Private Dining by Aleth Ocampo

It was actually the birthday dinner of my friend’s hubby but I’m so happy she invited us to celebrate it with them. I finally got to eat at the private home of Chef Aleth Ocampo in Magallanes where she cooked an impressive dinner for the birthday celebrant.

If the name Aleth Ocampo sounds familiar she and her cousins started the retail business Sari Sari. I still remember buying one of their hand painted one of a kind t-shirts back in college when they were just starting out.  

Private Dining by Aleth's Kitchen

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Chef Aleth Ocampo

Chef Aleth Ocampo

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While waiting for the other guests to arrive we noshed on Aleth’s homemade cassava, sweet potato chips which were already addictive on it’s own but with a little eggplant dip or in my case a lot of tinapa (smoked fish) paté we couldn’t stop eating! I don’t know how many times our platter was refilled. Even at the dinner table we’d still munch on these veggie chips. 

terra chips with tinapa paté & eggplant dip

terra chips with tinapa paté & eggplant dip

 

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Private Dining by Aleth's Kitchen- dinner menu

The flavor of naturally sweet squash soup was spiked with with a mild chili leaf pesto and it had some kind of ground meat which I couldn’t identify. The apple chip was a nice touch. 

Pinoy style squash soup with dahon ng sili pesto topped with homemade apple chip

Pinoy style squash soup with dahon ng sili pesto topped with homemade apple chip

 

My first reaction was, “I never thought you can put bananas on a salad.” It may seem strange but the sweet dalandan (native orange) poppy seed dressing did a wonderful job in highlighting the fruits and fresh shrimp. 

halabos na hipon salad with tropical fruit in dalandan poppy seed dressing

halabos na hipon salad with tropical fruit in dalandan poppy seed dressing

 

Sweetish ground longganisa (pork sausage) in a very garlicky tomato based sauce on top of cold noodles was a nice pasta dish. I’m sure this dish was meant to be warm but it was still good cold.

longganisa't bawang hamonado sauce

longganisa’t bawang hamonado sauce

 

If I only knew that the baked sole fish would be so good I would have skipped all the food before this to prepare my tummy. When the fish (for sharing portion) came out I was already more than half full. The fish was simply topped with tart tomato sauce and topped with super creamy and rich lemon cream cheese sauce. The two sauces complemented each other perfectly. The creamy sauce cut the tartness of the tomato sauce which in turn subdued the creaminess of the cheese which would have been too rich on it’s own. 

baked sole fillet in tomato leeks sauce topped with lemon cream cheese

baked sole fillet in tomato leeks sauce topped with lemon cream cheese

 

The rice was supposed to go with the Greek lechon but I happily ate it with the fish. I simply loved the rice liberally laced with candied orange zest which made it so aromatic.

rice with caramelized orange peel & almonds

rice with caramelized orange peel & almonds

 

Antonis Kouroutsavouris was the guest chef that night and he served us a boneless lechon cooked Greek style. 

Antonis Kouroutsavouris

Antonis Kouroutsavouris

 

The roast pork tasted just like the way I make my roast turkey with lots of sage and apples. Too bad the meat was quite tough and the skin wasn’t crunchy at all. Maybe I was just unlucky with the meat and skin I got. 

boneless Greek style lechon stuffed with apples, chestnuts

boneless Greek style lechon stuffed with apples, chestnuts

 

The iced tea was just plain Nestea but amped up with lemongrass infused water which made it taste so much better albeit too sweet. I just added some of my lemon water and it was fine.

lemon water & lemongrass iced tea

lemon water & lemongrass iced tea

 

The birthday celebrant requested that I don’t post his picture so I’m showing his cute birthday cake instead.
Private Dining by Aleth's Kitchen- birthday cake

Deb brought some bayberries (yumberry) from China which can be dipped in salt. I found it too sour for my taste. 

Chinese bayberry or Yang Mei

Chinese bayberry or Yang Mei

 

I was so excited to try the panna cotta topped with Nespresso coffee but I was disappointed since the coffee was too sweet. The panna cotta was good though. I suggested to the chef that the coffee not have any sugar since the panna cotta was already sweet. I was too full to try the chocolate cupcake so I gave it away. 

Nespresso panna cotta

Nespresso panna cotta

 

I tried Deb’s Greek yogurt topped with honey and chopped pistachio and loved it much more than the panna cotta.

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt

 

I’m never too full for cookies! Alas I was just able to eat one chewy chocolate studded cookie with a touch of Himalayan salt. I was able to take home a few though. It tasted so much better the next day when my tummy wasn’t bursting with too much food. 

Ghirardelli choco chip cookies with pink Himalayan sea salt

Ghirardelli choco chip cookies with pink Himalayan sea salt

Nespresso with cookie

Nespresso with cookie

 

Another good dinner in the company of such gorgeous ladies. Happy birthday papa!! :D

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Private Dining by Aleth's Kitchen- Aleth Ocampo business card

Aleth's Kitchen menu

Aleth’s Kitchen menu

For your own private dinner or just to try her goodies you can call:
Aleth’s Kitchen
telephone: 851-0204, 851-0180
cellphone: 0917-5291055
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Comments

comments

  • Philip Nazareno

    That’s a beautiful Arturo Luz painting!