At F.O.B., the shrimp arrive in full armor, with kinked feelers and eyes like capers. Shucked, they style as if bred on garlic, butter and soy: scrumptious and acquainted.
What makes the dish Filipino — what attracts a line from this restaurant in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, to the Philippines, the place the chef, Armando Litiatco, was born — is the lemony kick of 7Up. It’s sloshed into the pan till the fizz burns off, leaving a sunny focus that lifts the shrimp’s sweetness.
I’m cautious of the phrase “genuine” when talking of non-Western cuisines. Typically the key ingredient in a rustic’s residence cooking is neither historic nor indigenous nor “unique,” however merely low-cost and available, a legacy, maybe, of colonialism or globalization. (You need authenticity? Do like my mom, who was additionally born within the Philippines, and eat the shrimp with the shells nonetheless on.)
There’s a kiss of soda on the barbecue rooster and the pork skewers, too, the charred meat shiny with 7Up, pineapple juice and Jufran model banana ketchup. This jogged my memory, fortunately, of skewers on the turo-turo (steam desk) joints of Woodside, Queens, a neighborhood many Filipino immigrants name residence.
Right here the meat is extra tender, partly as a result of Mr. Litiatco has a extra delicate cooking model, honed within the kitchens of Daniel in New York and Boulevard in San Francisco. At instances it’s too delicate: One night, I searched in useless for a number of the menu’s promised components, like bagoong (fermented krill), which had been whisked into oblivion in a salad dressing, and liver pâté, which ought to have introduced vitality to kaldereta, a long-simmered beef stew.
Mr. Litiatco defined that he sautés the…