Brooklyn: Filipino Food at Purple Yam
On my first night in New York, I tried Purple Yam which was described to me as Filipino food. I found the menu to be mostly Pinoy but there were a couple of dishes that were Korean and Vietnamese. What I found interesting was the craft beer list. I then impressed our server by ordering his absolute favorite but really, I just ordered it because I like dark beer.
We started out with the eggplant which had a slightly bitter dressing. Or perhaps the bitterness came from the rounds of bittermelon served with the dish. Flashbacks to my childhood of tasting the evil bittermelon put me off of it but I still enjoyed everything else including the cherry tomatoes and the soft eggplant.
The beer went well with crispy ukoy (shrimp fritter) and what turned out to be a reverse sort of meal for me. Usually I don’t have that greasy, heavily flavored food until after a bar hop. I like to think this was a wise choice in staving off any impending drunk doom from going to four bars in a hot New York night.
I loved the ukoy and will be seeking out this shrimp and veggie fritter soon in L.A. The tangy dipping sauce was lovely.
Sisig or what I call pig face is chopped up… um, pig face. Bits of meat that is best described as “pork” mixed with green onions, onions and a squeeze of lemon eaten with rice should have been eaten under a canopy on an island. But I thought our table at this Brooklyn eatery was charming.
Purple Yam’s adobo was unusually creamy to me. I’m used to a thinner sauce of heavy vinegar and soy. This was almost like a curry to me. I liked it with the huge pieces of chicken with plain white rice.
I didn’t have time to go to other Filipino spots but there’s definitely a trend towards modern Filipino food in New York. I hope to see more modern Filipino food particularly in L.A. where there is a large Filipino American population.