The signature dish is a crisp mushroom burger, a nod to 25 Mushrooms Kitchen cooking school and restaurant in Alabang.
Two crunchy patties, made of portobello, shiitake and button mushrooms, and dehydrated tofu, are layered between soft sesame seed buns and the classic lettuce and tomato combo. The side dish is quinoa with feta cheese and roasted sugar beets in vinaigrette dressing.
Dessert consists of two potted “plants—one is calamansi pound cake, layered with custard and lemon curd; the other is a chocolate fudge cake with Oreos and peanut butter.
Originally a cooking school, 25 Mushrooms Kitchen has opened a restaurant in Molito Lifestyle Mall. Its founder, Rosario “Sari” Reyes Jorge, has been a resource person for entertaining tips and training maids for kitchen duties.
The restaurant that specializes in comfort food has dishes originally served in the Jorge residence and taught at the school.
Jorge’s porcini truffle pasta is a creamy linguini with truffle paste and subtle undertones of truffle oil.
Beginners are taught to grill rib-eye steak, but the restaurant’s version is porcini-crusted. Jorge favors the branded Certified Angus Beef rib-eye because the high amount of marbling guarantees intense flavor.
The Iberian chicken—a staple in the Jorge home and the school repertoire—is brined and slow roasted to bring out its flavors.
The restaurant has also created Southern-style buttermilk fried chicken thighs skewered with corn on the cob.
“The other kind of Southern fried chicken is too oily,” says Margie Duavit, a partner in 25 Mushrooms Kitchen in Molito.
Even the hors d’oeuvres are made to impress. The Sriracha shrimp cocktail—sweet shrimps in deep-fried batter—is served in a shot glass.
Lumpia (spring roll) is filled with flaked tinapa, salted eggs, tempered by cream cheese.
The menu is not complete without the soup. The understated briny flavor of the prawn is complemented by crispy fish cakes, nuanced by truffle oil. The tomato soup is concocted from the juiciest fresh tomato and laden with chorizo, tortilla and cilantro cream to add comfort.
The classes are taught by chef Liezel Tambal from the Global Academy culinary school and executive chef Monet Mailen who has worked in Singapore and other restaurants.
Molito Mall is at Commerce Avenue, Alabang. Call 7768692. Classes: Absolute Beginner Helpers, Sept. 30; Absolute Beginner Moms, Sept. 24, Oct.1; Wine Pairing, Sept. 28-29; Wine and Art, Sept. 30.