Monday, 23 February 2015

Iloilo City Philippines Culinary and Gastronomic Experience at Wawa PJ Aranador Heritage Restaurant PHOTO BLOG PART 1 of 4

Wawa, owned by international lifestyle designer PJ Aranador,  is known as Iloilo's better traditional home-cooked style restaurant which offers stylish heritage cuisine that are worth one's gastronomic experience. It advocates the slow food movement in the support of local farm produce and appreciation of local culture through understanding its food. It does not use anything imported in its ingredients. Thus, its food is low carbon impact. It is famous for its beautiful interiors made from sustainable materials. 

At Wawa, we do not only create, we innovate food. Ours is traditional cuisine yet contemporary in feel. Experience an authentic gastronomic experience at Wawa--where food is not only a pleasure to the tastebuds but to the eyes as well. 

Begining this SUMMER 2015, we have introduced new dishes to our ever-favorite ones. More information at facebook wawa pj aranador heritage restaurant or click here at
A top favorite, Amapalaya in Filipino or Amargoso in Ilonggo is a dish which reminds one of sudden family gathering when the "madre de familia" will whip up something everybody will not complain about and enjoy it. The mystery of the dish is, many do not like to eat 'Amargoso" as raw salad, yet once paired with beef, it becomes everyone's dish without an a blink of an eye!

Baby squid adobo Wawa style is sprinkled with famous Iloilo roasted garlic. Enjoyed with spicy papaya salad and piping hot pandan rice.

Wawa's most - sought after dish. Squid-ink moist steamed rice in smorgasboard with seafood simply sauteed in fresh farm tomatoes, Spanish-style. Presto, a meal is just heartful of delight.

Wawa offers healthy food choices while it advocates the support of local farm produce. The simplest of Ilonggo dishes seem to be the most delicious and heart-warming like this ever-favorite "abre-gana" camote tops salad.

Chilli con Carne at Wawa. New in our menu and has become an early favorite beginning early this year. Be the first to enjoy this mouth watering dish at Wawa.

Fort San Pedro in Iloilo, one of the only three Parian centers in the Philipines during the Spanish period ( the other two were Fort Santiago in Manila and Fort San Pedro in Cebu City) was in recent years famous for its garlic-ky charcoal roasted chicken. Wawa innovation is to remove the bones of chicken and roast the fillet retaining the same flavour of melding the white coconut vinegar, lemoncito, muscuvado and garlic. "Achuete" is natural color from annatto seeds. Unique to Wawa. We are the only place in town serving this special dish. TOP SELLER.

Wawa Gambas de Ajillo. Pink shrimps shelled and made flavourful with "achuete" and "ajos" ( garlic). Sprayed with dried chillie flakes.

"Horno" is a typical cooking method in Iloilo--from fish to poultry--for generations. Folks in the past bring big fish or poultry to neighborhood "panaderia" to cook them. Baked "tahong" or green mussels are flavoured with spices and local garlic margarine for an exotic taste.

Wawa "kinilaw" ( Ilonggo) or "ceviche" ( Spanish) is a more delicate preparation of anchovies fish. Unlike other menu which uses vinegar, ours is more subtle using "lemoncito"--local peewee lemons. We serve them in clusters of our handmade "imbao" ( local shellfish) shell "platitos" gathered in our Wawa signature bamboo tray servers. Must try at the restaurant.

 influenced delicate raw fish salad of anchovies -- local “gurayan” fish the size of little fingers. Wawa is from Estancia, Iloilo, the Little Alaska of the Philippines, where this fish abounds. Wawa’s menu is to delicately handcraft them into fillets to remove all the smallest of bones & marinate them in “lemoncito” ( local peewee lemon) overnight and served with a blend of chopped tomato, onion, garlic, ginger with coconut vinegar. This culinary heritage lives on in Wawa.

Prawn Kropek or Pasayan nga Kropek. Best with ice cold beer at Wawa. It is so good, you want it bowl after bowl after bowl.

Wawa "Guzo" salad is just worth your gastronomic experience. Served in our chilled wine glasses and tossed with strips of carrots, slices of peewee tomatoes and minced onions, these seaweed delight perks up one's appetite when dunked in our garlic vinegar dip. It is known that the secret of life longevity among folks living along the coastline, including the many Japanese centenarians, is to eat seaweeds which is high in collagen fiber and chlorophyll from the tropical sun.

Wawa's best selling vegetable dish. Traditionally, there were "Pangat" vendors who were called "Manuglibot" selling this dish in bamboo pole containers in Iloilo few years back. These vendors were gone and along with it this dish was lost. Wawa rescued this dish and serve it in our handcrafted earthenware and "likin"--fabric base made from "patadyong"--local handloom fabric. The smoky flavour of dried gabi leaves is a complex flavour which lingers in one's taste buds. Do eat at Wawa with this dish in your bucket list.

Langka Ensalada. Green jack fruit salad in coconut milk. An Ilonggo equissential dish which is a very healthy choice to many who loves simple vegetable preparations yet so flavourful.

As a housewife cook and a small time restaurateur in Estancia, Iloilo where she run a cafeteria called Pleaiades ( seven stars of the galaxy, to honor her seven daughters), Wawa was famous for her Callos the recipe of which was handed to her by her father, Lolo Pio Jutare. Wawa's Callos was always a special dish to prepare which like she boiled the tripe 8 times changing the liquid 8 times until the meat was super tender. It usually took one day for Wawa to prepare the dish.

ATCHARA NI TAY ROGEL. Traditional papaya pickles. Wawa’s better half, fondly called, Tay Rogel, from Janiuay, Iloilo was famous for his home crafted “atchara”. Wawa shares his recipe here. Made from fresh farm green papaya fruits ( or bamboo shoots when abundant) mixed with capsicum, onions, ginger and vegetables. His secret was to slowly simmer the coconut vinegar to remove the acidic taste, cool it down, and mixed it with the ingredients.

Calamares EspaƱola. Delicious jumbo squid rings in distinct light happy flavour with our vegetable vinaigrette.

Turron de Saba. Julienne banana wrapped in rice and flour "apa' wrap, with Wawa signature sweet tablea (cacao chocolate) and coconut milk dip. The addicting part is really our dip. Wawa's top selling dessert, so good, they are good to take home as well.

Only Wawa does it tradtionally with a twist. Our handcrafted food and beverages are healthier and flavours are tastier, too!