Those of you who have been following my blog already know by now how rare it is for the H and I to have a night out. I know, I know, I’ve written about it several times already :P. Hahaha! Kulit ba? :) As parents, it’s quite easy and convenient to blame it all on “the kid”, but honestly, part of it is also because we don’t make enough of an effort to go out and date like we used to.
Last week, my friend M sent me a text to remind me that there was another Pinoy Eats World guerilla dinner scheduled for Thursday, April 19. She asked if the H and I were interested to join. I thought to myself, “Why not?”. Since the H and I had been working extra hard lately, I definitely felt we deserved a break and a treat. Despite the fact that we would be in the company of strangers, I thought the guerilla dinner would be the perfect “date night” activity. So I said yes to M, and looked forward to the gastronomic feast that I knew we were in for.
This is my second guerilla dinner. I wrote about the H’s and my first experience here and here. Unlike the first dinner I attended, the location was no longer a secret, but the menu and the guests still were. This time around, they also invited a guest chef, since this dinner was part of a new series of theirs entitled Friends with Food Dinner Series. It’s nice how the folks behind PEW find ways to make the guerilla dinner experience new and fresh :).
You will see from my pictures that the evening definitely did not disappoint. Props goes to the chefs, JJ Yulo and Namee Jorolan, as well as to the guest chef, Amanda Tengco, for serving us a most amazing dinner!
When we arrived at the venue, PEW’s test kitchen, we were greeted by a very festive looking tablescape, with all-you-can-eat nilagang mani in white porcelain bowls, and re-used green beer bottles as vases. A welcome drink of melon vodka shake was immediately served, a refreshing drink to cool us from the warm evening.
The nice thing about the guerilla dinner is that aside from being able to eat really good food, you also get to meet very interesting people. I like making new acquaintances and engaging in stimulating conversation. It really gets my juices going :). I also like hearing stories people have to tell, and learning from them :).
That evening, there was a nice mix of “old” and “young”, PEW virgins and old timers. It made for a very lively bunch, and an even more fun experience :).
On to dinner…We started out with some caviar pie.
It was my first time to try this very popular appetizer, and I really enjoyed it! I had to stop myself from eating too many, since I knew there were several more courses to come.
We had two sets of courses for the evening–the savory flight, and the dessert flight–the latter being Amanda’s showcase as she is a budding pastry chef.
Dinner started off with a pako salad called Ensalamanda. It was a simple yet yummy salad, enough to tickle my tastebuds and whet my appetite for the next dish that was to come.
The salad was followed with some sour soup, similar to sinigang, but with a slight twist. Chef JJ added some bokchoy, roasted tomatoes and eggplant, and threw in both the shrimp and the beef ribs into the soup. I liked the mix very much, and the broth did its job of warming my belly :).
The next course was pretty major–we had cuchnillo baked to a crisp in a special oven (I forgot what kind :( Haha, obviously I wasn’t listening when Chef JJ was explaining :P), paired with adobo red rice and baked potatoes. Yum!!! The skin was extremely crispy and seasoned very well. If I just wasn’t watching my cholesterol, I probably would have eaten the entire serving on my plate :o! Hahaha! The meat was also sooooo soft and tender–I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! And ofcourse it went very well with the adobo red rice. It was a great way to cap off the first flight of our meal.
On to the desserts…First up was a dessert called Kakasuyin Kita! It’s basically a meringue with a dollop of cream and drizzled with some syrup and mangosteen sauce. There were also some cashews and walnuts on the side.
This was a very yummy dessert! It was light and had just the right amount of sweetness to it. Even the portioning was enough to give us a taste, but not to the point of sawa.
Actually, when I found out that there was going to be 3 types of desserts, a part of me was overjoyed like a kid in a candy store, but the other part of me (the thirty-something year old me) panicked!!! My poor, ever-expanding waistline! Hahaha! So I was glad to see that the desserts came in small, tasting portions. At least eating them did not make me feel that guilty. Just a teensy bit lang. Hahaha!
Dulce Nero, the next dessert, was my most favorite! Made with tsokolate, dulce gatas and some rock salt sprinkled on top, it was an interesting but really good combination! I’m always partial to any dessert with chocolate, and this was no exception. Winner!!!
Last but not least, we had Going Bananas. It’s basically a new take on the classic rhum cake. But instead of using rhum, the pound cake was drizzled with some lambanog. Cream and candied bananas were also sandwiched in between the cake slices.
The pound cake was, surprisingly, extremely moist. I loved it! The lambanog was a bit too strong for me, though, so I tried to avoid the parts that were soaked in it. Overall, though, I would say that I also enjoyed this dessert. It was light, not too sweet, and a perfect cap to the wonderful meal.
I was a bit sad when our dinner came to an end. I thoroughly enjoyed the food adventure, as well as the friends we made. Looks like the H and I are candidates to be PEW regulars ourselves :). Hahaha! I can’t wait for the next one!