Monday, February 11, 2013

is it only Monday? (and, reminiscing a family lunch in the Philippines)

First working day of the week, and I'm already tired. Is that what happens when you approach your mid-thirties?

I shudder just saying that. Mid-thirties.

I could use some of this in my life right now:

chocolate souffle | Antonio's, Tagaytay, Philippines

And this:

Chocolate and coffee should give me more energy, right? Right. Of course.  ;-)

Looking at these photos, I'm remembering the lovely lunch I had with my family back home. It was in this place called Antonio's, and it is a beautiful, old (but maintained/restored) Spanish-Filipino style house with a lush tropical garden.

My brother and sister-in-law had their wedding reception here - I still regret not being able to go home for that milestone of an event - I didn't have my green card yet at the time, and my family told me not to leave the US and risk not being able to re-enter. So I was happy to be able to finally see the place.

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 I loved being able to see everything so GREEN in December.

And then I remembered, that's what I grew up with 23 years of my life. Funny how being away changes one's perspective so much. I saw these sun-dappled patches with new eyes.

 Glorious sunlight. Yes, this is what December looks like in the Philippines.

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She-and-He labels for restrooms

And A. having a moment with my niece P.

And let's not forget the food...interestingly, this was one of the few non-Filipino meals I had during our trip.

I don't eat a ton of cheese on a regular basis, so the raclette was a treat. The pickled vegetables cut through the richness of the cheese, which was a nice contrast. Of course, you can't go wrong with buttered and toasted baguette. I'm also not a huge fan of kohlrabi, but the soup was quite good.

L: raclette; R: cream of kohlrabi soup

Salads, below. I made it a point to eat kesong puti (this amazing creamy local cheese) every chance I got. I kind of met my cheese quota at this point already with the raclette I had prior, but what the heck...

L: baked kesong puti with arugula; R: mesclun with gorgonzola

And the rest of our meal... between courses, we had a pineapple sorbet, followed by the main course, which A. and I shared. And yes, I ate chicken. I believe it was a local chicken. Don't worry, I didn't go all Portlandia on the server (and if you haven't seen that video, it is hilarious). That said, in the interest of full disclosure, I did eat chicken during this trip - there were some traditional dishes that you just can't get anywhere else. This one was quite good (but not quiiiite the best) - crispy outside and juicy inside... accompanied by a romesco sauce and the creamiest, most indulgent risotto. Yum.

Quite obviously, there was no shortage of chocolate.

Clockwise from left: chocolate souffle with cardamom creme anglaise, muscovado sugar, coffee from local beans, a trio of panna cotta - chocolate, hazelnut, and vanilla, and another chocolate dessert with pistachios

And on that note... I need to prepare dinner now. Except it's our usual bean-and-vegetable dinner (tonight it's a Greek lima bean stew and caramelized brussels sprouts), and nothing like this decadence... and just a quiet table for two at home, not a long table for 8-10 like the many family meals shared during our trip.

In the meantime, I am wishing for this right now:

(See the word I'm thinking of?)

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anne said...

"is that local?" hahaha i love that bit!

lovely photos mia! and now i'm looking forward to getting to antonio's! my family's been many times, and they've always enjoyed the food. thank you for capturing the sense of space! it looks very relaxing! now i know why carlo and christina chose that space for their reception!

Mia (Savor Everyday) said...

"I'm going to ask you again, this is local?" :)

Heehee. Sure it's a good question, and one I've asked before (although not to the same level of "intimate knowledge", haha) but I found the exaggeration hilarious!

I really enjoyed Antonio's - the food was really good, and the space really feels authentic. It's the kind of place where you can really linger over your meal - which was so refreshing after my usual hurried workday meals here at home!

Dianne Khu said...

Love this post! Love your photos! Love Antonio's! (all i could say was love, love, love - so happy valentine's too) LOL

Mia (Savor Everyday) said...

Hi Dianne! Happy v-day to you, hubby, and Madison too!

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