Tucked along the stretch of Katipunan is the relatively new, homey Filipino restaurant of Chef Sandy Daza, Wooden Spoon. The place got its name from Chef Sandy’s infamous use of wooden spoon in his cooking shows.
I had actually been bugging my friends and family to try out the restaurant with me as I’d heard so many good things about it. So, one night, after watching a play in Miriam College with my boyfriend and our friend, I asked them if we could have dinner at Wooden Spoon. Perfect opportunity right there!
Wooden Spoon has two floors, but its space is really small. You would forget about this though, once you look through the menu, as you can see the big flavors that the place has to offer.
The restaurant focuses on Filipino favorites, with some tweaks here and there. Case in point: Wooden Spoon’s Bicol Express (Php 195.00).
This dish pays tribute to Tita Cely Kalaw, who apparently is the creator of this renowned spicy Bicolano specialty. Chef Sandy’s take on Bicol Express, though, is quite far from the usual hot, white dish that I have grown accustomed to. It looks promising, as it has more pork than normal and is dressed with thick brown sauce, but I missed the anghang that I love so much about Bicol Express.
Next on the menu is Dinakdak na Lechon (Php 205.00). I was apprehensive in ordering this dish because I’m not a fan of kilawin and dinakdakan. But how can you resist anything with lechon in it?
Dinakdakan is an Ilocano dish which I consider to be a pulutan favorite. Traditionally, the dish is a mix of different pig’s parts (e.g. ear, tongue, liver) soaked in pig’s brain or mayonnaise. Good thing Wooden Spoon made a very good twist to this dish!
The Dinakdak na Lechon has a subtle taste of dinakdakan, and is full of the crunchiness of lechon kawali. As Chef Sandy puts it in the menu, “you actually get the benefit of a ‘two in one’!”
The last dish we tried at Wooden Spoon was their Stuffed Pechay (Php 115.00) I’m not a veggie lover, but I was the one who insisted on ordering this. Usually, pechay is just an add-on ingredient to dishes like Nilagang Baka, but making this veggie the star of the dining table was was what made it so intriguing to me.
The Stuffed Pechay is my favorite among the three dishes we ordered. The pechayis filled with tinapa (smoked fish) and ground pork, and swimming on a sea of tasty, (supposedly) spicy coconut sauce. I wonder why the spicy dishes in Wooden Spoon are not spicy at all! But all in all, the Stuffed Pechay is a winner. I was able to finish my cup of rice because of this mouth-watering dish.
If you’re craving for Filipino food but don’t want to spend too much, I recommend that you pay Wooden Spoon a visit. Be sure to bring enough cash, as they have a cash-only policy. There’s limited parking space also so you might opt to have an early lunch or dinner.
Wooden Spoon by Chef Sandy Daza
#328 Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City (located beside Ilocos Empanada)
Open daily, 10:30am – 9:30pm