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Published November 10th 2014
The cooking smells hooked me
Bon Jing Charcoal BBQ at Fork on the Road in Adelaide
The November Fork on the Road at Whitmore Square in Adelaide was another superb success - beautiful weather, large crowds, and a popular venue were a winning combination for this festival of food trucks.
With fun things to do and plenty of activities for kids, there was no shortage of family entertainment on the day. A Sciworld pop up science display competed with jugglers and dinosaur bones, while some toddlers were practically up to their ears in a sea of balls.
Plenty of Fun Things to Do and Activities for Kids at Fork on the Road
There was a long queue for recent arrival Cheesy Street, and surprisingly no queue for Burger Theory, but as I walked around my nose quickly discerned the smell of meat cooking on a charcoal BBQ. Taking a closer look I saw a new food truck - Bon Jing Filipino Grill at its first Fork, with a good sized queue of people waiting to try Filipino food.
Like Many Food Trucks, Bon Jing had a Queue for Their Filipino Food
I had previously heard of a Bon Jing Filipino Street Food Tasting event a couple of months ago, where people were invited to try out a variety of Filipino food. Bon Jing's market research was then to be used to decide what they would offer in the future. Afterwards they posted on their Facebook page: As a food business, we are still finding our feet with what we want to specialise in. Filipino Fusion was too complicated in a sense that it wasn't the right way to bring out Filipino cuisine. We tried serving classic Filipino cuisine, but we'd prefer to leave that to the other two restaurants in Adelaide.
Bon Jing owner Luis Penascoza once said that "bonjing" is a Tagalog word that means "childlike", which is how he describes his food ethos. It seems that he is still exploring his creative path, and is taking us with him on his epicurean journey.
Will the Bon Jing Menu Help You Experience Bonjing?
At yesterday's Fork on the Road two dishes were on offer for $12. The choice was between boneless chicken inasal with atchara (pickled green papaya and carrots), and charcoal grilled pork belly liempo with atchara. Both meals were accompanied by lemon garlic rice, and calamansi iced tea was an optional extra for $2. . The smell coming from their charcoal BBQ was making my mouth water, and I quickly decided to order the pork belly which I have only eaten rarely.
Service was surprisingly fast. While the meat was being cooked on a charcoal BBQ behind their stall, serving assistants quickly put together meals from warmers in the stall. The pork belly liempo meal was presented in a medium sized styrofoam container, and was well sized.
The glistening pieces of pork belly largely covered a plentiful bed of white rice, with the shredded carrot and papaya salad on one side. My first mouthful of the pork belly was deliciously crunchy, and the vinegary carrot and papaya salad was the perfect foil to the fattiness of the pork. I searched the rice in vain for the lemon garlic sauce, and later realised that it had been forgotten. Not a big deal to make a small mistake at Bon Jing's first major public event.
I quickly demolished all the pork belly (to the dismay of my dogs), but didn't finish all of the the rice. That earned me a few licks from my friends! In retrospect I might have chosen the chicken inasal over the pork belly if I had remembered how rich it is, but the food was well prepared, cooked, and presented. Without a doubt I will be watching out for Bon Jing's menu again to see if they can recreate bonjing for me.
At time of writing the Bon Jing website is not operational but their Facebook page actively feeds the gossip about what's happening on the Filipino food front. If you prefer you can also follow them on Twitter.