Hidden inside the Quezon City, around the car repair shop and restaurant strip of Banawe, 13 Ubay represents another family-owned restaurants which has recipes passed on from generations to generations. 13 Ubay is owned by a mother-daughter tandem, Edna Sarmiento and his daughter Zaza. Majority of the food on the menu are concocted by the family and are served during family gatherings, while Zaza infused some of her experience in her various food trips abroad to bolster up the food listing. Now on their first year as a fully-operating restaurant, the family bolster up their menu by adding family favorites and Ube-based desserts on their offerings.
If you happen to drop by the place before, you would notice that 13 Ubay was also home to “KusYna” a fictional restaurant from “Pangako Sa’Yo”. You may also check out our first visit of 13 Ubay here.
The family invited us to 13 Ubay for a meal, and try out their new menu. They had us started with their Bacon Pizza, then their version of Cheese and Raspberry Salad.
This was just heaven. To start-off, 13 Ubay makes their own bacon, it is topped with other ingredients like egg and cheese, etc.. I have to apologize as I didn’t bother to ask any questions about this dish since it was superbly great! The bacon provides this dish sweetness, crispness, while the egg gives you that thick texture while being providing by saltiness from the cheese and extra crunch from the base. This has to be one of the best pizza I’ve ever tasted.
Cheese and Raspberry Salad
Not a fan of vinaigrette-based salad dressings here. So anything that has a sour taste on my fresh leafy vegetables are not by type of greens. The cheese balls, and the fruits are a nice touch though, if they could just drizzle a few Cesar dressing on top.
With rice served, they proceeded to serve main event dishes. This includes their Kare-Kare, Grilled Chicken Harissa, Binagoongan, Twice Cooked Ribs, and the Seafood Sambal.
As per Zaza and her mother Edna, 13 Ubay’s Kare Kare is a staple dish for family gatherings. Their Kare-Kare is filled with surprises which includes pork intestines, but for me the special surprise was the bagoong. A mix of sweet, and salty flavor, it slighty reminds me of a different take on the legendary sweet Barrio Fiesta bagoong. This was different however, as it is very similar to finely chopped Cow Label, the Chinese sweet beef jerky that we Filipino Chinese millennials grew fond of eating. Best bagoong ever!
Grilled Chicken Harissa
This dish brings a lot of flavors from Africa. The smokey flavor of the Harissa complements the white meat of the chicken. With 13 Ubay’s atcharay, the Grilled Chicken Harissa is a dish you would like to give a go when feeling a bit adventurous with white rice.
Another Filipino feast staple, their rendition of the classic pork binagoongan gives you a mix of crispy fried liempo and flavorful binagoongan. With the pork soaked in bagoong, the pork skin is still retains its crispness with the fat being very flavorful and dangerous. The vegetable/tomato sides complements this dish as it should help cover the bursts of oil and saltiness. Two thumbs up for this Pork Binagoongan, and please, order some rice with this.
Twice Cooked Ribs
I was pretty excited about checking their ribs out. But was disappointed when this was KimChi flavored. Don’t get me wrong, I love Korean food, I hate KimChi. If you love a KimChi check this one and let us know about it. I’m skipping this one. Looks pretty good though.
One of the refreshing dishes they served that day was the Seafood Sambal. I just love the flavors, and the colors coming of this dish. This Malaysian-inspired dish gives a bit of a kick, majority of the kick is coming from the spiciness but the sourness balances it out and gives of a very refreshing flavor. If you love seafood, and chili, check this dish out.
In the middle of the mains, they served their Salmon and Capers Pasta.
Usually, pasta dishes like this one are oily and lacks flavor. 13 Ubay’s Salmon and Capers Pasta however is different. Although, the dish is drizzling with oil, it does not feel oily on the mouth, the salmon are flaked, and the capers adds a bit of saltiness and a lot of flavors. The Salmon and Capers Pasta is a great date dish to order.
For dessert, they served us their home-made Ube Piaya and a surprise Ube cheese cake.
The Ube craze has really taken over the Filipino food industry. 13 Ubay joins the bandwagon with their own signature take on how to use a Filipino favorite, with the Ube Piaya and t he Ube Cheesecake.
Let’s start off with the Ube Piaya… I don’t really consider this as a personal recommendation for a dessert, but do try this if you have time; better yet if you could and able to drop by 13 Ubay on an afternoon, order one Ube Piaya for a good afternoon snack. They are very generous in adding Ube between the flaky skin and so instead of tasting plain sweetness while munching on the Piaya, you feel a very rich Ube paste in every bite. Definitely worth the try. The Ube Cheesecake, I believe were only made into cupcakes for this event, was a great experience. While digging into the cup cake, I found out that the Ube paste was a lot thicker than the cheesecake below it. SURPRISE!
You can check out 13 Ubay’s facebook page here. Apart from the list of food we’ve tasted so far above – other dishes that are now part of their listings are their Kaldereta, Lechon Manok, Gambas, Tomato Confit, Shrimp and Chorizo Pasta, and Bowl of Beef and Cabbage.