As the name implies, High Ground specializes in Filipino comfort food with elements of different culinary traditions. It is located on the 2nd floor of the building that houses Fiorgelato-UPLB. Upon entering restaurant premises, one can get a warm feeling from High Ground’s classy wooden interior and cozy atmosphere, as if preparing you for the hearty meals and fine dining experience ahead. Need not to worry about getting all sweaty while waiting for your food since High Ground is packed with air-conditioners.
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Together with a select group of people, also known as my friends, I decided to please my palate with the best gourmet comfort food High Ground has to offer.
To the naked eye, High Ground’s Eggplant Parmigiana appears to be gigantic cheese sticks, when in reality, they are fresh eggplants wrapped in a special breading. Accompanied by a marinara and an aioli dip, these crispy and tasty bad boys can be enjoyed in three different ways: soaked in the marinara’s tanginess, drenched in the garlicky taste of the aioli, or a combination of the two dips for that flavorful High Ground experience.
Unlike your run-of-the-mill sisig that has finely diced pig parts, High Ground’s take on the popular pulutan features a generous serving of pork loin strips and liver with sliced onions and ginger. In other words, it has bigger sisig bits for you to chew on. Furthermore, the establishment has done a great job of incorporating liver to its special pork sisig recipe. While you will hardly taste pork liver in numerous sisigs available in the market today, if ever there were pork liver in any of them, the restaurant’s pork sisig has delectable liver that is highly noticeable in a way that it complements the rest of its components and does not overpower the remainder of the HG Sisig’s ingredients.
Breaded Fish Fillet With Mango Salsa
Wrapped in crispy golden brown breading, High Ground’s Breaded Fish Fillet feels more fluffy, moist and tasty than the ones you will find in most popular fast food chains or seafood cafes. The batter used on the fish’s breading seems to be mildly seasoned, making it less salty compared to similar products, allowing diners to shift their attention towards the fish and not the breading in order for them appreciate the meat of the matter. The diced mangoes, tomatoes and basil leaves replaced traditional salty seasonings and sauces with fruity and luscious goodness. Paired with a single serving of rice, this dish makes for a truly satisfying and scrumptious meal.
While a good number of people would like some fried rice to go along with their longganisa, High Ground thought it was a good idea to stuff some Lucban-style sausage between toasted focaccia bread together with tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, egg and onion. And the result… was… awesome. As one of my companions said, it tasted like Longganisa Lucban pizza. The same person added that it was one of the best sandwiches he has eaten lately and I could not agree more. And imagine that super sandwich being brought to you on a neat chopping block alongside some crispy potato chips. If that does not scream ginormous to you, I do not know what will. Here, see for yourself.
In summary, High Ground is a great place to dine with associates, family and friends. Situated near the entrance of UPLB, this restaurant offers budget-friendly fine dining for gourmands who are longing for sophisticated Filipino food. With a budget between Php 100 and 400, one will be able to indulge in a variety of palate-pleasing dishes in this establishment. In addition, the restaurant offers combo meals worth Php 119-159, each made up of a viand, a single serving of rice and a glass of High Ground’s house-blended iced tea. If ever you find yourself in Los Baños, Laguna and are looking for a place to dine and unwind, you cannot go wrong with High Ground Gourmet Comfort Food.
Photos courtesy of Chinen Aguña and Jed Ebardaloza.