Doing a quick google search and checking the first three pages shows no hits for full reviews of this place. It looks like this joint isn’t even on zomato. But locals will attest to the popularity of this place where they can get a good quick meal anytime of the day.
What’s unique about them is that they offer unlimited rice. That is really rare in similar places.
The last time I was here, around two years ago, I don’t remember that unlimited rice was already offered. The place was also smaller which only featured bar seating. Now they have several tables at a wider space and looks like somewhere you would hang-out in.
They have a pretty extensive menu of the typical pares house/tapsilogan fares. However, I went here just for the Beef Pares and that is all the dish we would be talking about here.
Beef Pares with Rice
Beef Pares is a dish that serves a pairing of beef stew and soup with garlic rice. The word “Pares” translates to “Pair” or “Pairing”.
Oras Pares serves soup but it seems you have to ask for it. I was too famished after playing two long games of basketball non-stop so I didn’t bother to order soup. I dug right in that beef and first serving of rice like I haven’t eaten for a week!
Other beef pares dishes really make sure that the beef has a lot of litid (ligaments) and fat and I don’t like that. Even the dry rice topping version from Recovery Food is rife with fat. This Pares, as you can see on the picture above, is just meat yet is still very tasty. The stew is very thick and with those expected hints of soy sauce, sweetness, and star anise.
The beef is still super tender and juicy. Don’t let the small bowl fool you, it is packed full of meat and you would really thank them for offering unlimited rice. This is a super bargain at Php 70 per order.
The unlimited rice saga
Most places would give you garlic rice upon order then the free rice will be just plain or at a smaller serving. Here at Oras Pares they’ll still give you garlic rice and the same serving (though not the shape).
Their execution of the garlic rice is damn near perfect: There are no hard lumps of rice; The garlic is just toasted and not burnt; The garlic flavor does not overpower everything; It’s not greasy or salty. It works well with the sweet and anise flavor of the beef and you wouldn’t think it but this is actually a flavor-balanced meal.
And because I enjoyed the rice and the beef too much, I ordered one more serving for the road.
To wash it all down – Iced Tea
I didn’t order this, so the heading is a bit misleading. It’s just the typical powdered iced tea that’s overpriced (30 Php for a glass?!) but it is better than drinking soda.
The taste of the Pares is still as good as what I had two years ago but I did like the updated look of the place. Back then it was a place where you get a quick serving of meals, eat, then go home (or wherever you are going). Now it’s a place where you can spend some time with friends and catch-up.
It’s not actually healthy, but at least the serving itself is free of litid and fat. Love the litid? Order their sizzling litid with your pares and you’ll be in heaven.
If you’re in the area, or know anyone in Pilar Village, give Oras Pares a try. It’s open 24 hours and seems consistent with its offerings. Give me a shout-out if you do! #foodmetromanila