CHECK IT OUT: Lechon Degustacion at Casa San Pablo
Dedet de la Fuente of Pepita’s Kitchen opens her home to the pork-obsessed with porcine pleasures on the menu.
Casa San Pablo
(Pepita’s Kitchen Lechon Degustacion)
6 San Pablo St. Magallanes Village
Tel. 425, 4605; 0917 866 0662
At Pepita's Kitchen, Pinoy lechon goes global. Click for more.
At Pepita's Kitchen, homemaker Dedet de la Fuente is giving the pork-obsessed another good reason to celebrate porcine pleasures with her signature Lechon Degustacion. Playful pinoy degustacion menus set in her home, Casa San Pablo in Magallanes Village, Makati, start at P1,500 per person with a minimum of 12 people.
Dinner begins with hearty and original flavored spreads of Balut Pate and Pinoy Caviar served only and always with crackers. Up next are enticing and mouthwatering specialities including a highly inventive Balut Salpicao, toothsome with garlicky goodness, and the Rellenong Bulaklak, lightly battered squash blossoms filled with kesong puti and anchovies then fried to crisp, delicate perfection. Also noteworthy and texturally perfect is Dedet's Pinoy Carbonara, a minced beef and mushroom cream sauce ladled on top of a bed of pasta and finished with a spoonful of crunchy chicharon.
But the stars of this meal are undoubtedly the Pepita's signature stuffed cochinillos. Savory, fatty, sinful and sublime, the lechons are baked in a specially made wood-burning oven that ensures maximum crisp and crackle. Guests choose from a range of global-inspired combinations like the German lechon, which is aggressively seasoned then filled with fresh herbs, potatoes and whole bulbs of garlic. Its French counterpart is stuffed with an aromatic truffled mushroom rice. The Hawaiian lechon boasts a filling of mango and pineapple and is curiously comforting while the Chinese chestnut and mushroom stuffing is moist and deeply satisfying. Should you, however, decide on keeping it local, the crowd-pleasing sisig or binagoongan rice-filled de leches are available in mild and spicy renditions.
Between courses, periodic palate cleansers of calamansi sorbet and the imaginative house Sabachara arrive at the table. And to help you recover from your pork-induced coma and clear your arteries, a shot of the Cholesterol Sweeper (oatmeal champorado) is offered to ease the guilt.
End the meal with a few scoops of refreshing Pinoy sorbetes, pastillas de leche, buko, atis or guyabano, and as one last indulgence, a special dayap cheesecake for a nice citric finish.
With two days advance notice, Pepita's Lechons are also available for take away to enjoy at your own celebratory feast. After all, it's not a party without a pig!
Photos by Cyrene dela Rosa