Litany of tastes on the last Saturday of February:
1. Kanin Club, Paseo de Sta. Rosa. Pair the crispy dinuguan with the thai green mango salad. And the crunchy tadyang works well with the sigarillas cooked bicol express style. The patola cooked in olive oil was a light dish, a good counterpoint to all the meaty yumminess on the table, good with tapa. Don't order the all you can eat rice, it's pure gluttony and you never ask for a refill anyway. Unfortunately, the sticky rice with mango was more a miss than a hit. They used regular rice, and it didn't taste like it was cooked in coconut milk.
What I would like to try if I go back: the crispy binagoongan and the seafood karekare.
2. Il Gallo Nero - we had a pizza for merienda, thin crust, had the specialty of the house with arugula and prosciutto. A good find in a somewhat far from the main center of town location. The Tuscan chef is no longer connected with the place, no idea if the rest of the menu stands up to the test. But if you're returning from Nasugbu and are hungry with the munchies, then stop at the Alfonso hotel, and grab a pie.
3. Bawai - we overordered. Prior to going, we had been given too many instructions (no space, then space became available, then told to order by text, told that the only items available were down to six items, then given different instructions that the entire menu was available, and then when we did text in the order, asked for more clarity regarding who was ordering what. I was not impressed so far.). Good thing the place turned out to be charming, the food, mostly good, and the people and service much faster than we had been told it would be. Because of the jolly to and fro-ing of the instructions, we ended up ordering too many ribs, an extra order of the chicken, and we probably only needed one bowl of pho. But the flavors were enchanting, the broth on the mark. I'd want more caramelization in the chicken and the pork ribs could use more oomph. High marks for the fresh rolls and the sausages (which a friend of a friend told us not to order) were much better than we had expected (never listen to someone who doesn't like adventurous eating, they always fail.).
4. Chateau Hestia - we'd been eating since noon, and by 9 pm, we were all distended. But foodies never back down from a challenge, and we walked a few meters in the dark to the neighboring bistro for dessert and some dalandan-celo (-cello?). The grand marnier gelato was lovely with a shot of the vin d'orange, but the hot chocolate drink was lacking any depth of flavor or texture. The panna cotta with passion fruit puree was lovely. The dalandan/calamansi liquor was a bit too astringent, strong on the palate. Very cleansing after all that food we had during the day. The surroundings are likewise pleasant, I would like to see the place during the day, enjoy a summer picnic on the lawn, and try the lamb.
We spent Sunday eating less heavy meals, the only bit that we failed to achieve was missing out on bacon waffles for breakfast, but the steak pies at Bag of Beans hit the spot on an overcast afternoon. Good bacon and fries there too.
Back to my regular eating schedule...