Since we were too lazy to cook something, Mig and I decided to go to R&J Bulalohan in Mandaluyong because it was early and we thought that the place wouldn’t be as packed…WRONG…it was packed. At 6:30pm, it seemed that dinner started more than an hour ago and people were just walking slowly into the restaurant looking for seats. Known for it’s batangas bulalo, R&J also has become a known place to drink. There were a lot of people drinking on a Saturday night (and it’s not even dinner time yet!). The vibe is basically a bamboo hut tucked at the side of the road, what’s interestig is that it’s full of people actively eating.
We ordered Barato 2 Meal (P299) since it looked like it had a good variety of food without us having to over-order. The meal included a Bulalo Regular, Fried Tawilis with Tomatoes, 2 Rice and 2 Iced Teas.
Because R&J is also known for their other soups, I went for a Papaitang Kambing or translated to english…Bitter, Goat Entrails Soup…this was something Andrew Zimmern missed in the Philippines…and Bourdain too. Also, I got caught up in the drinking vibe so I couldn’t help but order my new found favorite — Tanduay Ice! Here’s what we had:
Bulalo regular -The broth was fairly regular with a big piece of bulalo, of course with the beef taste (and beef bouillon). Broth was very clear and bone was very big. There were 3 pieces of lose meat and the rest was stuck to the bone. Broth was light an tasty and perfect with my calamansi-sili-patis dip.
Fried tawilis with kamatis – This was a joy with rice: the tawilis was crisp outside and soft inside. The salting was perfect and the fish was smokey and was very good with rice (Mig and I ended up ordering another cup of rice for the fish!). The tomatoes were swimming in fish sauce, a sight I only usually see in the provinces. This was the highlight of my meal (and maybe the papaitan too!)
Papaitan kambing (P80) – a separate order, the papaitan as it’s name means is quite bitter and has quite a gamey flavor because of the innards used (goat!) I added a bit of vinegar to mine just to cut the bitterness. The broth was light and tasted of the goat innards and beef. The innards reminded me of a horror flick since they came in a mix of green and light gray. But it was delightful and I loved it.