While browsing through Door Dash, Craig and I came upon a Filipino restaurant called Bacayon’s Chibugan claiming to offer some more exotic dishes compared to your average Surrey caranderia. Of particular interest to me was the Igado ($12.50 per container), an Ilocano liver-based adobo dish (that’s pork liver, of course) that traditionally contains kidney, heart, lungs and whatever else you can squeeze out of a pig to get your money’s worth. Unfortunately they phoned us after we placed the order to tell us they were all out, and sisig was literally the only menu item they had left to substitute with!
My dreams dashed, I settled for sisig because what else could I do? But also sisig happens to be quite possibly my favourite Filipino food and I feel like you can get a pretty good read on a restaurant’s merit by the quality of their sisig. But in a double whammy of misfortune Craig ordered the entire meal sans rice, and with three pork items I was in for a bad case of the meat sweats!
To start off my pig-out I went with a skewer of Binange ($2.95), described on their menu as “Inihaw na Tenga ng baboy” which is basically barbecued pig’s ears on a stick. And yes, I realized that before ordering and went ahead with it anyway since I’m a glutton for punishment (and pork). You’ll need Google translate handy for much of the menu if you aren’t familiar with Filipino dialects, or you can roll the dice and get a surprise! (not recommended for people with heart conditions, high blood pressure, those who faint easily, the elderly, pregnant women, children under 18 years of age, and of course, vegans)
Anyway the binange from Bacayon’s Chibugan was thickly sliced which I appreciated. The flavour was smokey and charred as expected but to the point of being burnt-tasting. I found little use for the fermented shrimpies but the chili garlic vinegar side helped make the pig’s ears edible although the burnt taste overwhelmed even the powerful vinegar at the end of each bite.
I had high hopes for this interesting twist on a Filipino comfort food classic. For the Crispy Pork Kare Kare ($12.95 per container or $10.50 as a combo with rice) Bacayon’s Chibugan used crispy lechon instead of the usual stewed meat. I liked how they hid the meager portion of veggies in between the meat slices; it was a pleasant surprise and a break from all that pork. However I still wasn’t feeling the end result of the peanut butter base combined with crispy pork slices. In my opinion the tender texture of slow-cooked oxtail works far better in this dish but it was fun to try.
Bacayon’s Chibugan’s Sisig ($12.95 per container or $10.50 for a combo) was of the soft chewy variety rather than the sizzling crispy one. If you’ve had sisig from Cucina Manila you’re getting warm. Chopped onion, scallions, red and green pepper were added to the chopped pig’s face and tummy, but no chili and not enough flavour (besides over-use of salt). Sisig is meant to be on the sour side since that’s the actual meaning of the word sisig in Kapampangan, the dialect of the region that put sisig on the map, so I added my own vinegar to kick it up a notch. At least it had all the right pork parts.
At the end of the day Bacayon’s Chibugan has reasonable prices and the portions are decent but I’d rather pay a dollar or two more and get the higher quality chibugs at places like Grandt Kitchen. Chibugan means eating by the way, so the way I translate it you are eating at Bacayon’s restaurant. I would also not recommend placing an order at the end of the day since we ordered at four thirty and they were out of nearly everything, and with a 6:00 closing time I suspect this is more of a lunchtime spot. Also I noticed their Door Dash menu seems to vary by the day so you never know what kind of adventurous eats you might come across. If you manage to try their igado let us know in the comments below!