At Tapsilog Bistro in Campbell, all the comfort food criteria are met and in large portions at that. The restaurant is named after tapsilog, a dish with cured meat, fried rice and an egg, but they offer all types of silog dishes. In short, a silog dish is any type of meat with fried rice and a sunny side up egg. The restaurant’s tag line is “Comfort Food & Simplified Filipino Cuisine” and it’s delivered in a group-friendly environment.

Breakfast kicked off with addicting chicken lumpia ($9.95) that were fresh from the fryer, crispy, and light. These small egg rolls were devoured in minutes like mixed nuts at a bar. The next appetizer was the sizzling sisig platter ($12.50) of diced pork with pig ears in onion, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon, jalape–o and secret sauce. Sisig refers to meat that is marinated in a sour liquid, which would be the vinegar and lemon, and it is served still sizzling on a hot plate. The pork is mostly salty rather than sour and despite ordering the spicy level, there is only just a hint of heat. The small pork pieces and springy texture of the pig ear cartilage makes the dish irresistible with a side of garlic rice. Both the lumpia and sisig portion sizes were large for appetizers. Our meal could have ended here with great satisfaction.

But we continued on with a Super Silog, a small category of silogs on the menu that had larger meat portions. The crispy pata silog ($15.95) offered a deep fried ham hock with garlic rice, eggs, and a small cucumber salad. Out came a large hunk of pork knuckle with skin so crispy I could scrape over it with a utensil and not run into a single soft patch. Underneath the skin were a layer gelatinous pork fat and a layer of meat made extra moist and tender by its proximity to the pork fat and slow cooking technique. The skin and meat fall off the bone effortlessly and can be dipped in a soy and vinegar sauce mix or eaten by itself with the garlic fried rice.

If there was one downside to this breakfast, it was the Mami Siopao ($10.50) which was a Sunday special. The entree set was a Chinese style noodle in a soup with boiled egg, and fried garlic pieces. Two siopao steamed pork buns made with the kind of perfectly even folds that only a machine can mass produce were served along with the soup. The noodle soup was generic and seemed like a hodge podge of items with overly fried garlic pieces to make up for flavor. The pork buns tasted much like a Chinese barbecue pork bun and seemed suspiciously like it was previously frozen. The combination of noodle soup and buns was disjointed and made little sense when put together.

Despite the large portion sizes of the previous dishes and the disappointment of the Mami Siopao, I still had to try the traditional Filipino Halo Halo ($5.95), a dessert made with a mix of syrupy preserved fruits and beans, shaved ice soaked in evaporated milk, and topped with a scoop of bright purple taro ice cream. Halo Halo is not as sweet as expected and quite refreshing with all the cold elements.

In a bustling atmosphere filled with sports games on the television, memorabilia supporting local sports teams, and a ceiling littered with medals from sports games, a breakfast at Tapsilog Bistro will surely wake up all five senses in the groggiest of morning diners. If not from the noise level, then from the mound of freshly cooked food and mimosas, which may, then again, cause a food coma induced sleep. I, for one, think waking up to eat great food, and then going back to sleep is not a bad way to spend weekends.

Tapsilog Bistro
19 W Hamilton Ave, Campbell