Patrick’s ‘Local’ playground

Showcasing the richness of Philippine culinary arts and ingredients

If you’re looking for a chef who’s doing inventive things with dishes that showcase the richness of Philippine culinary arts and ingredients, while also incorporating international influences to enhance and elevate his creations, Patrick Go of Your Local is your man. There’s a subtlety in how he "plays" in the kitchen, and the ongoing Your Local pop-up at the Balmori Suites, Power Plant Rockwell, is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with Chef Patrick.

Chef Patrick Go

Patrick Go is "playing" in the kitchen again with the second round of Your Local at the Balmori Chef’s Table, and we can be happy about that. It commenced on May 16 and runs until June 16. This time, there’s a bistronomy-style menu with 16 exclusive Balmori dishes and four classics from their regular menu. There are numerous small plates and sharing plates, making it perfect for groups to enjoy together. True to his roots, Patrick is proud to mention that several dishes and ingredients are Bacolod-inspired. There’s even a separate menu for afternoon tea.

Beef Lechon Toast of Your Local

Here what I enjoyed for lunch, with one of my sons, Matteo. He’s a regular at their Legazpi Village establishment, so he was really happy to try out Patrick’s new dishes:

Blue Mackerel

For starters, we had the Blue Mackerel, which is cured and torched mackerel, topped by a leek salad and criollo cacao vinaigrette. The criollo cacao comes from Bacolod growers, and the manner in which the mackerel was cured made it very similar to a ceviche. Then we had the Beef Lechon Toast, and that’s roast beef, black truffle Alioli, pickles, and Parmesan, on a mantou. It’s beef lechon-style, and tasting quite light, when you consider it’s a beef dish.

Unagi Katsu Sando

The Unagi Katsu Sando features fried Kabayaki eel, Pinoy bulldog sauce, and mentaiko on Shokupan toast. It’s a unique take on Katsu, and it works superbly. If you love unagi, this dish is a dream come true. It's a very unique unagi preparation, distinct from traditional methods, yet it still captures why you love unagi. Matteo declared this his favorite among all the small dishes we sampled, and I agreed with him.

Paper Baked Halibut

The Paper Baked Halibut was our first main course. It features halibut with kaffir lime, vegetable escabeche, ginger scallion, and greens. This dish has a very clean and fresh taste, with many elements working harmoniously. I especially appreciated how the halibut was tender yet firm. Some may want more intense flavors, but I enjoyed its simplicity. It's best paired with the Alamang Rice, which includes fried alamang, annatto oil, and garlic in jasmine rice. Its strong flavors complement the halibut nicely.

Roast Pork Laksa

The Roast Pork Laksa features a pumpkin laksa sauce, coconut, fried baby shrimp, and lime herb slaw. It’s reminiscent of a Kare-Kare transformed into a laksa sauce; and while that might sound unusual, trust me, it works. The tender slices of pork nearly made this dish our favorite of the lunch, narrowly losing to the Unagi Katsu Sando.

Desserts of Your Local

Dessert time! Choco na Gatas consists of toasted milk ice cream, banana chips, dark chocolate, and cacao nibs. Already in the Legazpi Village menu, it’s a creative melange of texture, flavors, and crunch. This is a proven favorite, which first cropped up during the first Your Local stint at Balmori.

Cream and Pearls is Earl Grey taho, lemon hibiscus shaved ice, pomelo, tapioca, and peanuts. It’s a fun summer taho, with the refreshing pomelo and texturized peanuts working well together. And I loved the subtlety of the tea-flavored taho. As Earl Grey has bergamot, you had the two citrus flavors of orange and pomelo, within the one dessert. Super special!

Your Local at Balmori Chef’s Table is happening until June 16; so don’t hesitate, and make that booking (contact 0945 427 0054). You’ll enjoy the experience if it’s your first time, and for those who have patronized Your Local, know that only a few of the dishes at Balmori are currently in the regular Your Local menu at Legazpi Village. In fact, Patrick welcomes your comments, as this pop-up may help them when they revise the regular menu.