The heat was unbearable but still, we braved the blazing sun. Our collective heads had only one goal: to reach Kawit’s famous Hidden Tapsihan. We heard how freakin’ awesome the tapa was in that place so whether we faint in hunger or heat in trying to locate it, we do not care.
We crossed streets, passed alleyways, old houses, more streets, more cars, jeeps, exhaust, fumes, old houses, new houses, walls with graffiti, walls without, dogs, cats, slow pedicaps, zooming motorcycles and still we seem to be no nearer our prospect. Hidden Tapsihan seems to be, well, so very well hidden.
At last, after everyone was already having hallucinations of oasis, camels, dunes and deserts; we found a faded sign entangled among Meralco’s zigzag of wires, something which you might totally miss if you don’t look high enough, it read: Hidden Tapsihan. Finally!
We trooped inside the air-cooled interior/exterior of the tapsihan. The first thing we asked for was not our orders but pitchers and pitchers of ice cold water. The group downed five of those in a sitting before heading over to the counter to order.
Well it was easy enough, we all ordered their tapsilog (Php65.00); it is what we came all the way here for after all. But I was so dehydrated with our walk my mouth automatically blurted out an order of molo soup (Php45.00) before I can even stop it. Oh well, touch move, so I let it slide.
More binging on ice-cold water later and our orders arrived. I’d say it looked pretty ordinary; nothing to differentiate it much from all the tapsilogs I’ve devoured all my life.
Tapsilog is a conjuncture of three Filipino words; tapa (beef jerky), sinangag (fried rice) and itlog (egg). Not a few stalls selling these concoctions claim they sell tapsilogs but when the dish arrives, you look and the rice is not fried at all; they should be changing the name of their dish to tapkalog instead. The rice at Hidden Tapsihan was, thank goodness, real fried rice.
Without waiting to be told, everyone dug in the moment their dish arrived. The molo was forgettable but was a good compliment I guess to the main dish. The egg, tasted as all fried eggs taste. But I was stopped before taking a bite of the tapa. There appears to be a ceremony before one can have a bite of the meat.
A small plate appeared, a special in-house vinegar (they sell it for Php35.00 per bottle if you’re interested) was poured, hot sauce and then ketchup. Yup. Ketchup.
And were ready to go. I dipped the tender beef, mixed it with a bit of egg and fried rice and munched down on the mix. It was freakin’ awesome.
Hidden Tapsi’s tapsilog is one of the best if not the best tapsilog I’ve ever had, bar none. It might be the soft beef tapa and its slightly sweet taste, but more importantly I think it was the weird ketchup/vinegar sauce that made it so great.
All the fat we lost and sweated looking for this supposedly Hidden Tapsihan in the end was all worth it. And as I sat there, hands on the cheap formica table, full and finished with my meal, I kept thinking that I should’ve done away with the molo soup and just ordered two servings of the tapsilog.
Address: Mascardo Street, Brgy. Wakas, Kawit, Cavite
Telephone: (46) 686-1341
Menu: Click Here
GPS Location: 14.443304,120.900246
Click to view location on Google Maps