Test Driving Sarap Filipino Bistro - Heddon Street's latest flavour sensation

sarap filipino bistro restaurant review londonRegulars at 10 Heddon Street will note that for this residency there's a lot more greenery around the room.

What do we need to know about Sarap Filipino Bistro?

This is the latest place to take over at restaurant incubator par excellence 10 Heddon Street. Budgie Montoya is the man behind it. Also behind Sarap BAon in Brixton, this is a step up the ladder from the casual nature of the Brixton original.

What kind of food is it?

As the name pretty much explains, this is Filipino food with Budgie being inspired by his heritage and giving Filipino dishes a London twist.

We've heard there is lechon to be had...

There is. This legendary suckling pig dish is the showstopper here but - and here's the problem - it needs to be ordered two days ahead and serves between six and eight people. So unless you've ordered this in advance, it won't be an option (although it does sound like it's worth rounding up some friends for). If we had one suggestion it would be - if the business model can stand it - to have one lechon every night that smaller parties could order slices of until it had gone.

That said there is plenty to be excited about on the rest of the offering. It's a relatively small menu at that, so we had almost everything on there, bar a few fish dishes and one veggie side. Here's what we enjoyed:

sarap filipino bistro restaurant review londonRellenong Crispy Pata - Twice cooked stuffed trotter (£13). If you can't order the lechon this is a very good alternative. Stuffed with the same adobo pork rice that the lechon is, this trotter was one of the best pork dishes we'd had in a good long while. We're still dreaming about the glass-like skin, and the dipping sauce that came with it.

sarap filipino bistro restaurant review londonEnsaladang Talong (£8.50) - a dish that doesn't sound all that exciting written down, but the heaven of the smoky aubergine with the winter tomatoes and the grated salted duck egg on top made this an amazing veggie starter.

sarap filipino bistro restaurant review londonBistek - Aged rump cap with a calamansi and soy jus, grilled leek, pickled shallots and yeasted onion (£25). Perfectly cooked beef with yet another sauce you're going to want to drink every bit of.

sarap filipino bistro restaurant review londonKale Laing - Kale slow-braised in coconut milk, ginger, garlic and chilli (£6) - 100% a kale dish to get excited about. This was sweet and savoury and with a good kick of chilli. It's how we want all our kale to be cooked from now on.

sarap filipino bistro restaurant review londonPoussin Inasal - spatchcocked poussin marinated in lemongrass, calamansi and coconut vinegar and cooked over charcoal (£20)

Room for dessert?

There are only two desserts on the menu, so it would be remiss of you not to order them both.

sarap filipino bistro restaurant review londonBurnt Cassava Cheesecake with macapuno cream and young coconut milk (£7.50) - think Basque style baked cheesecake with a slightly firmer texture than normal because of the cassava.

sarap filipino bistro restaurant review londonSuman - Banana leaf steamed sweet coconut glutinous rice served with coconut caramel (£5.50) - if you're a fan of this kind of texture (and we 100% are) this will be right up your street.

What about drinks?

Cocktails are very much part of the experience here. They're priced at £13 and, based on what we tried, definitely worth ordering.

sarap filipino bistro restaurant review londonThe Calamansi Daiquiri (front) and Kaibahan (back) made with Mezcal, Aperol and passionfruit were both strong and well made.

Overall thoughts:

While the rest of central London might be feeling the effects of January, Sarap was completely full on the Friday night we visited. The menu might be one that at first glance doesn't reveal the true treats on offer here, so throw yourself into the experience and let the very friendly staff guide you through it. Just don't (if you are a meat-eater) miss out on that trotter!


More about Sarap Filipino Bistro

Where is it? 10 Heddon Street, London W1B 4BX

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @sarap_filipino_restaurant.

Hot Dinners dined as guests of Sarap. Prices correct at time of publication.


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