Dining at home reaches another level as food deliveries and takeout services bring flavors from other kitchens to the table. The community quarantine opened up the menu to a wide range of options that have pleased the family over the last three months.
This personal list of food enjoyed is longer, but bite sizes help in savoring the taste.
1. Roasted Garlic and Pepper Prawns with Crack Noodles
This pasta dish upstaged the family favorites on the dinner table. Our eldest son Gab ordered it as gift for the midweek celebration of our wedding anniversary. Gab, a certified food enthusiast, extolled the culinary creations of Georgette Gabionza a few times before and believed it could hold its own. It did. This variation of her signature Roasted Garlic and Pepper Crab with Crack Noodles has the same refined Asian flavor. “I named it crack noodles because my customers said they are addicted to it,” she said, explaining the name. Her other bestsellers are beef balls, radish cake and steamed Japanese oysters with garlic and leeks. She also prepares aburi sushi bake, the latest craze to hit the city.
Gourmetbygeorgette, tel. 0917-7090679
2. Grilled Prime Black Angus Rib Eye (250 g) with choice of sauce: Béarnaise, Bordelaise, Bourguignon, Wild Mushroom, Goose Liver, Creamy Pepper
Chef Jessie Sincioco’s food has remained consistently good for more than three decades, and her French Onion soup is the hubby’s comfort food for all times. It wasn’t on the menu for delivery, but Chef Jessie aims to please, and the soup arrived in a nicely packaged soup bowl that went straight into the microwave for a meal starter. Serving grilled meats through delivery is a challenge, but the chef, who prepared all the papal meals when Pope Francis was in town, is up to the task. Add her famous ciabatta bread (P100/loaf), which keeps well in the freezer with the special dip (P450/bottle) before finishing with the baked cheesecake topped with cherry, blueberry, mango.
Chef Jessie’s Place, tel. 0917-8330797, 0917-8967880, 0917-0976649; email [email protected] Daily delivery from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Grab or Lalamove. Pickup at 1997 corner Obrero and Tanay Sts., Barangay Valenzuela, Makati.
3. Hickory Smoked 16-Hour Slow-Roasted Snake River Farms Gold US Wagyu Prime Brisket with a tub of gravy and a side of potato gratin
It was an Instagram post that tipped off the order for the meat prepared in Ica Sebastian’s kitchen at the other end of the metropolis from our residence. Ica is passionate about food, and her Tagaytay Cafe Voila always merited a stopover during weekend visits to the countryside. She smokes and slow roasts the Snake River Farms Gold US Wagyu Beef Brisket (P1,075/500 g, P2,150/1 kg) till it reaches the state of melt-in-the-mouth doneness. She also makes traditional galantina with a tub of au jus gravy (P1,695) and chicken pastel (P975/1 kg, P575/500 g) with creamy morsels of chicken breast, ham, Iberico chorizo and chunks of carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, green olives sealed with a buttery rich puff pastry crust.
Ica M. Sebastian, tel. 0917- 8764488. Delivery or pickup at 454 Maria Cristina Street, Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa
4. Truffled Risotto Iberico with Porcini Mushrooms
When the challenge of deciding what to order gets overwhelming, one-dish meals can be just as filling and special, especially if it includes rice. Txoko has several options with Truffled Risotto Iberico with Porcini mushrooms (P650) at the top of my list. Other rice dishes are the Arroz de Lapu Lapu, a paella with grouper and uni mayonnaise (P850) and Arroz Negro, which is black rice, with cuttlefish, lapu lapu and uni aioli (P780). Bigger appetites may consider adding Secreto Iberico and Charcoal Roasted Red Bell Peppers (P990) and the callos (P550) with ox tripe, pork mask, pork trotters and chorizo.
Txoko Asador, tel. 0917-5555435
5. Argentinian Grill Ready Steaks
Bobby Tenchavez and Carlo Calma Lorenzana thought to package their La Cabrera signature for home delivery. They bring the Argentinian dining experience in grill-ready frozen meat cuts. “It’s our newest offering for the next normal,” Tenchavez says. “We pre-grill in our custom-built parilla, locking in the smoky flavor the La Cabrera way. The meat is frozen and vacuum-packed, ready for delivery. It comes with easy preparation steps, either pan-fry or grill. Available cuts are Ojo de Bife/rib-eye, Cuadril (Coulotte, Prime Entraña or skirt), Bife de Chorizo (striploin) available in 400 g (P4,160) and 600 g (P5,660.) Nice to pair with Argentinian empanadas.
Orders are received from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
La Cabrera Al Paso, tel. 0905- 2900703; Pick up orders at 6750 Building, Ayala Business Tower, Glorietta Complex, Ayala Avenue, Makati
6. Cote de Boeuf
Wildflour is always a quick stop to pick up the Garlic Walnut Cheese Bread. When there was time to sit down for brunch, it was the shakshuka that called my name, as the Bucatini and Meatballs and the coconut pie. Ana Lorenzana de Ocampo and her team understand that special occasions need special preparations. They have put together a Father’s Day menu for dine-in, delivery or takeout that includes Cote de Boeuf, a bone-in Kitayama rib-eye steak. “We have a family style set (P12,600) that starts with Chorizo and Gambas and Wildflour Chopped Salad,” De Ocampo says. “It includes Lasagna Bolognese, Squid Ink Mafaldine and Caccio e Pepe. The main attraction is a 1,000 g Cote de Boeuf, served with roasted vegetables, beef jus, Bearnaise, french fries, roasted cauliflower and broccoli. The meal-ender is our classic Tres Leches Cake.”
Another set menu is the Rotisserie Chicken meal (P9,600). Wildflour Italian also has the New York Steak set meal (P13,000) and the Bisteca Florentina (P17,000), all plated to serve four to six persons.
7. Spinach Artichoke Dip
Johanna Garcia keeps it simple and special with her bottled dips that come to the rescue for light eating or appetizers. Her spinach artichoke dip is chunky and creamy, a combination of French cream, premium cheeses with generous amounts of spinach and artichokes (P450/10-oz bottle). Her RealGirlToyKitchen brand also has gluten-free, vegetarian hummus (P350/10-oz bottle). The classic Mediterranean dip, made with chickpeas, tahini, extra virgin olive oil, lemon and spices, has a Chipotle hummus version (P400/10-oz bottle). She uses chipotle peppers in Mexican adobo sauce that adds a smoky spiciness to every bite.
Johanna Garcia, tel. 0917-8085302
8. Ka Moo Pa Lo
Food is meant to be an adventure, and trying something new can be a rewarding discovery. When Dusit Thani Manila posted the pork knuckle as the Chef’s Weekend special on their IG feed, it was the cue to add to the family’s Thai food repertoire. The Ka Moo Pa Lo (P2,500), which arrived in a covered glazed casserole, was a belated anniversary lunch celebration made personal by a handwritten note from communications director Shariza Relova and GM Stanley Lo. They sent a chilled bottle of GranMonte wine, which Shariza swore went well with the pork. It did.
An accompanying brown broth was poured over the neatly arranged combination of meat, bean curd, eggs and vegetables that had been prepared by the resident Benjarong chef. It came with chili sauce on the side, adding that extra punch to the sweetish, flavorful dish sufficient for four people. As an added bonus to a satisfying meal, every order comes with a P2,000 room voucher.
Anyone who has dined around a Happy Ongpauco Tiu table knows that it will be both a visual and a gustatory experience. This was temporarily put on hold during the lockdown, but her heritage dishes served in Pamana Restaurant are available for home delivery. The Pampanga staple Sisig sa Aligue (P295) is an all-time bestseller, and the Seafood Kare Kare Sa Pili Nuts (P545) takes the local stew to another dimension.
A friend’s craving introduced me to Kettle’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken. It was hard to imagine how much more different a fried chicken could be until her insistence had us working through two orders of the boneless chicken served with corn bread fresh from the oven. It came with sidings of gravy and honey. —CONTRIBUTED