Ilocano Night at Fat Butchik’s

With a completely fresh take on the traditional Ilocano cuisine. Vince Santos is going back to his roots while reinventing himself through his dishes.

Coming from a pioneer batch of culinary arts students, Vince was one of the many students who I shared the kitchen with during high school.
He’s one of the very few loaded pistols that  decided to bring the heat to the kitchen.

Few years studying and working–in the world of food and beverage with Gourmet Farms in particular. With a completely fresh take on the traditional Ilocano cuisine. Vince Santos is going back to his roots while reinventing himself through his dishes.


Drawing inspiration from Dominique Crenn.





The First dish was his version of Dinengdeng. The Fish broth was complimented by the okra, pickled clams and the squash blossom. Topped off with some foam just like how fresh sea foam accumulates by the beach. I’ve never tasted anything like it, especially the pickled clams. In fact I wanted more of it, but we had to move on to the next dish.


Smokey Dashi Broth with Pickled Clams, Grilled Okra, Squash Blossoms & Clam “Sea” Foam



His version of Igado was pork tenderloin served on rice pilaf; generally a well balanced “kanin-to-ulam” ratio. It wasn’t as stellar compared to the soup but the liver paté added a unique element to the dish.


Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Pilaf, Chicken Liver Pate, Roasted Bell Pepper Puree, Green Pea Puree, & Adobo Tare sauce




Dinakdakan and Poqui-poqui

Served on a tortilla, it occupied the whole plate and was large enough to be conveniently held as a street food of sorts. I was somehow searching for some sourness in it, with a suggestion of Sukang Iloco to pair as a condiment. The grilled eggplant and the Pico de Gallo topping was a bit overpowering but gave native flavors all throughout. It wasn’t a favorite of mine but a friend loved it as it was his favorite dish so far.


Grilled Pork  Cheeks and Ears with Pig’s Brains and Creamy Grilled Eggplant Mash accompanied by Pico de Gallo in Homemade Sweet Potato Tortilla




The last dish he served was somehow interesting as he came up with the combination of the sweet and savory, a strong contrast of flavors. I genuinely enjoyed the crunch of the bagnet and the cold ice cream. The texture of the chocolate was interesting but we couldn’t wrap our hands to it until he revealed what the sauce was. The dinuguan aspect certainly caught us off guard.


Homemade Puto Ice Cream with Blood Chocolate sauce and Bagnet (flown straight from Ilocos)

Not to say the dishes weren’t spectacular, but the whole thing was just well balanced enough for the dinner to pull through. The Dinengdeng was certainly the highlight of the night.

The whole dinner was Php. 800 per head and was worth traveling to coming all the way from Makati. Now that he has a lot of time, with a bit more room to explore, I can’t wait what he’ll churn out for the next dinner.



Here’s Vince capping the night by entertaining his guests.
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