Sauces, viands, and side dishes—integral parts of the Filipino cuisine. An adobo is not complete without the freshly cut tomatoes with fish sauce, nor is a fried tilapia without the soy sauce with calamansi, or siomai without the chili sauce.
It all started out with the love of X.O. sauce that gave birth to The Spice Lab. Since X.O. sauces are expensive due to the extra old Cognac, dried scallops, and prawns (often times the key ingredients of X.O. sauces), the people of The Spice Lab decided to create their own. It became popular with family and friends that they decided to enter the market and diversify their products to avoid the steep price.
When I was asked if I wanted to take this assignment, I took it without hesitation since it seemed interesting. A few days later, three bottled chili sauces arrived on my doorstep. The Original Seafood Chili Garlic, Seafood Chili Garlic with Lemongrass, and, their best seller, the Seafood Chili Garlic with Sausage and Mushrooms.
Rather than the usual dimsums, I wanted to try something a bit more different and it all came together when my significant other decided on (actually, bossed me into) a road trip to Maginhawa Street in Quezon City with her friends. Not really knowing what I’ll be having, I decided to take all three bottles with me.
It was almost 5:00 PM when we arrived at Maginhawa Street. So we immediately roamed around to see what we could find and came back with hotdogs, corndogs, pad thai, deep fried cheese, bagnet, and fresh spring rolls.
What I liked most about The Spice Lab chili sauces is that they are not that hot at all. They do give off some heat, but it does not burn your mouth that you can’t taste what you’re eating anymore. I liked the saltiness of the original flavor since it has a seafood taste to it. It partners with a lot of food well. The lemon grass gives a fresh taste to it, but my favorite from the three was the one with the sausage and mushrooms since it has an earthy and smoky flavor to it.
I like Singapore’s famous chicken rice, and so we did a variation of it at home. I used The Spice Lab Seafood Chili Garlic with Sausage and Mushrooms and it paired really well. The bottle did not even last 2 days at home!
At least once a week when I get home from my night shift job, I make it a point to visit the nearby Jollijeep for a bowl of street pares. I went home one day with a take away. Adding some fried shallots and a teaspoon full of The Spice Lab original made my PHP 35.00 taste like something bought for PHP 200.00!
It was fun experimenting with the different flavors and the price is okay as well. PHP 350.00 for the The Spice Lab X.O. Sauce, PHP 180.00 for the original, and PHP 200.00 for the chili garlic with lemongrass and chili garlic with sausage and mushrooms. A bottle of any of these can make a dish go a long long way.
So if you want to add spice to your everyday food, check out The Spice Lab and add flavor and dimension to your everyday life. Or maybe just like me, you can also bring a bottle along on your next visit to Maginhawa Street! Check out: Buffalo Bro’s Ribs and Wings: Maginhawa Street’s New Grill on the Block
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