Bagoong Club Resto Corp., believes in Filipino inspired Dishes and wanted to have a thing that could be globally competitive and would have Filipino’s be proud off. There were many concepts considered but none would meet the criteria he set. For him, the restaurant concept should be simple, has the potential for broad acceptance across local regions, income classes and age groups; should promote Filipino cuisine and give it the international recognition it deserves. A Unique way of Home Cooked Filipino Food with a twist. Why bagoong (shrimp paste)?
Being raised in 3 regions Luzon(Pampanga), Visayas (Aklan) and Mindanao(Davao) – he had the key for business and like to stir Filipino to be on top. Him and his family always had a fondness for bagoong. This was a staple in their dining table whenever there was steamed eggplant, okra or lató (seaweed).Kare-Kare (ox tail, ox tripe and vegetables in peanut stew) or Sinigang (sour soup) with bagoong was always a fixture in their mealtime spreads. In the course of his consultations, he was pleasantly surprised to find out that most of his respondents had the same appetite for bagoong as he and it cut across all social and geographical classes.
“Bringing bagoong to a higher level” is the thrust of Bagoong Club Resto Corp. Filipino cuisine will have bagoong as an anchor to thrust it into the international food arena. If other countries have succeeded in gaining international acceptance for their own versions of fermented fish and shrimp, why not bagoong from the Philippines? Examples are anchovies and Thai shrimp paste. In pursuit of this humble vision, Bagoong Club participates in nation building by giving livelihood to bagoong producers, and thus, uplifting lives in communities.
A serving of bagoong rice and gambas (spicy shrimp on a sizzling platter) sealed the deal. Bagoong can be not smelly or salty after all. All apprehensions set aside, and with the support of family and friends who shared the dream, the Bagoong Club Resto venture became a reality!
Much research was done, more facts and trivia about bagoong were uncovered. Did you know that bagoong and burong mangga (fermented mango) were favorites of Filipino national hero Jose Rizal? Did you know that Josephine Bracken, Rizal’s love interest during his exile in Dapitan, knew how to make bagoong? Did you know that, bagoong was considered survival food by the Katipuneros (Filipino Revolutionaries)? Together with dried carabao meat, bagoong would be wrapped in pouches and tucked under their belts. Did you know that bagoong was smuggled into prison camps during World War II to feed the POWs?
Just like the heroes of our past, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) can be considered as our modern day heroes. Among our dreams is to bring our concept to wherever they are.
Bagoong can be made from various ingredients – from kryll (bagoong alamang) to fish (bagoong padas), fish roe (bagoong bihod), tuna, mussels, oysters, guinamos (bagoong from the central and southern regions of the Philippines) and many, many more all throughout the country. It is said that each family has a secret recipe for bagoong.
The restaurant location is a story in itself. They found the house through a friend. The owner of the house had already migrated to another country a long time ago and the house was as good as abandoned. With much creativity, they were able to renovate the place while still retaining the structure. Mostly, only the interiors were done and because of budget constraints, they had to make use of what was available. This adds the charm the house exudes because it was built with a lot of sweat, hard work, passion and teamwork.
Bagoong Club Resto is determined to succeed locally as well as internationally. It boasts of its flavorful Filipino freestyle menu items. After the complimentary treat of singkamas (turnip) and two kinds of bagoong – the sweet Bagoong Pag-ibig (love) and the spicy Bagoong Umaga (morning), “must try” dishes are Bulalo sa Monggo (monggo beans cooked in beef and bone marrow soup), Bagoong Club Fried Chicken, Basta Binagoongan (four different kinds of bagoong sauce infused dishes), Kanya-Kanyang Kare-Kare (five kinds of Kare-Kare), Ukoy (crispy-fried and battered assorted vegetables), Kalderetang Dila at Baka (beef and ox tongue stew), Mga Sigang Sinigang and many more. You can also try their seven kinds of bagoong: Bagoong Lipunan (traditional basic bagoong), Bagoong Pag-ibig (sweet), Bagoong Umaga (chili), Bagoong Buhay (with coconut milk), Bagoong Europa (Italian-inspired), Bagoong Asya (Asian flavors) and Bagoong Club Special (bagoong plus crab fat).