Food has a way of bringing families together, and this does not only apply to eating. Whipping up a meal is a bonding experience between a mother (or father!) and child, as well as a fun activity among siblings and next of kin who each has a specific task in putting a beloved dish together.
Perhaps this is why family recipes are so precious to the people behind them. There are fond memories associated with certain dishes, as well as ingredients, measurements, and cooking techniques known only to those who prepare them.
To ensure that these family recipes are passed down to succeeding generations, some clans have made a family business out of their favorite dishes. These are served in restaurants that have become go-to destinations for families and foodies craving for a taste of home.
My Pope lists three restaurants famous for their heirloom dishes.
Also Read: At Nono’s, there is something for everybody!
Abe’s heirloom dishes are courtesy of Larry’s artist friends: writer Gilda Cordero’s Lumpiang Pica Pica is a garbanzo spring roll from her youth; food writer Mickey Fenix’s Crispy Tandyang D’Original is marinated beef ribs deep-fried to delicious crispiness; and National Artist Bencab’s lamb is cooked adobo style.
At Pamana, people come for The Original Way, Daddy Rod’s version of crispy pata; Nilagang Bulalo (prepared by Mang Bert, the family’s chief cook for 50 years!); and the Three Way Adobo Ni Lola (chicken, spareribs, and flakes as cooked by Happy’s three favorite grandmas: Mama Chit, Lola Laling, and Lola Fely).
Photographs of Lolo Carlos adorn the walls of Romulo’s, whose bestsellers include Lola Virgina’s Chicken Relleno (based on a recipe from her grandmother, it’s a half chicken stuffed with ground pork, raisins, chorizo, and peas) and Tito Greg’s Kare-Kare (oxtail and tripe stew in a peanut-based sauce, served with steamed vegetables and house bagoong).