A while back my social media feed was filled with this seemingly awesome dish, it was really like a match made in heaven; of sinful bagnet bits that I really, really like and an abundance of plump shrimps in a rich paella base. Then came a series of blog posts from some of the bloggers I admire, whose discerning palates I respect and value, and with these much raving recommendations this very dish has been on my bucket list of must-try ever since. Paella made even more awesome with these crazy chunks of the beloved crispy pork dish.
BAGNET PAELLA – Truly a unique creation by Chef Chin Gallegos of Pio’s Kitchen, a small hole-in-the-wall type place in Quezon City that offers private dining services and offers an extensive menu filled with food of Spanish and Mediterranean origin.
Oh GOD just look at that beauty! We got their half-order that’s good for 10-15 pax, picking it up on their location in Estrel Street proved to be a bit of a challenge, you see I’ve always been feeble of going places, even with a map / sketch to guide me. 😛 But at the back of head I knew it will be worth it, vivid image of the pictures I saw plaguing my news feed and some raving recommendations of some foodie friends, there was a bit of assurance that this it will be something good, and come on bagnet and paella, what’s not to like? Rigghhhht???!
I’ve shared the hefty serving with some foodie friends, removing the cover was an exciting chore, we were treated to this lovely aroma shortly after, and this gorgeous paella presented with bright hues, loaded with shrimps and a mountain of bagnet on the center. Taking pictures of the dish was even a more challenging task, I could only take too much pictures as the whiff of the smell the dish exudes was just insanely good. With hands shaking with every shot I take and with a couple of impatient, hungry friends waiting, we finally dig in and attacked the bagnet paella.
It certainly did not disappoint, the first few bites were of utter bliss, we were making various sounds of content and awe, singing praises for the dish. At the base is a really, really flavorful paella base, with the texture just lovely. And then you hit the plump pieces of shrimps, ever so succulent, giving the dish a wallop of bold flavor. Then there’s the bagnet, oh the bagnet topping! Trimmings of fat that almost melt in your mouth coupled with the fork-tender awesomeness of the lean bits, then finally you finish it off with that irresistible crackle, that tinge of crunch and the medley of all the flavors, just divine… And just when I thought my experience with the bagnet paella couldn’t get any higher as I’m almost at an euphoric state, they reminded me that it’s served with the eggplant chimichurri, now I’m not a fan of eggplant but I thought the pairing of the chimichurri and the paella was truly a stroke of genius. The base of the sauce is a bit sweet, then you get these faint notes of a refreshing kick, to be honest it vaguely reminded me of a lechon sauce, only this one’s lighter, and more refreshing. It just worked wonders in balancing all those rich flavors.
Until now I still can’t believe that the three of us nearly finished this hefty serving for 10 people, I don’t think I’ve ever inhaled so much rice before, It’s like I finished half of the tray and most of the bagnet. But then again with something this good, how can I not, right?!
Pio’s Kitchen by Chef Chin Gallegos offers a variety of dishes for pickup, or you can also try their degustation, a private dining setup on their lovely abode, they can cater a maximum of 10 people. We were very impressed with their Bagnet Paella and as I browse through their menu, I’ve listed some more creations to add on my list of food to try. I’d love to try whole private dining experience soon, with food this good, I’m sure it will be fun and all sorts of awesome.