Over two years ago, I praised Razon’s for its adherence to “truth in advertising”. It simply felt so good to eat halo-halo that looked exactly as advertised. A far cry from the usual fast food gimmickry where burgers are advertised as larger than buns and vegetables are garden-crisp and fresh. At Razon’s the halo-halo is advertised as topped with two slices of leche flan and that is what the customer gets.
Yesterday, en route to an after-lunch meeting, Speedy and I had lunch at Razon’s near Tiendesitas. Speedy ordered sisig; I chose lechon kawali and we shared so we could sample both. Again, I was amazed at the images of the food that dominated the wall. The sisig and lechon kawali that we were served looked exactly as advertised.
This time, however, I have to go beyond appearances. The truth is, the quality of the sisig and the lechon kawali was far from the quality of Razon’s halo-halo, the product that made the brand name famous.
Speedy’s sisig was, at best, okay. It had none of that smoky aroma and flavor that come with freshly char-grilled food. And the portion of the pork pieces that touched the hot plate had none of the slightly scorched texture either which means the plate was not hot enough when the meat was piled on it. The sisig was also underseasoned.
My lechon kawali was less than okay, as scrumptious as it may look in the photo. Yes, the skin was chicharon-crisp. Yes, the meat was nicely and evenly browned. But, inside, very little of the meat and fat remained moist. The texture of the lechon kawali had that distinct mouthfeel that it had been fried, frozen and then dropped in very hot oil just long enough to reheat the meat. And if Speedy’s sisig was underseasoned, my lechon kawali was downright bland.
Are my observations true of the sisig and lechon kawali in all branches of Razon’s? I don’t know. Yesterday was the first time we ordered sisig and lechon kawali at Razon’s so I can only speak about our experience at the branch near Tiendesitas.