Sunday, July 22, 2007

G.U.S. NITPICKS!! (v. 14)


My bon vivant friend D. texted me out of the blue, dangling the opportunity of a free meal at this place in exchange for being his designated chauffeur/gofer for the day. Not one to pass up the chance to freeload, yours truly woke up early and fetched D. (aka "Bossing") at the duly appointed time and place.

This resto boasts of the famed chef Ed Quimzon as consultant, and Bossing kept on raving about it on our smooth, traffic-free journey to Tagaytay. Hence, my appetite was whetted, and my expectations quite high.

We were joined by his 3 Japanese friends for this lunch. Bossing had pre-ordered the dishes, so i engaged in getting-to-know-you chitchat with his friends while waiting for the food to arrive.

Heres how it went:

The Chorizo Splendido may have lacked presentation (doesn't it look like they just dumped the pieces into the bowl, and that's it?), but i can assure you it was definitely not lacking in flavor. Fiery hot and spicy, and bursting with tenderness! i think i could have eaten 4 or 5 orders of this.

The Gambas La Esquina were firm, nicely complemented by the cream-based sauce. Although i think they could have served the sauce on the side, perhaps?

We were then served Molo soup (not pictured), which the others all liked, but which i found a tad too salty.

Next up was the Pollo Iberico (above), which was particularly tender and juicy. I didn't fancy the potatoes though, they seemed a bit squishy, if you know what i mean.

Above is the Paella Cristina, named after their patroness, Cristina Ponce. I thought this dish was disappointing. It just tasted quite ordinary, and forgettable. . .definitely nothing to write home about.

We were served both Lapu-lapu and Mahi-mahi with sweet banana, presented identically (above). Thus, there was some confusion as to which fish was which. In fact, i forgot whether this pic was of the lapu-lapu or the mahi-mahi!

I had misgivings whether this combination would work well, but oddly enough, it tasted really good! Props to the chef.

Ahh, my favorite part. . .dessert!! Bossing was not fond of sweets, and had to be cajoled to order this Leche Flan and Apple Crumble Cheesecake. This leche flan tasted quite superb! Great, firm texture, with the right amount of sweetness. . .not cloying at all. And the presentation was great as well.

[Wishing, hoping, praying] i could have taken home a whole slab of this. . . (hint, hint) eh, Bossing? :-D

Bonus: Through La Esquina's glass windows, you get a view of the Splendido golf course, designed by the great Greg Norman.

Oh, and one last thing. In lieu of a pic of the resto's interiors, i decided instead to include this pic of their restroom. This steel bucket is rather cool, no? And in keeping with their Spanish theme, too.

(La Esquina Spanish resto is located at the clubhouse of the Splendido Taal Residential Golf & Country Club, Tagaytay. It is open for lunch and dinner only from Thurs. to Sun.)