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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Antonis Kouroutsavouris was the guest chef that night and he served us a boneless lechon cooked Greek style.
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.
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.
Deb brought some bayberries (yumberry) from China which can be dipped in salt. I found it too sour for my taste.
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.
I tried Deb’s Greek yogurt topped with honey and chopped pistachio and loved it much more than the panna cotta.
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.
Another good dinner in the company of such gorgeous ladies. Happy birthday papa!!
For your own private dinner or just to try her goodies you can call:
telephone: 851-0204, 851-0180