Here are 6 More Jollijeeps To Visit In Salcedo and Legaspi VillageMay 22, 2015
It’s as if once wasn’t enough! After committing to a jollijeep crawl last year, we realized that we had left a lot of ground uncovered. Everyday, Filipinos spill out of their office buildings and onto the streets of Makati, clamoring for plates of these affordable and delicious Filipino meals. Beginning our crawl at noontime (the peak for jollijeeps) had us lining up with the rest of the Philippine workforce for the best cheap eats around Legaspi and Salcedo Villages.
1-2. The Jollijeeps along Esteban Street, Legaspi Village
Jollijeep 117 serves up a plate of chicken sisig (PHP 50 without rice). These sili and vinegar-soaked strips of roast chicken were remarkably flavorful, no bite ever seeming bland or dry. A neighboring cart (Jollijeep 079) hosts a Batangueño menu selection, including a PHP 20 serving of brain (utak) (PHP 50 with fried rice). Just pulling the white, wrinkly flesh out of the soup was satisfactory in and of itself. This utak had a consistency that was soft—buttery even! Its addicting broth was a spicy, MSG-laden soup that we assume would be perfect for smothering a plate of fried rice in.
3. The Jollijeep in Front of Citibank, Salcedo
While we were disappointed that the sisig bagnet could only be served in the evenings, we were happy to find ourselves rewarded with a plate of kalderetang itik (PHP 50 without rice). I had never had kaldereta of the duck variety (I associate the caldereta flavor more with pork and beef), so tearing into this kind of poultry seemed a little peculiar at first. To my surprise, the acid of the tomato paste sauce lent itself very well to the slightly more gamey duck flesh.
4. The Jollijeep Behind PBCOM Tower
The beef pares at Jollijeep 028 behind PBCom Tower (PHP 30 without rice) had a different kind of aroma from the other broth-based dishes we’ve tried at the other Jollijeeps. While it still had that thick whiff of MSG found in all the soups, there was an aromatic, anise-y fragrance arising from the broth. The exoticism of the spice cut through the thick, fatty liquid and made the soft braised beef all the more delicious. One can only imagine pairing it up with the rice or noodle that give the dish its name.
5. The Jollijeep by Mercury Drug Store along Leviste
While my grandmother and the people of Jollijeep 075 can find commonality in that they both serve Pampangueño food, they would probably argue about the way they cook their lengua. My lola’s lengua could be mistaken for any other kind of meat slathered in a creamy orange tomato sauce and not much else. The lengua at the Jollijeep by Mercury Drug (PHP 40 without rice) is unmistakably tongue-like and is smothered in mushroom cream sauce with bits of corn. On the other hand, I had never tried dinakdakan (PHP 40 without rice), a dish reminiscent of sisig only served in a cream sauce. The dinakdakan here was appropriately fatty and flavorful, with crispy fragments of pig popping up here and there, colored with the tang of the cream sauce and the spice from bits of sili.
6. The Jollijeep along H.V. Dela Costa
We ended our crawl with a piping hot serving of good old turon (PHP 15). After a few minutes of comically throwing, catching, and blowing cold air into this scorcher of a plantain wrap, I finally managed to eat the stuff. Each bite crackled with the breaking of both lumpia wrapper and burnt sugar. It was a turon so sticky that pulling away from the bite resulted in both sugar and banana fiber stretching away like cheese on a pizza. A piece of langka peered from within, melting into the turon like sweet glue that holds the whole thing together. Sticky, scalding, and undeniably sweet, how pleasant it was to end our crawl on a note like this one.