Imagine tender, juicy Babyback ribs, meat falling off the bone, paired with crunchy, perfectly-seasoned vegetables. Imagine picking up a piece of the tender ribs and putting it in your mouth, the savory, delicious sauce coating your fingers as you close your eyes with every bite. The barbecue sauce coating the ribs seemed familiar, bringing you back to years and years of memories spent dining with your family around the kitchen table at home. The secret to finger-licking sauce? Lee Kum Kee Panda Oyster Sauce – already considered an institution in every Pinoy cuisine.
The sumptuous treat is courtesy of a partnership between Lee Kum Kee, a 125-year old brand known for its quality and diverse line of condiments and sauces, and Luna J Gastropub, one of the go to places in Il Terrazzo Mall in Timog Avenue, QC. The partnership is in line with the condiment brand’s “Big Grill Master” series highlighting choice restaurants and their dishes all made with Lee Kum Kee’s best selling products.
Aside from the Babyback ribs, Luna J offered some of its best fares – a mix of modern reimagining of Pinoy favorites and fusion food.
Completing the Babyback ribs (PHP250 per order) are: Kare-kareng Bagnet (PHP370); gising-gising (PHP185); Tinapa Rice (PHP175); Sisig Nachos (PHP195) while an ice cold tall glass of Guinumis was the perfect cocktail. Dessert spreads include Ube Halaya (PHP80); Pichi-Pichi (PHP65) and Palitaw (PHP 65).
My personal favorites include the Kare-Kareng Bagnet, the Tinapa Rice and of course, the Babyback ribs.
For the desserts, go get the halatang Ube which is served with thick strips of macapuno (yum) and yes, get the Guinumis please.
Said to be owned by ABSCBN heartthrob Richard Yap of “Be Careful with my Heart” fame, Luna J invokes laid back vibe, with a bit of limited floor space so it can get crowded especially as on as the regulars started piling in.
Service is quick and very efficient so you can be sure that there are no long waits in between food being served.
Let’s talk about the ribs: true to my description above – it is To.Die.For. The meat are falling off the ribs and so tender you can cut it off the bone with a spoon. The sauce complements the meat very well – the distinct taste of savory and a bit sweet mixing well with the chunks of meat at every bite.For only PHP250, Luna J’s servings for the ribs were huge. In fact, two or three people can comfortably share one order, unless you have a big appetite.
The use of Lee Kum Kee as the sauce is a brilliant move as it lends more flavor to the meat. The sauce did not overpowered the meal but instead complemented it – which in my opinion, is always the better option.
You can expect more dishes from some of Manila’s top restos to get the “Lee Kum Kee” treatment as the “Big Grill Masters” series continues.