23 September 2006

peri-peri good

What is a Peri-Peri Chicken?

That was the question on my mind as I walked into the restaurant. I initially suspected it was just chicken inasal with a gimmick, since peri-peri sounded like an Ilonggo word. Or maybe inihaw na manok that was trying to be more wordly, hence the interiors that somehow reminded me of Brazil Brazil.

Obviously, I'm not very cultured.

After perusing the menu and not finding anything to explain what a peri-peri chicken was (except for the phrase "spit-fire grilled chicken", which didn't help much since I had no idea what a spit-fire was), I decided to let my stomach do the thinking.

The menu centers on the chicken, which comes in Lemon Garlic, Peri Mild, and Peri Hot flavors. There's an array of side dishes to complement your chicken (tortilla chips, java garlic rice, tortillas, corn kernels, macaroni & cheese, potato salad, and coleslaw), other chicken dishes like chicken wraps and chicken strips, and some other ulams for those who don't like poultry. Prices are reasonable, ranging from PhP100-300.

I'm starving from all that mental effort by this time, so I decide to load up on the carbs and order the the lemon garlic chicken, the potato salad, and the java garlic rice. Service is quick and friendly; the meal comes in no time at all, and with it... peri-peri heaven. The chicken is perfectly moist and juicy, and comes with a special dipping sauce which seems to be made out of oil, but who cares? It's tasty! If you want to up the heat factor, douse your chicken with the bottles of Peri Mild and Peri Hot sauce on the table.

Thirty minutes later I am leaning back on my chair, rubbing my stomach. I still had no idea what a peri-peri chicken was -- it's not chicken inasal, nor is it inihaw na manok, but it definitely was peri-peri good.

*After doing my homework, I discovered that peri-peri is actually the name used for the African Bird's Eye chili in Portuguese and some African languages. It is often used in Portuguese cuisine to prepare sauces and marinades for roasted and grilled dishes... and so, peri-peri chicken!

*Peri Peri Chicken is located at the Promenade, Greenhills.

13 September 2006

the cream puffs that went through a snowstorm

The golden brown, crusty shells caught my eye before I even noticed the sign above it.

Beard Papa's Fresh 'n Natural Cream Puffs.

I thought it was a rather odd name for a shop. Beard Papa? And weren't all cream puffs fresh and natural anyway? I chalked it up to Engrish -- something must have gotten lost in translation. Besides, the sight of those cream puffs were too tantalizing to ignore. I had a temporary moment of paralysis as I imagined sinking my teeth into that crusty, flaky pastry as the cream oozed out of the shell.

I cream puffs.

So I begrudgingly shelled over fifty pesos for one, even if I thought it was a bit outrageous for a single cream puff. I figured, there must be something special about those cream puffs if that's the only thing they sold.

The Taste Test? I was disappointed. I found the cream filling rather bland; and it lacked that caramelized sugar on top that made cream puffs so deliciously gooey. Maybe I was just expecting the Filipino version of the cream puff (think Puffs & Stuff along Commonwealth), because apparently Beard Papa's is setting off cream puff crazes everywhere.

Anyway, I was a bit miffed at having had to shell out fifty pesos for a cream puff, so I decided to make my own. And voila...

Sheila's Papa's Fresh n' Natural and Cheap Cream Puffs! ;)

*Beard Papa's Fresh 'n Natural Cream Puffs are available at Food Choices Glorietta, SM Megamall Building A, and at the Greenhills Promenade.