Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rocksalt ♥ ♥ ♥

It is my dad’s birthday. Biologically, he turns 54 this year. But we are celebrating it as his 55th. Don’t ask. It’s a Chinese thing.

Since it is a Saturday and everyone’s home, we have to play by the majority rule and pick a place in Quezon City. Because it is where everybody lives. Except us.

Luckily, there’s Rocksalt.


Comfort food with attitude.
I like that.

IMG_6828Tonight’s menu

Now let’s talk about attitude.

IMG_6818Pesto Bread. Self-assured, confident. It is the first to come out and it sits alone on the empty table. It knows that people will love it because it is not the usual bread with butter or garlic bread. It is pesto. And we all love pesto.

IMG_6841Squash Cappuccino. Calm, steady, nourishing. It’s something you feel at ease with right away. A small cup of this smooth and creamy soup warms the stomach, warms the heart. A few people find it a little too tame though. A bit more bacon should jazz it up.

IMG_6836 Roca Salata. Bright, vibrant, zesty. This sweet, bitter, earthy and tangy salad of arugula, candied walnuts and oven dried tomatoes tossed in balsamic vinaigrette brings sunshine to any rainy day, a grin to any poker face.

IMG_6843Spaghetti al Funghi. Laid-back, indulgent. Creamy pesto pasta is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. The creamier the better. I pig out on it when I feel like rewarding myself. Like tonight. And I tell you, Rocksalt’s version with mushrooms is great pig out stuff.

IMG_6848Baked Lapu-Lapu with Braised Leeks. No-nonsense, straightforward. I am a bit worried when I see this dish come out. A whole red grouper? But we are not in a Chinese restaurant! I am still taking photos when I hear the aunties raving. And I am relieved. This is delicious. The tang of the capers and lemon complements well the sweetness of the fish and leeks. A simple dish with simple ingredients prepared quite excellently.

IMG_6850Garlic Rice. Bouncy, playful, fun. This is not the usual garlic rice. It’s fluffy, springy, and does not have a single garlic bit in it. I am in awe. This is the bomb. Everyone agrees.

IMG_6854Country Barbeque Ribs with Fries and Corn. No-frills, homely, rustic. The ribs look dry and tough, but are actually tender to the bite although not very juicy. The fries are meaty, tasty and spicy. They win over the ribs.

IMG_6856Gambas Spaghetti. Sexy, spicy, sneaky. Because we are such big eaters and the food is not enough, Rocksalt’s pretty manager Christine gives us this shrimp and roasted garlic pasta on the house. The shrimp pieces are a bit overcooked, but the flavor is perfect. The first forkful and you think it’s just some mild-tasting olive oil based spaghetti, but in a short while the heat kicks in. Sneaky, I tell you, but sexy sneaky. 

IMG_6875Milopita. Delicate, This phyllo dough filled with mashed up apples is one of the best I’ve had in a while. The phyllo layers are thin, crisp, flaky, and the apple filling not too sweet. A perfectly light and guilt-free ending to a delicious meal. OR a perfectly light and guilt-free beginning to the sinful and calorific dessert buffet that is to follow.

IMG_6864More desserts for the night (clockwise from top left): My favorite Diamond Hotel Le Royale, 
Petit Four Bakeshop Chocolate Cake, Divine Desserts Blueberry Streusel Cheesecake, 
Karen’s Kitchen Red Velvet, and as always, the Red Mocha cake from Auntie Pacita

IMG_6859Dad gets a slice of cheesecake from Rocksalt, too!
  Happy Birthday, Dad!
And thank you, Rocksalt!

With the people who matter most to me – my family (missing my sister Jerrilyn, her husband Ryan and their 3 adorable children, Rochelle, Ryan Jr. and Riyanne)

And the Fatterside relatives? Bonkers, loud, noisy, uncontrollable, rowdy, restless, out of whack, chaotic, traumatic.

But Christine and the Rocksalt staff handle us well. 

Like how co-owner Chef Rob Pengson assures me when I tell him we are all that, “It’s okay. Don’t worry, you’ll be entertainment for the chefs.”

And you are right, Rob.

Que horror!

We painted Rocksalt red. Like literally.
It’s a Chinese thing.

Rocksalt: Unit 7 & 8 Timog Commercial Complex, Timog Avenue corner Panay Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines. Tel: +632-332-6751, +632-332-6821

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