Inasal Restaurant and Bakery, Lucky Plaza: “The tang in the Sinigang was beautifully aggressive”

If you’re on the lookout for Filipino cuisine recommendations, this review is for you. Having done my research, my first time finding Inasal Restaurant and Bakery in Lucky Plaza was comfortably easy. For some reason, the prior knowledge that the main restaurant was tucked at the end of the corridor behind their front-facing bakery gave me no small amount of glee.

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A large blackboard dominates the back of the counter in the restaurant, almost like a backdrop to this humble stage of a diner. Make no mistake, Inasal Restaurant and Bakery has no time for frills and fancy crockery, but the self-assured Filipino food speaks for itself. It’s all self-service here, so you order, pay and collect at the counter.

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What I tried

It would be foolish to enter an establishment named ‘Inasal’ without trying its eponymous dish, not to mention ignore that typographic emphasis on ‘Chicken Inasal‘ in the menu.

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The Chicken Inasal (S$9.50) lives up to all the anticipation it drums up. A hefty hunk of chicken thigh sits pretty beside a compact pile of white rice. The rice comes out a little soggy, but that’s far made up for by the juicy chicken meat hidden beneath a deliciously charred and crispy skin.

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They’ve rightly picked the star of the show at this restaurant, with its flavourful blend of tang, spice and savoury. The dipping sauce made with soy sauce, vinegar, chicken oil, and fresh-cut chilli added even more depth of flavour to each bite that my tongue did not quite know what to do with itself.

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Just look at how smoothly the meat tears off. You can tell that the meat has been well marinated prior to grilling with how the flavour seeps throughout each bite.

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The menu here is vast and inviting, but if you’re looking for a quick and reliable decision here, go for the Chicken Inasal. Periodt.

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You can’t say it wasn’t a balanced meal with this vibrantly green plate of Pinakbet (S$9.50). Thick cuts of stewed ladies’ fingers, long beans, bitter gourd and pumpkin sit in fish sauce. Rifle around and you’ll find bite-sized cubes of pork that provide concentrated bursts of flavour from having soaked up the sauce. 

Surprisingly, I much enjoyed the ladies’ fingers more than I did the long beans and pumpkin, which I usually favour. The ladies’ fingers just managed to hold that much more sauce and flavour, which goes to show how the sauce is really the MVP here. Everything else is a supporting character. 

If this dish has taught me anything, it’s to trust dipping sauces wholeheartedly. The little plastic saucer of fresh red chillies swimming in an innocuous light brown sauce packed such a punch of flavour that I was humbled for initially underestimating it. A mixture of fish sauce and lime juice, it was a well-thought-out complement to the vegetables, which were alone a little underwhelming.

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Don’t pass on this no-nonsense bowl of Sinigang Na Hipon (S$11.50). I left this to mention last, didn’t I?

If I could, I’d make this soup every other day at home. I’m a big fan of hot and sour soups, so the first sip was a precursor to many, many, more. The sourer, the better, and the tang in this one was beautifully aggressive. 

They were very generous with the hipon (shrimp), counting to six in this bowl. The only gripe I have is that they really make you work for the meat as the shrimps don’t arrive shelled. If you’re not keen on peeling shrimps, pick the Baboy (pork) or Bangus (fish) options instead. Apart from that, large pieces of radish, onion and long beans swim in this happy broth, breaking up the sourness.

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Periodically, the staff would heave large trays laden with freshly baked buns through the dining area to the bakery counter at the front of Inasal. After being subjected to that tantalising sight multiple times during my meal, can you really fault me for getting myself a bun or two to try? I did it all for research.

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This Pan De Coco (S$2.70 for three) came to me slightly warm and so pillowy soft that it should’ve been illegal. It encapsulated all the temporalities of a good bakery bun—best eaten fresh out the oven, but still permissible with a re-toast. A little prod at it would cause an indentation that can spring back into shape in no time, but on the whole, it remains fragile and should be protected at all costs.

I almost couldn’t bear to tear it open and disrupt that airy structural integrity. Inside, the shredded coconut even bore visible sugar crystals that made this snack all the more indulgent. 

Final thoughts

Inasal Restaurant And Bakery is everything it promises to be—down-to-earth and delicious. Come here after a bad day and let the reliability of the Chicken Inasal comfort you while you eat your feelings with the acidic Sinigang

Expected Damage: S$9 – S$15 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

Inasal Restaurant and Bakery

304 Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza, #04-49/50/51, Singapore 238863

Our Rating 5/5

Inasal Restaurant and Bakery

304 Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza, #04-49/50/51, Singapore 238863

Telephone: +65 6733 2752
Operating Hours: 10am - 8.30pm (Daily)
Telephone: +65 6733 2752

Operating Hours: 10am - 8.30pm (Daily)
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