Razon's of Guagua: Extension of a Filipino Home

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Many in my circle of relatives and friends have already tried Razon's of Guagua. But as famous as this restaurant is, I have to shamelessly admit that I haven't tried eating in any of their branches yet. (I know, I'm such a loser.) Fortunately, the next Eat's a Date event that I attended was held at this famed Filipino comfort food destination.


Razon's of Guagua was established as a food business back in 2003. However, it uses the same recipe handed down by the three Razon sisters, Severina, Elena and Virginia, who started all the buzz of their great Pancit Luglug and Halo-Halo in Pampanga. Throughout the years, Razon's of Guagua has expanded not only with their visibility -- putting up over 20 branches in the Metro, but also by offering new food items that cater to the greater Filipinos.

For this Eat's a Date event, my date and I along with bloggers and OpenRicers alike, paid a visit to Razon's of Guagua's Eastwood branch where we were so warmly greeted not only by the staff but also by the cozy interior. Frankly, I was expecting a fast food feel to the whole place, but just imagine my awe in seeing a simple yet nicely decorated restaurant complete with native accents, a map of Pampanga and comfy dining spaces.


We were then treated to a night filled with delicious Filipino food starting with a serving of Razon's of Guagua's possible next item on the menu -- Chicharon with Atchara (pork cracklings with pickled papaya).


The Chicharon was good -- crispy, not too tough to bite and salty, but it was not mind blowing. However, when eaten with Atchara as suggested by our host, Mr. Roman Baltazar Jr., VP of Razons Food Corporation, the delicacy was taken up to a whole new level of goodness. The balance of the saltiness from the Chicharon and the sourness of Atchara was so good!


This unusual combo really works, and it received a very positive feedback among our group. Every plate of Chicharon was wiped out, as well as every bowl of Atchara.

Next, we were given a serving of Dinuguan with Puto (P120) (pork blood stew with steamed rice cake) which is a combination well-loved by most Filipinos.


We were first wondering why this bowl of Dinuguan was not as thick as how home-made ones are. However, all the hesitation were thrown out the window as we got our first spoonful. The stew was slightly sour yet still very savory. The liquid in itself was already good, but the choice of meat and offal swimming in the stew was even more satisfying. Even my date who does NOT eat Dinuguan became a convert.

The Puto serving which came along with the bowl of Dinuguan was also really good. Each piece was a bite-sized soft ball of sweet semi-glutinous rice. My date told me that it is probably Puto Calasiao which is a famous variant of steamed rice cake in Pangasinan.

We also got to try one of the food items which made Razon's of Guagua a hit -- their well-acclaimed Pancit Luglug (P90).


Just the sight of this Filipino pancit variant made my date so happy as this is one of his favorite foods. True enough, Razon's of Guagua's passed my tastebuds with flying colors. Each mouthful is so savory and untiring that I can eat a plate of this dish everyday for merienda.

After the meal starters, we then proceeded to the main course. Each one of us were given a serving of rice and were then treated with Sizzling Sisig (P175).


Being a sisig lover, I can say that Razon's of Guagua's is good. The dish had the right balance of sour and savory with a little hint of spice in it. However, it was nothing spectacular as it didn't left a big Wow in our palate unlike the Dinuguan with Puto and Pancit Luglug.

It was a different story with the Sizzling Bulalo (P238) (beef shank) though as everyone in the table nodded approval for this dish.


The beef's texture was so soft that it seemed like butter in the palate. Every mouthful is just bursting with a seriously savory flavor. It was so good that each of us was getting a second and even a third round from the serving plate.

We also got to try Razon's of Guagua's Chicken Pork Asado (P175) which unusually is tomato-based rather than soy sauce-based.


Having been used to home-cooked asado in soy sauce, eating Razon's of Guagua's version felt as if I was eating Mechado. This dish was also good though, but it was not as memorable as the Sizzling Bulalo.

We were also treated with another possible addition to Razon's of Guagua's menu -- Lechon Kawali (crispy pan-fried roasted pork) served with atchara on the side.


Razon's of Guagua's take on this Filipino favorite is good, but not a lot different from other Filipino restaurants' version. The skin was crispy, and the meat along with the fat was juicy and very tasty. At this point though, eating this was a heart attack awaiting to strike.

Before jumping to desserts, we also got to sample a hot bowl of Razon's of Guagua's Arrozcaldo (P83) (chicken rice porridge).


Although I'm not a big fan of congee, I really appreciated how this hot comfort food tasted. Just the porridge was already oozing with meaty flavors. It was even taken up to a notch by the garlic bits which made the taste richer. A bowl of this is so good that one need not add any more condiments like fish sauce or soy sauce.

We already ate a lot, I know, but the food adventure doesn't stop here. To start our desserts, we were brought a plate of Silvanas (P28 per piece) which was a sure hit. This Sansrival-like pastry in a cookie form, is so good that in a matter of seconds, our plate was already emptied.


We were next treated to a plate of Ensaymada Bites (P145). Yes, it's ensaymada but bite size. And similar to the Silvanas, our group liked this sweet tasty bread topped with tons of shredded cheese. My date surprisingly loved it too. (He's not much into sweet breads, or breads in general as far as I know.)


After all the food we sampled, it was finally time to taste the most famous item in Razon's of Guagua -- Halo-Halo (P90), a shaved ice and evaporated milk dessert with sweetened saba, macapuno strips and topped with thinly sliced leche flan.


As we start digging in the lovely and finely shaved ice of the Halo-Halo, Mr. Baltazar shared to us that there's really no secret behind this simple icy sweet treat. Some guessed that it's the ice. Some hypothesized that it's the milk. However as we were told, everything just boils down to a consistently finely shaved ice, and to a consistent proportion of high quality ingredients.

THE VERDICT

I have to admit that I was not initially enticed by Razon's of Guagua because I believed that the Filipino food they serve can already be found in the comforts of my own home. However after this visit, I am glad to say that I was wrong. Razon's of Guagua may serve Filipino dishes, but in a special and really delicious way that is far different from how my mom cooks. Don't get me wrong, my mom cooks great but Razon's of Guagua offers a different yet very satisfying take on these familiar dishes -- like an extension and second kitchen of our home.

Taste - 4.5/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Razon's of Guagua, Eastwood City Walk 2
2/F Eastwood City Walk 2, Libis
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Philippines
(02) 470-3859
Official Website
Facebook Page
Twitter Page

47 comments:

  1. halo-halo pa lang natry ko. hmm, i think i should visit razon's again.

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  2. d pa kmi nkakasali sa eat's a date. Lagi kasi may conflict sa sked. Hopefully next time we can attend one :)

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  3. my Mom's ancestral home in Guagua is near the first Razon's ever!

    I'm not sure if it's still there, but it was just a quaint province cafe style ambience and of course, the awesome food!

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  4. My workplace's retail center has Razon's as one of teh choices and because I eat frequently there, I have dismissed the idea of blogging it. This post made me think, otherwise. You really do take photos pretty well!

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  5. Everytime I hear about Razon's! I think of halo halo. Epic na yan pagdating sa halo halo. The last time i visit razon was 2 months ago sa branch nila sa SM City North Edsa.Nakkaktakam ...

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  6. What's that event? honestly, I haven't attended any blogger event yet. :|

    The halo-halo is simply the best! The secret is the finely-shaved ice. :)

    For the pancit luglog, I've tried better pancit luglog in my province, which is near Pampanga. :D

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  7. I want to try their adobo. looks really yummy. thanks for sharing this! nagutom ako! haha

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  8. Mmmm... The next time I go out with my family, I will suggest this restaurant.:) I'd love to try the pancit luglug, dinuguan, sisig, and the halo-halo!

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  9. I have always been in love with their halo-halo ❤

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  10. I love that dinuguan puto I am craving for it

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  11. I just love Razons. I ate one time while in Manila and it was a blast. I love it since.

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  12. Awww...looks great! Now, I feel such a loser...I'm from Pampanga, but only tried their Halo-Halo. :( I look forward on feasting.

    Best Regards!
    Des of chicsassymom.com

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  13. OMG wrong timing! I should have opened this one right after my calorie free dinner... Now I want that pancit lug lug!! My favorite!! Hehe.. Can never get enough of it.. And I love Razon's!! Yummy!!

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  14. I so love Razon's halo-halo...it's the best! :)

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  15. Hi Sumi nakakainis talaga yung blog mo, nakakagutom! hahaha pero love love namen ang halo halo dyan sabi ibang milk daw ang gamit nila.. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. I love Razon's. Not just their halo halo ha but most of the dishes they serve in their restaurant. :) I want the chicharon!!

    P.S. You're so pretty! :D

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  17. I have only tried the halo-halo and I loved it. My companions did not. They loved the Chowking version better. Sanay sila sa halo-halo na maraming laman. :D

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  18. Oh yes we have been fans of their halo-halo for a long time. It has become a challenge not to eat it after one eventful jogging night of trying to lose weight. Lynne can attest to that :P

    http://www.lynne-enroute.com/2011/05/17/razons-halo-halo-certified-summer-craving/

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  19. one thing that is unique to razons is their halo-halo I still cannot find the great taste of razon in other food chains even if they sell them expensive.. just great halo halo thumbs up... looks like the dinuguan is great.. I have not tried them yet

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  20. secret nila is probably heavy cream or half and half .they uses it insted of milk.try this and you will see the diffenrence.mas masarap din sa soup.

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  21. i love razon's halo-halo and pancit! but aside from that, i haven't really explored their menu that much yet ;) but thanks for this review!

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  22. ohh and i'm curious, how do you get invited to this kind of event :) seems fun!! :)

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  23. nakakatakam ang mga photos and the review! Thanks for sharing!

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  24. I love Razons. Kahit konti lang ang ingredients , winner sobra! Swabe kasi ang lasa.

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  25. the food looks delicious! yum this makes me hungry for lunch haha

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  26. OMG. I want the Silvanas and the Ensaymada bites!

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  27. Looks lavishing. Will try to visit this place as soon as I get home. Thanks for sharing.

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  28. Wow, those all look good! I'm getting hungry just from looking at them. Embarrassed to say so as well, but I've never eaten here. :P I know they have good halo-halo though, because my little sister gushes over it

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  29. Ang sarap ng menu nila ha. For sure walang uuwing gutom.

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  30. While I do love the creamy taste of their halo halo, they should at least add a few more ingredients to add an oomph to it... :0)
    Masarap na siya pero I think kulang lang sa ibang ingredients. Napakabare kasi imho.
    Pero in fairness, kahit konti lang laman, masarap na siya.


    Mmmm luglug. Manayaman.



    Much support, Christia
    _______
    Adventures of Spa Girl: Nuat Thai from Christia's World

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  31. chicharon + achara? bago yun ah haha

    big fan ako dati ng razon's until natikman ko yung halo halo ng casa rap :P

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  32. Thanks for the kind review. It was a pleasure having you as part of our first bloggers' event. There is no secret to the halo halo. I've heard so many conspiracy theories about it. Anyways, good luck and if you need anything else let me know. For other bloggers, contact us at info@razonsofguagua.com We will make a bloggers night a regular event.

    Roman Razon Baltazar Jr.
    Vice President
    Razons Food Corporation

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  33. My parents so love the halo-halo there. Their recent dates are mostly trips to Razon's to eat halo-halo. Is that love or what? d=

    As a half-Pampanguena, I adore Razon's food!

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  34. I love Razon's halo halo because it has all 3 ingredients I love in this dessert. I'm not a fan of their food, though. =)

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  35. wow all my favorite is here... thanks for sharing... maybe you can close this comments box already there is so many comments is here already.. just suggesting... but love your post.

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  36. super love the halo-halo and pancit luglug

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  37. thanks! I'm following you now too :D

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  38. Tsalap ng halo-halo! I've been to Razon many times ...

    http://travel-on-a-shoe-string.blogspot.com/2012/01/cyma.html

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  39. nglaway ng sobra! pansit luglug and dinuguan and puto!

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  40. Well, I'm a big fan of their halo-halo. AS IN. That's why I always tag along my gf and son at Razon's whenever we see one.

    Sayang nga, we weren't able to chitchat. I was near Mr. Baltazar that time. Sa susunod. Here is also my blog about it, in case your followers would like to read.
    http://reybelen.com/food/reasons-why-i-eat-at-razons-of-guagua/

    Hope to see you again, and get to chat with you. Medyo late na din kasi kami nun, and nasa isip ko nun, HALO-HALO na eh. Hahahaha!

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  41. Despite I am not a bean lover I enjoy halo halo so much. Most of the food you share are some of those I haven't had in a while. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  42. Razon is one of my family's favorite place to have some palabok and halo-halo!

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  43. I really love their Halolo- halo and their pancit luglug, one of the best!! :)

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