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Ilocano Dishes in Tinuno Grill and Cafe - Earnshaw St. Sampaloc, Manila

Tinuno Grill and Cafe in Earnshaw St. near CPAR and UST in Sampaloc, Manila
Tinuno Grill and Cafe in Earnshaw St. near CPAR and UST in Sampaloc, Manila
It has been months already since I first stepped into the once unchartered place (in my personal map) known as Sampaloc, Manila, more specifically the area near the UST campus. However, I honestly haven't explored it much, contrary to what I first thought I would. Fortunately, despite visiting only a handful of food places, I stumbled upon Tinuno, an Ilocano-inspired eatery offering dishes of Ilocos.

Located near Toto's in Earnshaw St., Tinuno offers food that is uncommon and definitely not heavy on the budget. Admittedly, the place may not look so inviting (scary even to some people) but the food may just be too special, it makes the entire trip worth it!

Interior of Tinuno showing my foodie friends waiting for the orders
Interior of Tinuno showing my foodie friends waiting for the orders
The Sizzling Bagnet Sisig || P59
The Ilocano-style Bagnet Sisig in Tinuno
The Ilocano-style Bagnet Sisig in Tinuno - spicy and full of flavors
Among all those that I've tried in Tinuno, this Bagnet Sisig is so far the best. I just love how the flavor is amplified by the exciting spiciness! Also, in my opinion, the sisig is unique because of the unusual ingredients used such as the shreds of carrots. In short, I find it innovative and brilliant!

The Tinuno Chicken || P59
Tinuno Chicken of Tinuno Grill and Cafe
Tinuno Chicken from a 4-year old recipe - the Ilocano version of a chicken barbeque
On the first try I had this, I didn't particularly enjoy the Tinuno Chicken because it tasted shallow and bland. Good thing there is such thing as second chances because the Tinuno Chicken proved to be different on my second try. Based on my observation, what made the blunt difference is the amount of sauce that the chicken had (since it was almost negligible in my first try). It was almost similar to the taste of Java Sauce of Aristocrat. With this, I began to appreciate chicken.

Nevertheless, my experience may prove that there may be large inconsistencies with this Tinuno Chicken.

The Sizzling Chicken Sisig || P59
Chicken Sisig of Tinuno Grill and Cafe
The Chicken Sisig - a little inferior than the Bagnet Sisig
The chicken sisig dulls out in comparison with its bagnet counterpart. Although both has common flavors, the bagnet sisig has the most potency.


The Insarabasab || P65

Ilocano's version of Grilled Liempo - the Insarabasab in Tinuno
Ilocano's version of Grilled Liempo - the Insarabasab (a tongue twister indeed)
No! Athough the name sounds deceivingly interesting, this Insarabasab was a major fiasco! Even if I gave it a second try, it was still a major downer brought by the overly burnt taste from excessive grilling.

Tinuno Beef in Chili and Sweet Sauce || P65
Tinuno Beef in chili and sweet sauce
Tinuno Beef in chili and sweet sauce - a must try for a dose of food adventure!
If you want a small piece of adventure, you better try this hot dish! It features a savory taste with a striking level of spiciness (as far as my taste buds are concerned). Well, aside from this, it also has a creamy texture which you may find apt for the kick.

So, that's practically all about Tinuno! Now, if you happen to be near the area, I totally suggest that you give this a try. So far, this is our most favorite food place around UST campus.

Do you have something in mind that can top this? Share it away to us!

Tinuno Grill and Cafe
Location: Earnshaw St. in Sampaloc, Manila near Cayco St.

Budget Needed: At least P59 for a meal (without drinks unless you come in a group, which in that case, you'll receive a pitcher of iced tea for free)



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