Checking out King Belly at Marikina
Where good food doesn’t have to break the bank!
We recently traveled to Marikina just to have a taste of a King Belly. On first glance, it looked like a fast food restaurant because of the prices that it had (e.g. meals can be had for as low as PHP 48 while the regular meals were around PHP 100). However, what surprised us was the quality of the food at their current price.
King Belly is the brainchild of Chef James Crisologo. He has been in the industry for years and it was only recently that he decided to start his own restaurant and personally see to it the every dish served tastes good. We spent time listening to his stories on how he started and how he persevered to where he is now. He’s a funny guy with a lot of experience on his belt and that’s what we will experience for our lunch.
King Belly’s motto (and logo as well) is to make sure that you leave with a big belly and a thumbs up sign. This is achieved through their Lechon meals where you can have unlimited rice and drinks with an add-on of PHP 40. Almost all the dishes have essence of Lechon on it. Either you can find pieces of their lechon in the meal itself or you can taste the lechon flavor. For example…
We started our meal with their Lechon Sinigang. Chef Jaime said that they don’t use powder to make their soup sour but instead they use natural ingredients. My palate has been used to powdered sinigang so this felt lacking in sourness for me. They do strive to balance between flavor and sourness based on the feedback from guests. It had chunks of lechon slices that’s easy to slice and makes the soup darker.
The noodle dish looks like your ordinary noodle dish up until you had a spoonful. It tastes like lechon even if you only see some crispy skin on top. The noodles have been cooked with the lechon meat; allowing it to absorb the flavor.
Sisig has always been a best seller in many restaurants. King Belly also doesn’t disappoint with their version but personally, I’d still go for an order of lechon belly because why bother with small pieces of lechon if you can have the bigger slices.
Everything was homemade even the sauce for the Karekare (using real peanuts) and their own bagoong. It wasn’t the most flavorful kare-kare that I have tasted but I usually just eat the meat; so having lechon there was great!
To cleanse our palate from the lechon dishes that we had, we also tried this Tofu dish. Usually it is paired with pork but this was an all veggie dish thanks to the water spinach. My companions enjoyed it; not me though as I want meat.
Last but not the least would be the Boneless Lechon Belly. The picture I have is the 1/4 kg version. There’s also a meal version that comes with 100g of Lechon Belly. Double thumbs up for this dish! Flavor was everywhere! No skin, fat nor meat was left bland as the flavors of the herbs and spices used has reach every part of this dish.
King Belly and Chef Jaime has made believers out of us. He simply wanted to serve good food at affordable prices and he has done it so well! Even though Marikina is a bit far from me; I would definitely recommend and even go back to their restaurant just to have a taste of their Lechon Belly again (or he did say that they can deliver via grab express).
Till next time,
Riverbanks E-Com Building,
Barangka, Marikina City