Bilao

Bilao

My first Subway Series back from Miami will be a short trip to Bilao which is a Filipino restaurant on the Upper East Side on 1437 1st Avenue between East 75th & 74th streets.

After a long 11-day trip out to Miami, I’m so happy to be back home in NYC and out and about again around Manhattan. While having the opportunity to go around Miami basking under the sunshine it does feel a bit nostalgic to come back to a rainy cold spring like New York City.

Bilao meaning a flat round shape, circular winnower or tray which normally holds pancit has been a synonymous symbol to Filipino cuisine for quite some time now. Bilao was opened by 3 nurses who all work at the Mount Sinai Hospital on 100th and Madison St. Marie Dinopol, Joan Calanog and Jude Canela are the brainchild behind this new Filipino concept.

It was during the peak of the pandemic after a long hospital shift, we were craving for some Filipino cuisine and we couldn’t find any readily available, so we decided to open up Bilao
— Jude Canela
BICOL-EXPRESS.jpg

This is such an amazing and inspiring story to see 3 young entrepreneurs doing their part in promoting Philippine Food and Culture here in New York City. The walls of the space are decorated with different sized bilao’s sure to whet your appetite as you make your way to the dining room.

My meal was about to commence and the first dish to arrive was the Bicol express which was stewed in a rich coconut milk broth, the pork was so nice and tender that I almost halved my garlic rice right away Tocilog shortly followed which are sweet strips of cured pork with garlic fried rice and egg. This is a staple for breakfast and easily 1 of their top selling dishes.

The tilapia escabeche was my 3rd dish and I almost didn’t want to eat the fish as it looked like a work of art. The tilapia was fried crisp perfectly and the escabeche sauce had the right balance of sweetness and sourness to it that at this point I was already working on my 2nd cup of garlic rice  

The tilapia escabeche was my 3rd dish and I almost didn’t want to eat the fish as it looked like a work of art. The tilapia was fried crisp perfectly and the escabeche sauce had the right balance of sweetness and sourness to it that at this point I was already working on my 2nd cup of garlic rice  

The kare kare followed next and this being 1 of my favorite all time dishes I was a bit skeptic but after the initial bite I was sold. The oxtail and tripe were both stewed perfectly and complimented by the crispness of the vegetables.

The kare kare followed next and this being 1 of my favorite all time dishes I was a bit skeptic but after the initial bite I was sold. The oxtail and tripe were both stewed perfectly and complimented by the crispness of the vegetables.

Grilled chicken inasal could not have arrived at a better time as the juiciness of the chicken cleansed my palatte from the richenss of the peanut stew.

Grilled chicken inasal could not have arrived at a better time as the juiciness of the chicken cleansed my palatte from the richenss of the peanut stew.

Finally, the sizzling sisig made its way to my table and I could have not been happier to see my old friend. The chicharron gave the dish a nice crunch and I’m always happy when restaurants prepare this dish the traditional way using pork jowl, ears and liver.

Finally, the sizzling sisig made its way to my table and I could have not been happier to see my old friend. The chicharron gave the dish a nice crunch and I’m always happy when restaurants prepare this dish the traditional way using pork jowl, ears and liver.

Lastly I could not leave Bilao without having some “Halo-Halo” for dessert and this automatically reminded me of sunny afternoons in the Philippines eating this ice cold delicacy with my late father for merienda. Bilao thank you for such an amazing meal and I’m so happy that you are just a 5 minute trip from my place… I’ll be back for more soon…

Read more

DC - PogiBoy

DC - PogiBoy

Call Me Gaby

Call Me Gaby

DC - Kuya Ja’s Lechon Belly

DC - Kuya Ja’s Lechon Belly