I’ve been asked a couple times if I’m going to review Tito Rad’s, and I finally got around to it today. The Filipino restaurant sits on the eastern edges of Sunnyside, past 49th street on Queens Blvd south. I unfortunately forgot to snap a photo of the outside, but there is one you can see on the restaurant’s website.
The clientele was almost exclusively Filipino, so that’s always a good sign. The hostess and waiters were extremely friendly. The hostess was very chatty and came by multiple times to ask how we like the food and give recommendations for future meals.
This $7 appetizer called Utoy was absolutely delicious. It’s essentially bean sprout fritters intermixed with carrots and tiny shrimp, with a special sauce on the size. It’s hard to tell in this picture but the portion size was really big- there were two huge hunks, and this thing could be a meal in it of itself. Strangely it came with a huge knife, which was unnecessary (and was additionally odd considering there were no knives among any of the other utensils – just spoons and forks).
Since I am admittedly not a big fan of Filipino cuisine in general, I decide to go for something “safe”, in the form of this chicken dish ($8). Served in this semi-broth, the bird is cooked in a black bean sauce with soy sauce, garlic and ginger. It also comes with a heap of rice on the side, which was really great mixed in with the sauces. The chicken itself was good, but just be aware this is definitely not boneless meat and you’ll have to dig out bones of various sizes.
For $14 you can get this gigantic bowl of tuna tail soup. This is really a meal for two (we ended up taking most to-go). For some reasons the waiters and hostess were very surprised we ordered this, and even more surprised when we said it was good (which it was). They also have tuna belly and tuna jaw on the menu, which are supposedly much better, so perhaps this is rarely ordered (or perhaps they wouldn’t expect foreigners to like it, since it’s certainly unusual by foreign standards). There are huge chunks of tuna tail in this thing, and they taste pretty fishy (but good). The broth itself has a sharp, sour taste, and is peppered with leaves, eggplant and a few other veggies.