I’ve been craving for a crispy binagoongan meal ever since our office moved to a new location and left me without access to Lola Idang’s Bahay Pancitan in Quezon City. I thought this recipe was unique only to Lola Idang’s when, imagine my jaw dropping in surprise, I found the same dish being served at the heart of the ultra modern Bonifacio Global City.
I was visiting a friend in BGC when I found out about Mozu’s binagoongan. The said friend, who also can’t seem to forget Lola Idang’s crispy binagoonan after I introduced it to her, had apparently found an alternative to the sinfully heart-clogging dish.
Mozu Café Bar’s ambience is very far from the cafeteria-like of Lola Idang’s; the lights are dimmer, the furniture swankier, the music softer, the staff (relatively) friendlier, and the price (of course, unfortunately) higher.
I love the interiors of Mozu, it is modern and blocky, but warm and cozy at the same time. I like the fact that they don’t over light the place. Although the staff here is a bit on the unsmiling group type, the service is prompt nonetheless. Our dishes were served quite fast.
But let’s get to the meat of the matter already, how do their crispy pork binagoongan fare?
The dish is presented decently enough, not one for food magazines, but it’s not a splash-dash job either. The eggplant that complement the pork were fried and a bit dry, I would have preferred them steamed (ala Lola Idang’s).
The bagoong (shrimp paste) was slightly on the sweet spicy side, which is the way I want mine, so no problem there. Its serving size was too small though for the dish, but no worries as you can order an additional cup for no charge.
I scooped a piece of pork, lathered it generously with the glistening bagoong and dumped the whole thing in my mouth. Crrrunch! The pork skin and some of the meat sinfully crunched down my mouth; the slightly salty meat, the soft fat, mixing with the sweet and spicy bagoong. We’ve definitely hit a homerun!
Mozu’s crispy pork binagoongan did not disappoint and sated my longing for this dish. It may be a bit drier than Lola Idang’s version, but it was good nonetheless. Sizewise, the serving is slightly smaller (and pricier; PHP165.00) but it is good enough for an average person.
For desserts, we had their frozen brazo which was excellent too. I love how its texture range from the smooth and sweeter top part to the rougher and chewier bottom. It’s an excellent way to get rid of the main dish’s aftertaste.
Mozu Café Bar certainly did not disappoint me, it may not be totally at par with the binagoongan I’ve come to love from Lola Idang’s but it does the job quite well. I’ve visited this place and ordered the same crispy dish every single time I’m at striking distance with BGC, I guess that’s proof enough how much I enjoyed it.
Mozu Café Bar
Address: Ground Floor, The Sapphire Residences
31st Street corner 2nd Avenue, Crescent Park
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City