in gochujang, soy, honey, sesame, and served with a lime wedge.
The Girl + The Bull
346 Aguirre Avenue,
B.F. Homes, Parañaque
2. Cauliflower Fritters from Marmalade Kitchen
Cauliflower breaded in a light tempura batter, with a slightly sticky, sweet sauce.
2/F Forum Global South Building
7th Ave. corner Federation Drive
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
3. Cauliflower Steak and Eggs from Green Pastures
Cauliflower roasted like slabs of meat, with walnut beurre noisette, red wine reduction, and topped with fried duck egg.
4/F Shangri-la Plaza, East Wing
4. Deep-fried Cauliflower with Spicy Mayo Sauce from Xin Wang Hong Kong Café
Florets of cauliflower, are deep-fried to a crisp, and served with a spicy mayo dip.
Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe
SM Mall of Asia, JW Diokno Blvd
Manila Bay Reclamation Area, Pasay
5. Cauliflower Flan from The Goose Station
Not always on the menu, the silky cauliflower flan accompanies crab and caviar.
The Goose Station
1117 39th Street,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
6. Surprise Caviar Ossietra and Fresh Blinis, Crab Salpicon with Coriander and Panacota of Cauliflower from Impressions
Pannacota of cauliflower set just right, is a perfect foil to Ossietra caviar and crab salpicon.
3/F Maxims Hotel
Resorts World Manila, Newport Blvd
7. Crispy Soft Shell Crabs, Cauliflower Purée, Mint, Apricot Chutney from Blackbird
Smooth cauliflower puree is enhanced with mint, then topped with fried soft shell crab and sweet apricot chutney.
Ayala Triangle, Makati City
8. Truffle Roasted Cauliflower from Duck and Buvette
Simple roasted with truffle oil, the cauliflower is smoky and fragrant.