Friday, October 12, 2007

Abaca

Photo by: Pidz
After reading a lot of hullabaloo about abaca (nasty comments about the management, the chef, the manager, and the food… though i have also read quite a lot of promising entries that makes Abaca something to try for) my hubby and I decided to try it out for ourselves and see if there is any grain of truth to what we have read.

Upon invitation by our good friends and foodtrip buddies, Benjie Ordoñez and his charming wife Magene, we didn’t let the chance pass by. 7PM we started our long journey towards an adventure that we are used to doing… our favorite pastime…EATING!

So it begins, our adventure at Abaca… It was an experience worth the memories! Right from the gate when we entered all the way until dessert. Upon stepping into the place, one would really see and feel the exclusivity. It is not your usual garden setting of a restaurant. There are a lot of foliage that surround the area, right from the parking area up to the pathway leading to the tables. It makes you closer to nature and how i wish i could see its beauty during the daytime. Just thinking of how near we are to the beach makes me feel the breeze as it caresses my skin.

As we approached the dining area we were greeted by Glen, a very charming person. He showed us to our table. I love the cute shells used for the table napkins. The ambiance was so very relaxing, it has a homey feel to it, dim lights with jazz music, makes you think you were somewhere else special.

For the ambiance: I’d give it a 5/5. I was swept off my feet with how everything looked. It was dreamy. My Hubby gives it a 4/5, He found the music quite loud.

We were met with very courteous attendants, always with a “it’s my pleasure” after every “thank you”.

For the management and staff: My hubby and I both agreed on this aspect, 5/5. Very attentive and very charming.

For the appetizer or tapa’s, we had homemade bread with olive oil, corn chowder, chicken liver paté with vegetables and homemade bread. The homemade bread tasted like a “REAL” homemade bread that lets you feel warm inside. I love the crunchiness of the crust and the softness of the inside part (I don’t know what else to call this particular part of the bread… ^_^) of the bread, a perfect pair for the chowder. It had no “yeasty” taste as what most of the breads have. The corn chowder was creamy but the creaminess did not overpower the other ingredients. The corn was so crunchy. My verdict on the chicken liver, VERY delicious and a must try for those people who are squeamish about liver. I for one am not a liver-eating person. But when I tasted this dish, I was at a loss for words on how to describe the fusion of tastes inside my mouth. I almost missed out on this dish, but I gathered enough courage to just dip one tine of the fork and tasted it. It tasted bitter at first, without the bread and the vegetables. But when I mixed everything and piled it up on the homemade bread, the taste was a sensation! Bread with vegetables that had a hint of vinaigrette, topped of with a little mustard and a little of bignay spread which was capped with the chicken liver. One mouthful led to another and each bite had me adding the paté on the bignay spread. The experience was awesome! My husband was so surprised that I actually ate and relished the dish. He was used to me NOT eating and NOT even touching any kind of food that has a hint of liver.

We had Mesclun salad and cheese pizza after all of the fusion of tastes that I have savored. The mesclun consisted of various greens that were all fresh. It had a hint of balsamic vinegar, not overpowering the other ingredients, just right to make everything taste just right. The Cheese Pizza had fresh basil for toppings and i love the cheese and the crust, oh! so crisp and crunchy.

For the main course, we had whole roasted chicken with mashed fresh potatoes and bouillabaisse. The chicken was another experience for the taste buds. The chicken skin was crisp and had a hint of what was rubbed on it to give it its distinctive taste, salt and pepper with thyme. The meat was cooked just right, tender and moist. The chicken juices complemented well with the mashed potato. The bouillabaisse, a mixture of seafoods, salmon and shellfish. The salmon cooked just right and the soup tasted a bit spicy.

The last and most awaited part of the dinner, DESSERT, the dessert platter has 7 different kinds of sweets: tiramisu, chocolate pudding, lemon cheesecake, apple turn-over, chocolate cookie, oatmeal cookie, créme brulée. The first of seven parts of the dessert, the lemon cheesecake. It had a refreshing taste and a melt-in-your-mouth sensation. Everything on that platter had that effect to the taste buds and the palate. It was so soft and the lemon taste is really there, real lemon taste. 2nd part, the créme brulée, the caramel was flamed so perfectly. I told myself, this is the real deal, a real créme brulée at last. I have tasted a lot of créme brulée’s and nothing comes close to what i have just tasted. So creamy and with just the right sweetness. 3rd part, the tiramisu, soft cake and yummy coffee taste. 4th part, the chocolate pudding, soft with the real chocolate taste. 5th part, the apple turnover, soft puff pastry that highly complemented the apples inside. For the last 2 parts, the cookies: the oatmeal and the chocolate, soft and chewy, not so sweet. There were also 2 sticks of puff pastry on the platter, soft and it melts in your mouth.

Food: If I were to judge the food alone, I’d give it a 5/5, I enjoyed EVERYTHING. The fusion of tastes that complemented each and every ingredient of each dishes was so wonderful that I am at a loss for words. But my hubby’s taste buds has a strong bias towards the “sweet” spot and he thinks that the desserts weren’t sweet enough, he gives it a 4/5.

The Bill: Price range per person for food and drinks, around P800 to P2,000. It all depends on what you order.

We really enjoyed our dinner. Good food with good company makes everything wonderful. =D Makes us want to go back there, one of these days (if our schedule permits ^_^)

Moral lesson of the review: don’t listen or believe anything about a place until you have tried it out for yourself. let yourself be the judge =D

For more info about Abaca, visit their website at http://www.abacaresort.com/