On my way home from work the other day, I had Mike Chen’s (aka “Strictly Dumpling”) YouTube video “First Time Trying TRADITIONAL Filipino Food” playing in the background in my car. After watching him eat and talk about crispy pata, I had a major craving! So when T was heading home, he asked what I wanted to have for dinner, and well… we ended up going to Toppings Too in Union City.
We went there around 6 and all of their tables were occupied. From memory, I want to say that there’s about 9 tables in the restaurant. Also, there were several people in front of us either looking for a table or wanting to place an order to go. It took a while for them to even get to us, but when they did, they had us look at the menu so we could pre-order our food.
We decided to order: Lumpiang Shanghai; Salt & Pepper Pork with steamed rice; Inihaw na Liempo; and Crispy Pata with java rice. I decided to get calamansi juice and T got a coke. We waited about 20 minutes for a table and once we got seated, our food started to come out within 5-10 minutes.
- Lumpiang Shanghai: The lumpia was like any other pork lumpia. Not my favorite, but it’s still tasty.
- Salt & Pepper Pork: The pork was cut into strips and they were slightly battered and stir fried. The batter had a ton of pepper in it, but it wasn’t over seasoned. The pork wasn’t dry or over cooked. Still nice and moist. The onions and jalapenos were great with the dish.
- Inihaw na Liempo: It was strips of pork belly that was grilled. This was served with achara (filipino green papaya relish) and a sauce (tasted like soy, vinegar, with diced onions). The pork belly was nicely cooked. It was not overcooked and the meat was nice and tender and the fat was not chewy. The grilled flavor was great.
- Crispy Pata: Deep fried pork knuckle. I love a good crispy pata, and Toppings Too always delivers for me. The skin is super crispy, yet the meat is super tender. And the fatty bits are just my favorite part. Augh. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Since it was my first meal of the day and we had so much pork, I got full super fast. We ended up boxing up the liempo and the rest of the salt and pepper pork and taking it home. I was bummed they didn’t have sisig available, but next time.
Anyone else have a filipino restaurant they recommend? I’m in search for great crispy pata and sisig (especially the kind made with pork ears, liver, onions and chilies in some type of mayo sauce)!