Sunday, March 30, 2008

Abe at Serendra

As a grand finale to Michelle’s visit, we decided to have dinner at Serendra. Michelle Tan is our senior analyst from Canada and basically in charge of mostly everything when in comes to research in Canadian market. You can try googling her name adding ‘iss canada’ with the search and read further about her.

Serendra was the right place to bring her because of the variety of restaurants in the area as well because FullyBooked was nearby. Given that she’s a lover of books, it’ll surely be a hit for her. Our first choice was to eat at Chelsea. When we got there, we were told that we still have to wait at about one and a half hour to be seated. We had our names listed but we still looked around the area. Right across Chelsea is Abe. The place serves Filipino food cooked in Capampangan style. Again we were on a waiting list but if we wanted to eat outside, there were already available seats. We agreed to that setting but halfway while they were fixing the table, another table became available inside and so we were lucky that we got inside.

Crispy Shrimp Binondo: fried small salted shrimps
Nothing impressive about this dish. But at least it wasn’t oily and the shrimps were fried just right.

Spicy Kapampangan Sisig: wasn’t that spicy.
The dish was a mixture of the pork’s face and liver. I prefer the sisig at Masas.

Lamb Adobo: This one I really enjoyed. I am not a fan of lamb and so I was quite hesitant to try this dish but I’m thankful that I indeed tasted this. The lamb was tender and moist. I love how Abe cooked the adobo. The dish had plenty of garlic. The mixture of bay leaf, soy sauce and chili, which added a spike to the dish, brought a wonderful combination. This dish is a reason to go back to Abe.

Pastel de Lengua: Honestly, I didn’t have that much of this dish to judge it. But Michelle was so surprised that it actually was made of ox tongue. She swore it tasted just like ordinary meat.

We also ordered gising-gising, which I found out was really just kangkong stems cooked with chili fingers and coconut milk. It was supposed to be spicy thus the name, to wake you up. We also had Lechon Cubano, which tasted like any other lechon.

I was excited to try Abe’s bamboo rice as I’ve read about it in other blogs. As described, Abe’s bamboo rice is mountain rice cooked with shrimps, wood ear mushrooms and bamboo shoots steamed in a bamboo shell. I wasn’t able to take a picture of it as the rice was immediately distributed to each plate when it was served. I wasn’t able to taste much flavor in the rice. It seemed it was just rice in a mixture of some sort and not much flavor.

We were all excited with one dish though. It was fried frog (palaka), served with a filling of minced pork. I must admit that being scared of frogs, I wasn’t brave enough to have too much of this dish. I actually only tasted a piece of leg because I knew it was the safest part to eat.

Overall, I find Abe’s food not that spectacular, too pricey and with small servings. Though, I am willing to go there again and try other dishes. A one-time experience is not enough to shun this Filipino restaurant.

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