Friday, October 21, 2011

Pinoy Food Master: Pepita’s Kitchen

I’ve been saying this for quite a lot already but I want to say it again. I love my job! I get to try new food, meet interesting people, and try more new food because of my work. I love love love it! 
Last Thursday, some of my officemates and I went to the lovely home of Dedet de la Fuente and tried her Pepita’s Kitchen Lechon Degustation. We arrived at around 7PM hungry and desiring lechon like never before. 
I heard that they have really good lechon as these were stuffed (yes, stuffed!). I never thought of having stuffed lechon as it alone was enough to get me stuffed.
We waited for a few more people from press and we started off with Pinoy Patè and Pinoy Caviar. It looked pretty ordinary but the taste of these two were just so addicting!
The Pinoy Patè was made of bihon. Who knew that bihon can be transformed into pate, and a good one at that? It had this grainy texture that went well with the crackers. It was not salty at all and was quite light. Quite a delightful appetizer.
 The Pinoy Caviar on the other hand was made of balut. It seemed to be a bit oilier and it tricked some to think that it was fish or liver. 
Okay, I have a confession to make. I have never ever tried balut my entire life simply because it scares me! Well, I had a few sips before but that was about it. I didn’t know that the time I will eat one whole balut was at that night… and a classy one at that as it was cooked like salpicao. Yes, the next dish was Balut Saplicao.

It was quite oily but it was not the type that will make you utter, “Gah! OILY!” it was the “ooh, oily~” type. Okay, I failed describing this one. It was rather interesting. A baby step to eating balut as it was not as scary as getting it from the egg.
The next dish served was something… healthier. The Rellenong Bulaklak was stuffed with cheese and anchovies. Crunchy and a great snack! I had around 3 or 4 of it (plus a free massage from the youngest daughter of Dedet). 

Finally, off to the first lechon. 
Where the magic happens!
As soon as the server carved the lechon, an amazing and definitely mouthwatering aroma filled the room. It was quite herby and I must say, healthy smell. It was the German Lechon’s stuffing of garlic, potatoes, chili that made it smell oh so good. 
The technique in eating this one is to get a bulb of garlic, yes, one bulb of garlic and mash it with the potatoes and eat it with the meat and skin of the lechon. It was soooo good!!!
I had to resist eating more as we were just on our 5th dish out of the 15 dishes we were about to eat that night.  

Now for some palate cleansing dish… the Calamansi Sorbet.
The ice was undeniably smooth and it was not tangy at all. It was truly a refreshing dish and it made me ready to attack the next three lechons lined up.  

The next lechon dishes served were the Christmas Lechon and the Pinoy Lechon
The Christmas Lechon was stuffed with rice and chestnuts. It truly reminded me of Christmas. The stuffing was quite sweet. It was fragrant as well.

 The Pinoy Lechon on the other hand had binagoongan rice. It was a bit spicy.
Now for another palate cleansing dish… the Sabachara.
It was something I never tried before. It was a combination of saba and atchara. It had a bit of sweetness, spice and crunch.

It was already 10:30 when we reached the last lechon… French Lechon.
This was well loved as well as the truffle oil was delightful. The meat was very tender and flavorful.

The last lechon was served with the Pinoy Carbonara. This time, I made sure just to get one spoonful as my tummy’s nearing its critical stage.
It looked and tasted like carbonara but there was one ingredient that made it different. It was topped with… CHICHARON!

The 12th dish served was called Cholesterol Sweeper—chocolate oatmeal. It was really tasty and chocolatey and I wouldn’t mind getting another serving of it.
Lucky 13th perhaps? The next dish or should I say drink was the Darna’s Surprise. It was Butter Beer that tasted sweet and reminded us of butter balls.
The second and last dishes were desserts as well. Around this time, I was extremely full so I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the desserts. The 14th dish was Homemade Sorbetes. They served two kinds—guava and atis. I prefer the atis over the guava.
The last one (served around 11:20PM) was the Chocnut Truffle Cake. It was indeed chocolatey. You could taste the chocnut. Though I wished it was served a lot cooler (well, perhaps it took us a while taking photos of it).
It was definitely one great dinner. I got to try different and unexpected Filipino food—every single one with a twist. Thanks to Dedet for inviting us. I can’t wait to eat more of that French Lechon. 

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