while waiting for my order to be served, i walked over to their pinoy deli area where they display an array of pinoy kakanin (sweets) that sorely tempted me to spoil my appetite for dinner. resistance is futile and i ended ordering a perennial favorite, ginormous chinese fresh lumpia stuffed with shredded chicken, sautéed green beans, carrot, garlic and ubod (the fleshy heart of the palm tree).
what makes this dish special is the inclusion of the thick peanut sauce that gives just the right amount of sweet nuttiness to this treat. be careful though, seven inches long and thick around the middle, this one can fill you up easily.
dinner was an asian selection that started off with a steaming hot bowl of delicious creamy and chunky pancit molo that had me slurping the soup with gusto. the key to a delicious molo soup is to use the stock made from crushed shrimp heads boiled and strained. the soup is made thick by the flour that coat the wonton or molo wrappers and the spring flavors of scallions and toasted garlic compliment the delicate flavor of the pork and shrimp balls wrapped in molo wrappers that look like nun heads. i know, decapitated nun heads is the last thing you want to imagine when eating molo soup.
i know i shouldn't have ordered the thai spring roll but i wanted to go for a full asian spread that evening. i ended up asking the waiter to wrap the other two rolls as i wanted to leave space for the hainanese chicken for the main course.
thai spring rolls are essentially the same as the chinese fresh lumpia except that rice paper (a translucent wrapper made from ground rice) is used. aside from the carrots and cucumber, an option is to use fresh bean sprouts but it gives the spring roll a slightly bitter aftertaste. a definite thai influence is the use of sweet basil and sprigs of coriander that gives it that fresh spring taste. topped with shrimp poached to pink perfection, wrapped in rice paper and served with peanut sauce, this is one appetizer sure to get you going for the main course.
for the main course, i ordered the vietnamese steamed hainanese chicken. in many cases the chicken is actually poached and presentation wise, it lacks a certain appeal considering that it's just a slab of steamed white chicken.
hainanese chicken is usually served with a ginger dipping sauce. in this case, the addition of the sweet sour chili and shoyu soy sauce provided options. i can't say if sweet goes very well with steamed chicken meat but the shoyu provided the salty base to the light flavors of the hainanese chicken.
what would have made the dish better is if they had it filetted and deboned. then again, am just being laaaazy.
if you do find yourself visiting bacolod, do drop by pendys and sample some of their pinoy kakanins for a lazy midafternoon snack and might as well continue with dinner. namit!