House of Sisig: Banana Leaves, Salted Eggs, and Rice-Covered Fingers

Maybe because restaurant critics like me spend so many nights at restaurants, shuffling bread plates and wine glasses, anticipating the arrival of courses, playing my role in the fixed rituals of the restaurant world — yeah, rough life — a meal as distinctive as House of Sisig's kamayan dinner, the subject of this week's full-length restaurant review, comes as a delight.

The Daly City Filipino restaurant has a long menu of sinigangs, meats, and pancit dishes, not to mention sisigs. But not listed on its website are set dinners served on banana leaves and eaten with the hands. House of Sisig's kamayan (“eat with the hands”) dinners are not a messy affair — the restaurant primarily covers the table in meats and lumpia — but they're far from formal. And despite the fact that there's only so much fried catfish, broiled mussels, roasted eggplant, and grilled chicken you can eat in the space of 90 minutes, the table is awfully hard to step away from.

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