Tweaking traditional dishes can turn horrible | Inquirer Lifestyle

Tweaking traditional dishes can turn horrible

Should chefs be allowed to tweak traditional dishes?


The answer is yes and no. Many of today’s chefs, in an effort to put their “original stamp” on some dishes, take the liberty of changing the original recipes. Some succeed while keeping the essence and taste of the food.


But others execute such horrible “innovations” that the dishes are hardly recognizable. And that’s a pity.


Neil’s Kitchen


Lot C 701 West Gate, Filinvest City, Muntilupa; tel. 7711334, 7108962


A very enthusiastic foodie couple told us about this restaurant with an internationally recognized chef. We were full of anticipation while negotiating the winding stairs.


We were greeted by a big board that says, “Eat Well. Pray Often, Love Always.”


Service: The place was full, but the kitchen managed to fill all orders without delay.


Staff: Accommodating and gracious, especially the gentlemen.

Dining area: Colorfully decorated, in fact, a bit gaudy, and noisy from the din of conversations. Now this was the surprise, shock even—because the main dining area had no more available table, we were ushered into a library-type room at the end of the hall. It was a store! We certainly did not expect this.

Anyway, the room had a collection of books for both children and adults, including business papers and DVDs. Note that even the small room is plastered with frames of quotable statements.


Suggested orders


Now the “tweaks.” The first plate on the table was Crispy Squids with Kimchi Sauce, done not too spicy in spite of the condiment.


A discussion on what main courses to order ensued. Because we’re a paella fan, we checked the resto’s selection. There were at least four variations.


We took the Sinigang Rice with Pork Cubes. One would think this would be executed like a real paella. But no, the rice came in a small casserole while the pork was on the side. No semblance of the Spanish rice.


To top it all, it was so sour (the side dish was tasteless) and it seemed like a whole packet of commercial sinigang mix was poured into it!


The others in our company were luckier to have made better choices: Kare-Kare, Shrimp Tempura and Pancit Luglog.


Maybe chef Neil should study more on how to enhance his dishes better, if he wants to go beyond tradition.


Service and government charges are added to the bill.

Senior cards are honored.