Whenever my brother and I would crave for heart-pumping savory meals that does not break the bank, Stoops and its Pork Bagnet (deep fried pork meat) tops our mental list. I have been to their Taft-Vito Cruz branch a couple of times and it never disappoints. With that untainted history, I braved the blistering heat just to go to their second branch in Malugay, Makati.
During my visit, I ordered the Pork Bagnet with TBA (Talong, Bagoong, Alamang). The shrimp paste and eggplant tickled my palette harmoniously! The paste wasn’t too strong and salty. The texture of the eggplant complimented it.
On the other hand, the bagnet’s real partner is the Ilocos vinegar. The Ilocano kick of the vinegar adds zing to the already wonderful fried pork. This amazing gastronomic ensemble costs only 90 Pesos!
The crisp and the juicyness of the hailed pork variant are at par for both branches. All though, I think Stoops in Taft serves a better tasting bagnet. The open roadside eatery may have contributed to the difference. The Makati branch serves a clean-tasting bagnet. This is a matter of preference though. The cleanliness standards might be higher for Stoops in Makati since it caters to hospital staff (it’s beside Ospital ng Makati), office workers, and college students.
Stoops’ Taft counterpart has an eatery feel. The Malugay branch, armed with two aircons, couple of wall fans, higher ceiling, and vibrant orange-painted walls, gives off a restaurant vibe. Stoops Malugay’s enclosed design provides shelter from the sweltering heat and roadside pollution. The ventilation also ensures that the diners would not smell the same as what they ate. I think it’s 40 percent bigger than their Taft branch so more bagnet lovers and explorers can dine in.
Lunch time might not be the best time to visit Stoops. College students and office workers flock the place as early as 11 AM. I waited almost thirty minutes for my order to arrive. I did not experience this in their other branch. Office folks were ordering by bulk for take out, as there are options to order the bagnet in half and one kilo.
Hungry lunch crowd aside, Stoops is an awesome options to the plethora of restaurants in Makati. It’s comfort food done and priced right. The proper ventilation is a great bonus. Good thing it’s a couple of blocks away from my office. If it was nearer, I might frequent the place and happily die by age 30.
Stoops Bagnet Ilocos
The Zone, 7224 Malugay St.
corner Gil Puyat Ave.,
Brgy. Bel-Air, Makati City
Mobile: (0932) 154-7881