Lechon Republic at Novena Regency serves Filipino pork dishes and if you know anything about Filipino cuisine, you’ll know that they do pork really well. Indeed, that rainy night, it was full house at Lechon Republic, packed with not only Filipinos but also with expats and locals, especially young adults. They know where to get protein at an inexpensive price.
Decor-wise, it’s nothing to talk about. Flimsy, makeshift tables and chairs, no budget for decor. But what is really fun is the wall of Filipino movie posters, printed in bad quality. While waiting for your food, you can spot the Filipino movies you have watched before. I’ve watched four!
You may order the set (meat + rice + drink) ranging from $6.50 to $10 or order a la carte, which gives you bigger portions of meat. Most tables ordered 1/2kg or 1kg of chopped lechon ($22/$40) to share.
It’s a wise decision to do so because their lechon is the best thing here. Lechon is a Spanish word referring to suckling pig, roasted over charcoal fire. It’s similar to our Cantonese roast pork belly sio bak/ shao rou.
To be honest, if you compare the best—keyword here is best—sio bak to this lechon, I find sio bak more flavourful. But the lechon is outstanding. The meat is tender. It’s fat but not excess. And the skin is crackling that when you chew, other people can hear it. Be careful of cracking your tooth.
Since this was our first time here, we weren’t as savvy as other customers and ordered other dishes to try, instead of just gorging on lechon. Sisig is one of my favourite Filipino dishes. It’s minced pig head and chicken liver usually served on a hotplate; but I think here, they use only pork? (I’m not sure, I’m guessing from the taste.) This one is not bad as the green peppers undercut the fattiness. But since we ordered a la carte (for 2-3pax), it became greasier and greasier until I couldn’t take it. Less is more here.
Another favourite Filipino dish of mine is kare kare, which is served during festive occasions and celebrations. It comprises of oxtail, hock, and a medley of vegetables in peanut sauce. But here, they use only pork belly and eggplant. The pork belly itself is great, but the dish itself is too simple to be considered kare kare.
This restaurant is really a great place for your lechon or crackling pork craving. Just get a few friends and come whack the 1kg lechon. Ignore other dishes. We spent about $30 for two persons.
Novena Regency #01-09, 275 Thomson Road, Singapore 307645
11am – 8.30pm, closed Monday
Decor / ambience: 6/10
You may be interested in…
–Max’s Restaurant, Far East Plaza: Popular Filipino Restaurant (Since 1945) Opens in Singapore
–International Fried Chicken War: Arnold’s Fried Chicken @ GV Yishun 10; Jollibee @ Lucky Plaza; Ssiksin Chicken @ Nex Serangoon
–Asian Food: Penang Kitchen (Tanjong Katong) VS Kabayan Filipino Restaurant (Lucky Plaza) VS BaaMee Bangkok (Jalan Besar)
–Balai Kainan, Lucky Plaza
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.