I’m almost ashamed to admit that I haven’t heard of Zeelong Grill & Restobar before. This is why I’m thankful that the owner, Rommel de Guzman, got in touch with me and invited me to try out Zeelong. So I stalked their Facebook page, saw a lot of smiling faces, and made immediate plans to try it out.
We were met by the jovial owner and led the way to the silong. Yes, Zeelong is wordplay on the Tagalog word silong which gives you an idea where it’s located. It’s located underneath the owner’s house so you have to go down a flight of stairs, which is quite an experience in itself because you get to check out the photo wall of satisfied clients. Believe me. There’s a whole wall of satisfied clients.
How Zeelong Started
According to Rommel, he opened the restaurant in November of 2013. Before then, he was using the same spot as a tambayan for him, his relatives and friends. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s thankful that he decided to convert it into a grill and restobar.
Zeelong doesn’t have a lot of food on their menu. I guess they decided to specialize on a couple of things and make them really (and I mean REALLY) good.
The food is very affordable. Rommel is able to save on rental since it’s his own space so he’s just passing on the savings to us by means of offering affordable food.
Ask Rommel for Zeelong’s specialty and he’ll tell you that it’s his extra rice. I’m quoting myself when I say, “Mapapa-extra rice ka talaga.” I’m not ashamed to admit that I had 3 cups of rice in total. But that pales in comparison to the current record holder of the most cups of rice in a single meal – a student who ate 11 cups of rice with his chicken barbecue. Yes, a single order of chicken barbecue.
Affordable but Good
The chicken barbecue meal (50 pesos) comes with a chicken wing barbecue, one cup of rice, soup and their special sawsawan. They have a special marinade and strategy for grilling and it shows in how juicy and tender the chicken barbecue is. According to Rommel, they only marinade the chicken wings for 15 minutes which is surprising considering how tasty the chicken barbecue is. They also don’t baste while grilling which explains why the barbecue doesn’t look too charred. But still, the taste isn’t sacrificed.
They also serve grilled liempo which is soft and packed with flavor.
The marinade flavor is there but not overpowering. You can still taste the liempo goodness. This meal costs the same as the chicken barbecue and also comes with rice, soup and sawsawan.
We also tasted the sisig.
It’s not your usual sisig wherein pig’s face is used. They use their own liempo for the sisig. It’s more expensive but still at 60 pesos, that’s quite an affordable and filling meal.
A Favorite of Students
Now I don’t have to wonder why based on the pictures on their Facebook page, it’s very popular among students. You know that a restaurant is serving good and affordable meals when students flock to it.
I’m not a student anymore but it brings back memories of my college days 4 years ago…okay more like 15 years ago…when 50 pesos is more than enough for a good and satisfying meal. Fast forward to today and you can still enjoy a good and satisfying meal for 50 pesos? You know I’ll be back.
(043) 702 6872
No. 203 Riverside Subdivision, Brgy. Balintawak Lipa City
Enter Riverside Subdivision. It’s in front of the new K-Pointe Center in Brgy. Balintawak. Turn right and go straight until you reach the basketball court and the St. Jude chapel. You can park there. Look for the row of houses by the basketball court and ask them where Zeelong is. They’ll lead the way.