Sin­ful dishes for your cheat days

The Bro­ken Oven doesn’t hide be­hind the sheep­skin of healthy prom­ises


The Bro­ken Oven’s Marco Olives per­fected his sig­na­ture slow-roasted pork belly and roasted chicken stuffed with Chorizo Rice dur­ing the rush of last year’s hol­i­day sea­son. “The belly, [we got by] ac­ci­dent. We were parked in front of a meat shop and found the most af­ford­able piece of meat we could buy, which was the pork belly, and then we cooked it at home,” says his sis­ter Kyla.

It was also through an­other ac­ci­dent that the restau­rant they now run found its name. Once peo­ple heard about Marco’s pork belly dish, or­ders started surg­ing in. “Be­fore Christ­mas Day, we were [cook­ing] so many or­ders that the oven broke,’’ Kyla says. ‘‘We chose The Bro­ken Oven as our busi­ness’ name so we can look back on that ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Why their slow-roasted pork belly be­came a hit was no sur­prise: Its crispy skin is usu­ally some­thing peo­ple used to have to fly to Cebu for. The Bro­ken Oven also makes their own pork sisig, and their spaghetti is based on the same recipe they grew up with. Kyla ad­mits, “We won’t pre­tend that we’re a healthy busi­ness be­cause we’re not. Our food isn’t healthy at all.”

In­deed, the menu that Marco has cre­ated for The Bro­ken Oven is full of in­dul­gent plates. The fin­ger food sisig kanin balls is an in­stant hit. Its med­ley of panko coat­ing and herbs pro­vid­ing the nec­es­sary crunch be­fore its meaty, sa­vory filling bursts with fla­vor. Their sig­na­ture roasted chicken is served shred­ded and loaded with cheese, and their dry-aged tapa fin­gers com­ple­ment any­thing.

As sin­ful as their dishes are, The Bro­ken Oven’s dishes ap­peal to both kids and adults be­cause they aren’t in­tim­i­dat­ing. As their sign board says, “Noth­ing brings peo­ple to­gether more than good food.” It’s a case of some­thing bro­ken get­ting fixed and mak­ing ev­ery­thing bet­ter.

We won’t pre­tend that we’re a healthy busi­ness be­cause we’re not. Our food isn’t healthy at all.”

The se­cret be­hind the crispy skin and ten­der meat of Bro­ken Oven's sig­na­ture slow­cooked pork belly is in the length of roast­ing.

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