you see, "lumaki" can also mean "grow fat".
that aside, i literally grew up in a cooking environment as my mom ran a carinderia / restaurant. we used to play out in the fields all day and would come running in the restaurant, grubby and smelling like the sun. my brother and i would jostle in front of the food counter and point to the dishes that appealed to our fancy. i remember the cook shooing us as we try to grab a little more than what we're supposed to have.
my sisters took over the restaurant after college and when they left for the US, no one from the boys took over the business. by that time, all of us have been deported to bacolod city where we went to school.
you would say that my love affair ended prematurely, that's why Kitchen in Greenbelt 3 is like getting reunited with an old fling. this particular amor started in the late 90s when they opened their first restaurant in SM Megamall. The stark design, overhead lights set on top of the long common tables and open kitchen view reminded me of a carinderia. they remained consistent with their theme when they opened up in upscale Greenbelt in Makati. it didn't take long before the old patrons of SM discovered Kitchen in Greenbelt and brought in new patrons.
when i got the chance, i decided to have lunch (all by my lonesone self) in Kitchen during a recent trip to Manila. instead of ordering my favorites, i decided to try something new: Belly Flop and BreadWinner.
pesto, sautéed mushrooms, shaved parmesan and stewed tomato got served alongside toasted Crostinni (Breadwinner). I had fun breaking up the crostinni into bite sized pieces topped with a combination of sauces. surprisingly, the one that perked my taste buds is the toasted garlic in chili oil that's set in the middle of the long table. generous portions of the garlic in chili together with pesto and salted with the parmesan made for a very tempting bite. good thing i wasn't planning on meeting any friends that afternoon.
for the main course, i had the grilled salmon belly on top of pandan rice. sautéed swamp cabbage (kangkong) that turned out to be rather oily served as the side dish.
i remember the creamy buttery consistency of the salmon belly dipped in a chili infused vinegar soy sauce condiment. this time around, there's a bitter aftertaste that coated my tongue long after i consumed the meal. i'm not sure if its the sautéed kangkong or the fact that the pandan rice looked too green for comfort. green = moldy = exorcist.
the good thing is that they still serve the mint infused water (they break a sprig of mint and pop it in the water bottle) that somehow cleared my palate.
is the food good? from what i remember "yes", this time it didn't live up to my expectations. i guess it's back to my original choice next time i drop by Kitchen. otherwise, I just might move into someone else's home.
March 21, 2009
G/F Greenbelt 4, Makati,
Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel: (02) 757-4565 to 66
Mon to Sun, 10:00AM - 10:00PM