Classic meets modern in these "twisted" versions of Filipino favorites.
It was an endless topic of debate (?), more like everyone passing to the other the onerous task of deciding where to eat. As soon as everyone has voiced out their inconclusive replies, I watch as all eyes lay suddenly on me. Wanting to avoid the dinner crowd in Power Plant Mall's strip of restaurants at the ground floor, I scouted the 2nd level for dining options. Aha! An uncrowded place nestled in a slightly hidden corner, away from the exploratory gazes of hungry diners. We decided to station ourselves in a table outside C2, and a few minutes after settling in our seats, the place began to fill up. So much for a peaceful meal.
When dining out, we always try to steer clear of dishes that can be easily cooked at home, so you could hear silence as everyone was studying the menu intently. Aside from the modern twist in the description of some viands, the suggestive pricey ones made you conjure up thoughts of equally expensive and quality dictated ingredients that will certainly compensate for the dent in your pocket.
When the waiter placed the bowl of Aligue Rice (P125) atop the table, I was brimming with excitement. Loud orange painted each grain of rice, and my thoughts filled with visions of tasty crab fat, my taste buds in anticipation of the same. But apparently, looks can be quite deceiving as I take in a spoonful of the rice. My shoulders slumped as my mouth reluctantly swallowed the grains that tasted more like java rice than that of aligue.
Sadly enough, the failed rice proved to be a premonition for the rest of the meal. The instant the waiter laid down the big bowl of Kare-Kareng Baka (P485), I wanted to cry. For the price, I expected generous amounts of ingredients particularly the meat, not a bowl of dull colored sauce with a heaping of vegetables. I raked the veggies to one side hoping to uncover treasures of beef underneath. I was rewarded with a couple of pieces of meat, tripe and fat. Certainly not enough for 3-4 people as the waiter had earlier said.
The Walastik (P385) was C2's version of Bistek Tagalog. Dry, bitter greens plated on a corner, onion rings piled on the other side, and there sitting on the center was the beef, pork and (silly me for overlooking it in the description) liver! The beef that I got to taste has that nice zesty flavor of salty beef steak sauce. But the liver was another story. Oh, I hate liver. I don't like liver. I don't eat liver. That's one food that's up there in my 'do not eat' list, together with sisiw ng balut and vienna sausage. One bite of the abhorrent meat under the guise of its neighboring beef squashing between my teeth was enough. Lest I find myself replicating the unappetizing ordeal, I turned to the onion rings instead. The crunch was surprisingly nice and the sweet piece of onion inside was a gentle comfort to my disappointing meal. The dipping sauce on the side had a strong kick which definitely added character to the onions.
I had high hopes for the Pinakbet at Bagnet (P275). More than anything, I wanted this dish to salvage my C2 dining experience. No such luck, it seems that the gustatory gods were playing a trick on me that night. The pieces of bagnet were fine, the crispy skin echoes of a lovely crunch, an evidence of how it was cooked properly and right. The vegetables were decent enough, which is more than I can say of the sauce. The sharp, salty taste suddenly overpowered the pork and veggies that I was chewing on. Instead of encouraging you to take in more bites, I just tried to rampantly wash away the brackish taste.
The Pandan Iced Tea (P70 glass; P180 carafe) was a much needed way of cleansing the palate of our disconcerting dinner. I drowned my sorrows literally in a couple of glasses and just couldn't accept that we had made poor dish choices. But I wasn't giving up on Classic Cuisine just yet. I heard praises for Crispy Ribs Sinigang, Sisig Rice and Bibingka Souffle so I'll be back.
Spot: 2nd Floor Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City
Contact No.: 897.8113