So, my brother and his wife were in town for the weekend and I decided to take them away from the city for lunch.
We had lomo ribs at Canto Bogchi Joint in Ketchup- Food Community then had some pad thai from Happy Tummy.
For its price, the lomo ribs from Canto is well-worth it. (They’re 175 for half slab and 300 for an entire serving) But I’ve had better ribs. Don Henrico’s ribs still top my list. Sinfully huge chunks of prime rib! Ahh- must stop fantasizing. Haha.
The pad thai was good. I just thought it wasmasabaw. Otherwise, it’s pretty good but a little pricey for 150! In Thailand, this would be just about 50 Baht or around 70 Pesos. But lo and behold, I am not in Thailand!
At the time of our visit,they were doing some construction work in the area, perhaps getting ready for the rainy season. So it felt like we were in the middle of a construction site — piles of sand and gravel plus the sound of welding in surround sound! I hope they’re done on my next visit!
So for dessert, I took them to Chef’s Home. But alas! They were no longer at the Apolo store where they used to be! Turns out they found a new home at Romulo Drive. It’s the upper road when you U-turn from the old Apolo site.
I must say, I’m impressed! Gone were the tables covered in cheap plastic and so was the sign in tarp! They’ve leveled up!
So, proud of my discovery from last year, I ordered Chef’s Home Roti special. And so 10 minutes passed and I decided to add Thai Mango Salad.
And so 20 minutes passed, and still no sign of salad or roti special. If the place weren’t so pretty and staff so nice and courteous, I would’ve left. The place was pretty full. Lots of diners with lots of orders inside. And apparently, he makes orders according to the order you came. So even if it were a real simple dish, you’d have to wait.
But should it really take close to 45 minutes to get our first order? If I hadn’t asked for my Thai Mango Salad to be served, we’d be waiting for our glimpse of food for that long. The mango salad came 15 minutes earlier than our main order– the purpose of our visit.
The mango salad was spicy and sweet and tangy and the same time. I love the mix of flavors. Not too happy with the price though. It was 180. In Cambodia, I had the most excellent mango salad at just $1 or about 43 pesos. But that’s in Cambodia. Haha.
So this is how the Mango Salad at chef’s home looks like. Mostly mango, tomato, and sitaw.
This is what I had in Cambodia.
The difference is astounding! A couple of lettuce leaves and carrot strips won’t hurt! Besides, it’s mango season! I don’t get why they scrimped on the ingredients.
Anyway, so 45 friggin minutes! And so the order came– and didn’t look like the way it did the first time. Plate wasn’t as huge and not as much roti as I remembered. Last time I had this, a lotta roti was buried under the vanilla ice cream. This time the roti flakes were randomly scattered on top of the heap of ice cream. It tasted just as good as before but I was pretty disappointed at the waiting time AAAANDDD the sudden price increase. I went inside to place my order and the menu clearly said– 250 for the roti but when I came back to pay tadaaaaa- it was 275. I complained about this to the young man who served us and he referred me to Gina, the chef’s wife. She was apologetic that they wrote the wrong price on the board earlier and that they would have to charge me 275. She was sweet, attentive and courteous so I let this go. But I believe I should’ve been charged for the price that I saw earlier! We were so eager to eat so I didn’t bother taking a picture. It was gone in less than the length of a song.
Anyway, I’m happy that Chef’s Home “matured” into a dalaga! I mean the place looks classy, but still homey and unintimdating. Call it growing pains — but I don’t think anyone would want to wait 45 minutes for an ice cream dish!
I foresee that this place will continue to be popular with the not-too masa crowd. It is expensive to eat in here and serving sizes are not huge. People will continue to come here for its “exotic” and “authentic” value. Besides, eating really isn’t all about JUST eating. I say the same thing about Canto. Their ribs were good but not thaaat good. But the experience of eating in a “food community” is a plus.
I just miss the food in Thailand, Cambodia and Burma sooo much and I’m (kinda) ranting because I can’t afford to eat that kind of good food as often as I want to here in Baguio. Oh well. Reality bites.
One last look at my Cambodia meals 🙂 Ahh– if only air fares weren’t expensive! Basic accommodation, transport and food are soooo cheap! Okay, I’ll stop with the Cambodia references now. Just making sure you know where I’m coming from. 🙂
The most we spent per person for a meal in Cambodia is $7 and that’s in a posh looking resto in the Old Market in Siem Reap!
Okay, I’m finished now 🙂