I have been looking for something different for my palate this past month. Maybe it’s the change in temperature, maybe it’s the holiday season (or the string of unexpected long weekends), maybe it’s the end-of-the-year-I’m-tired fatigue; but whatever it is, I didn’t want the same old or my usual go-to comfort food dishes.
So, when our friends invited us to check out a newly opened restaurant in the Poblacion area, I eagerly said yes. Long Time Ago is definitely not your ordinary Chinese restaurant and it was the break from the usual that I needed.
From a good distance, you can already see Long Time Ago. Its bright lights, glass walls, and bright decorations certainly make it stand out on the dimly lit street. When you enter, you will be intrigued and begin to wonder what this restaurant is all about. There is a receptionist who will greet you and not too far from her is a skeleton model of a dinosaur etched on the wall.
Initially, it seemed like a grand hotel slash museum to me. Later on, I realised, this is exactly what they were trying to convey: the grandness and boldness of the flavours of Chinese dishes from the Sichuan cuisine and the heritage it offers.
When I entered the dining area, I got really excited. There were benches and long tables and within the tables, there were carved spaces for grilling. The décor was also inviting – warm, bright and festive.
To start off, we ordered some shrimps, golden mushrooms, bacon rolls, pork ribs, and Taiwan sausages from the barbecue menu. I was pleasantly surprised by the prices – so affordable! On the menu, you can choose the level of spiciness that you prefer.
I was a bit hesitant at first because I was not sure what to expect from the spiciness levels. I love spicy food, but I can only manage moderate spiciness, especially because I have an acidic stomach.
A preview of their menu
Our grill – sticks range from Php35 to Php320
Bacon roll – Php40 (my personal favorite)
I was in for a treat, though, because even though the dishes are hot on the tongue at level 1, I didn’t feel the acidity in my stomach. The barbecue dishes are very juicy.
They also came with three kinds of sauces, which our server patiently explained to us:
Basically, there is a pepper kind of spicy sauce, a barbecue spicy kind of sauce and a chilli kind of sauce. All of them are fantastic, but my favorite is the barbecue spicy one because it balances out the kick of spiciness in the dishes.
Read on for the mains!