• Charles Pludthura

Destination Dining: Octopus Bicol at Nanam Eatery

Photogenic it ain't, but pork and octopus are a winning combo especially with Mr Curry Leaf

We were full but thought everyone could do with just one more dish to top it all off. And top it all off we did.

Sadly if you live in or near Royal Oak in Auckland, you'll have realised that Nanam has recently moved to the Shore. Hope you Shore peeps go and support what I think is one of the top 5 best value restaurants in the city. For the price you pay, the quality of the food at Nanam is awesome. I don't think I have had many dud dishes there over several (very enjoyable) visits. And to be fair, I could include a bunch of their more popular dishes to cast the spotlight on, but this dish is killer.

The Bicol in the dish's name represents the namesake of a popular and traditional dish in the Philippines, which comes from.....the Bicol region. Boom. Didn't see that coming did you? The classic, more commonly known as Bicol Express, brings together chillies, coconut milk, shrimp paste, onion, pork, and garlic in the form of a stew. Nanam's modern reinterpretation (not that I've had the original) riffs on that combo and makes the final result - super duper tasty. Starring the grilled octopus, it's paired with lemongrass, chilli, braised pork cheeks, and then hammered home with a double whammy of fish sauce caramel and a coconut green chilli sauce.

It's got a bit of heat. In fact, I actually remember being (pleasantly) surprised with the extent of the heat as it's not something I normally associate with Filipino cuisine. But yeah, when I think of dishes where on a warm Summer's Day, I need a tasty, spicy dish to plonk on some rice and to go along with a nice cold beer or glass of Gewurz - this one is right there in the consideration stakes for top of the leaderboard.

Keen on checking this dish out? Go to:

Nanam Eatery, 178 Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna | www.nanamrepublic.co.nz

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