While there are countless places to try Pinoy BBQ and everyone has their favorite spot, Ramos recommends Aling Sosings in Passay. During our visit it was Karinderia was full of starving patrons with a long line going down the street. A lean, energetic man stood at the grill, darting swiftly through the thick plume of smoke, clicking his tongs rhythmically as he flipped and shipped charred whole tilapias, shiny strips of pork belly, and skewers of grilled pork.
Founded in the 1970s, the company is still family-owned, with Aling Sosing’s daughter-in-law Gemma and granddaughter Mimay running the show. “My grandmother started small and served breakfast and a few dishes like Nilagang Baka (boiled beef soup) for jeepney and taxi drivers,” Mimay said. “Slowly, she added more and more dishes, and people from the Makati offices came over to eat here.”
The mood was festive, and at every table there was some sort of grilled specialty shared family-style alongside mounds of rice, bowls of broth, and myriad condiments like fresh bird’s-eye chili, soy sauce, and vinegar. your skewers and leempo (pork belly) had a salty profile with more umami than many places making it perfect ulam (main course) and not just a simple snack.
Although Navarre serves a tastier, high-end take on BBQ at Toyo (featuring three cuts of pork and a highly concentrated reduction glaze to bring out the meaty flavors), Navarre remains a big fan of the classic street version. “I love discovering places recommended by my colleagues and our master bread baker Sherwin introduced me to these places Aling Bebeng’s BBQ‘ he explained. Located on the corner of Makati’s Washington Street and Roosevelt Street, the small charcoal grill flanked by a table and a few stools is one of the most popular griller (street grills) in Metro Manila for the extra-sweet marinade and tender, plump cuts of meat. “It has become a popular meeting place for merienda (a late afternoon snack) for the entire Toyo team,” said Navarra.