We tried this carinderia’s Facebook-famous fish dish

It’s just good ’ol grilled bangus, but it’s a crowd favorite

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Sila, galing pang Cavite. Talagang dumayo dito,” says Angelita Alano, owner of Pochok Bangusan, pointing to the couple who just left the carinderia. The visitors carried two plastic bags of bangus for takeaway. “Nalaman nila kami sa Facebook.

Bangusan doesn’t look like a restaurant people would go out of their way for. It looks just like any other turo-turo carinderia you see on sidewalks—no printed menu on cardboards, no chalkboards, only an array of ulam behind transparent glass and rows of silver trays waiting to be opened.

nolisoli eats restaurant bangus
Alano’s mother-in-law is the founder of Bangusan who has been running her own carinderia since the early ’90s.

But visit the place at lunchtime, when people flock to Bangusan’s dining space, and you’ll understand what the fuss is all about. There on every table is what customers have come for: their famous grilled bangus.

nolisoli eats restaurant bangus
The milkfish’s famous toppings is just one of the results of Alano’s husband’s experiments in the kitchen. “Kahit malaman namin yung timpla, iba pa rin ‘yung lasa kapag siya ang gumawa,” says Alano.

Their grilled milkfish is generously topped with various chopped greens like spring onion, celery, green tomatoes, ginger, and white onion. These crunchy but juicy vegetables set contrast to the fish’s tender meat, giving layers of texture, which makes it satisfying to chew, especially that it’s boneless. The veggies’ zest also gives a hint of sweetness to the meat’s mild creaminess. The best part is that a single order only costs P200.

Di namin alam kung paano ’to sumikat. Kwento-kwento lang siguro, recommend,” Alano said. She couldn’t believe it when we said we discovered her carinderia, which sits along Don A. Roces Ave. in Quezon City, through Instagram. Thanks to word of mouth, they’ve also been featured on GMA’s Pop Talk and Unang Hirit.

nolisoli eats restaurant bangus
This Batangas bulalo is one of the crowd’s favorites in Bangusan. It’s also the most expensive dish for P250 a serving.

Since Alano’s mother-in-law is a Batangueña, she knows the secret to the original Batangas bulalo, which Alano says has no chemical preservatives just like almost all of their dishes. “Wala kaming freezer. Tuwing umaga kami namamalengke, araw-araw, kaya laging sariwa ang mga ulam.”

Their sinanglaw was inspired by the same dish Alano ate when they went to Manaoag Church in Pangasinan. “Syempre, mga Ilocano rin sa Pangasinan kaya masarap yung sinanglaw nila. Ginaya ko lang. Kopyang-kopya ko naman daw,” boasts Alano. It’s also one of their most-ordered dishes.

nolisoli eats restaurant bangus
Sinanglaw is quite similar to papaitan, but instead of goat, sinanglaw uses beef.
nolisoli eats restaurant bangus
They used to cook tulingan in coconut milk but they’ve now elevated to yellowfin tuna for bigger meat.

Aside from these, they have more ulam you can choose from. If you’re already planning to go to this modest carinderia, I suggest you drop by a little before noon to secure an order or two of grilled bangus.

“Seventy pieces ng bangus ang ginagawa namin araw-araw. Nauubos naman,” says Alano. For a dish that’s as simple as grilled bangus, this may sound surprising, but take considering how much you pay and what you get, it’s no wonder why people can’t stop talking about this place and its Facebook-famous fish dish.

 

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TAGS: city guide eats nolisoli north pochok bangusan quezon city restaurant