While I was waiting for the rest of our group at Va Bene last week, I was surprised to see a friend of mine, Jyn Monteverde, wave at me through the window. What a coincidence, I thought, as I went out to greet her. It turns out her sister, Lynn, together with her husband Bryan Ong, owns the establishment two doors down called General’s Lechon. I was prevailed upon to come over and sample it which, of course, I agreed to do. It doesn’t take too much to convince me to eat lechon!
The lechon was originally from Bryan’s hometown of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental but the Ong couple decided to bring the recipe to Manila and develop it further. Three versions are available: Original, Chili Garlic and Curry. Curry wasn’t available that night but I did get to try the Original and Chili Garlic.
The Original was quite good but a little on the salty side but with good clean flavor. No gamey taste or odor. I was given a serving or three of this to take home. Since we still had places to go after Va Bene, it sat in my car for over three hours before I got home. I put it in the freezer to be reheated the next day for lunch. I was pretty much resigned to having the skin lose its crackle but to my amazement, it was still as crispy as if it had just been freshly roasted, even after the less than optimal treatment it received.
I thought the Chili Garlic was great. Packed with flavor and with a good dose of chili spice. If you like spicy food, this one’s for you. Be warned, you better have a case of cold beer on hand because this would be great for pulutan.
Although originally from San Carlos City, General’s lechon is now done in Manila and is available at the Petron Gas Station just outside Dasmariñas Village, Makati and at DEC (Diao Eng Chay) on Wilson St., San Juan. They also do delivery. You can enjoy the lechon at the Petron outlet as there are a couple of tables that can seat maybe 8 people comfortably. In case you need instructions on the proper sequence or method of dealing with a lechon, one wall of the place has a detailed sequence of how best to enjoy your pig including some short commentary.
I was wondering about the name General’s Lechon. I was thinking it might have been the favorite of a Revolutionary War General, or maybe a Guerilla General from WWII. The explanation is a lot simpler. You rarely hear it these days but some men of a certain generation used to refer to their wives as Kumander. Bryan promoted Lynn a couple of ranks and refers to her as General as, apparently, that’s the way she acts when supervising the preparation of lechon.
General’s lechon is a welcome addition to the growing number of specialty lechons on the market. Give it a taste. You won’t be disappointed.
General’s Lechon is available at the 2nd Floor, Petron Gas Station, Edsa corner Pasay Road, just outside Dasmariñas Village, Makati City. It is also available at DEC (Diao Eng Chay), 203 Wilson St., San Juan City. Tel 4086850, 9665099, 09178532466