Menu Update: New Food in Bad Bird (March 2020)

Breaking: We’re delaying the menu launch due to COVID-19. We’ll post updates in social media when it’s up.

When we build out our menu, we try to have as much diversity as we can without compromising the quality and speed of our service. In this update, we wanted to add two particular ingredients that we felt would be a good match with our current lineup: squid and mushrooms.

Squid works very well for family-style restaurants like Bad Bird for several reasons. When frozen properly, squid’s quality is just as good as fresh. It’s got a great well-rounded flavor that appeals to a wide range of people. And it’s versatile enough to work with our two major pieces of equipment: the griller and the fryer.

Mushrooms on the other hand have been a long time coming. The “meat” of the vegetable world, mushrooms carry an unapologetic burst of umami that intensifies as you brown it. Considering how much we love umami, it’s weird that we waited so long to throw in mushrooms in our menu.

For the first time, we’re also injecting some local favorites to Bad Bird with the additions of our not-so-wild take on sisig and sinigang.

Crispy Fried Squid

We love fried squid in all its forms except one: pale white squid rings. The unfortunate thing about squid is that the worst kind is the one you most often find in restaurants. Without a dipping sauce, the flavor on these rings bear closer resemblance to chewing gum than squid. On top of that, we don’t think the rings lend your mouth a good chew.

With our fried squid, we sliced the squid’s body it into long, curved strands (like fries!) to get make it feel more “tentacle-y.” We also used beer in our batter to achieve a darker, attractive color together with a light texture.

It comes with Kewpie mixed in with some red peppers and cream cheese.

Price: P340

Grilled Squid

Grilled squid is always good—as long as you do it right. The key to great grilled squid is getting a firm and chewy texture without it turning to rubber, and to develop complex, smoky flavors through caramelization. We baste ours with our own gochujang-based barbecue sauce and leave it on the grill to broil.

Price: P340 for plate with rice / P590 for to-share

Mushroom Stirfry

White button, portobello, bunashimeji, fresh shiitake, black fungus, and fried chickpeas (for texture!) stir-fried with basil, roasted tahini, onions, and garlic. The dish is one hundred percent vegetable, but it’s really meaty.

Price: P190

Red Sisig

We spent time developing sisig over at BBX, so to make good use of our development time, we decided to throw in sisig in Bad Bird.

We figured that one of the greatest things that already sits in our pantry that pairs incredibly well with pork is kimchi. Without too much thought, we threw that in. Fortunately for us, Manila-style sisig also employs the use of fake mayo, which if blitzed with kimchi, makes an amazing flavor bomb. We wish it were as straightforward as that, but we had to make a few flavor adjustments here and there to get it to our ideal state.

Price: P290

Kimchi Sinigang

Korea has a wonderful salty-sour soup in kimchijigae and the Philippines has one in sinigang. This very predictable idea asks what if the two somehow held hands and eventually slept together. It’s actually very good.

Price: P160

Mushroom & Cheese Noodles

Almost a guaranteed crowd pleaser, our new Mushroom & Cheese noodles replaces our previous “4 Cheese Noodles” because we thought it could use more depth. That depth comes in the form of fresh mushrooms: shiitake, bunashimeji, button, portobello, and black fungus.

For those who aren’t aware, we use handmade, fresh egg noodles for superior flavor and texture.

Price: P310

Signature Tantanmien

The photo makes it appear as if it’s tomato spaghetti (we’re working on the appearance!) but don’t let it deceive you.

We’ve loved Japanese-style tantanmen since the days when Ukkokei in Makati boasted of two-hour waiting lines, and we needed to have one in our menu. Typical Japanese-style tantanmen relies on Japanese tobanjan for flavor, but ours uses our own in-house chili paste and roasted tahini that we blended together. This one’s a personal favorite that we’re hoping would go up the popularity rankings.

Price: P310

Because we love chimichurri and we need to keep our fresh basil moving so we could keep it fresh, we’re adding a new sauce, “Basil Sesame Chimichurri” to all our meats. It tastes just like it sounds, and probably better.

Our grilled meat + rice plates get a much needed update. We’re swapping out the old sides with ssamjang-marinated chickpeas and our new pickled cucumbers. We think this combination pairs better with our meats.

Our fried chicken sandwich now comes with slaw.

Thoughts & Suggestions?

There’s always a way to make food better. We never stop experimenting because we don’t believe that what we’ve done is the best that we can do. If you’ve tried any of our dishes and have feedback for us, we’d love to hear it. Also: if you’d like to see something on our menu, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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