November 30, 2022

There’s a little of everything, somewhere or everywhere. Since my partner Stella hasn’t resumed her half of this space, I am now trying to piece some interesting little things together. This is the only newspaper hereabouts that has allowed some photo splash over a page and I should do it some justice.
Old houses will never be the same again. Outlook Drive homes are slowly being converted into eating places and it was interesting to see Decades fusion cuisine. The house has been converted into a series of chambers where small groups of four to 10 could have their nooks. In this Covid-19 times, small parties for families could be accommodated here. There are fun spaces like capsules in a room. There are similar pods for two in the verandah side. But the food is great in any space of your choice.
Strawberry glazed ribs was my first choice because of the strawberry. I wanted to see how this works with ribs and how different it would be. Pretty in a white plate, the rich dark sauce that glazes four ribs, white rice and a salad made from cucumbers, lettuce, apple strips and strawberry slices is a delicious combination good for one. The strawberry glaze seems to have been made with soy sauce, sugar and strawberry juice. The glaze which is rich and thick with a tinge of strawberry almost like a jelly makes the tender ribs delicious. Those who enjoy food on the sweet side will like this. The crisp and juicy salad that has a Japanese touch to it is different and perfect for this meat dish.
Seafood medley with the spicy sauce was perfect. The three-inch shelled plump tahong, shrimps and squid were fresh and cooked just right. The thing about serving seafoods is the cooking time. When undercooked, it isn’t tender and sweet. Once overcooked, it becomes gummy and chewy. This was perfection with the juices of the seafood as base of the sauce that was perfectly spicy without the burning sensation. It could’ve been seasoned with some oyster sauce because it had the hint of food of some Chinese restaurants. With a cold bottle of beer, the sauce with garlic and onions was finger-licking good, as they say. There were slices of yellow corn to brighten it, with strips of sweet red bell peppers and the strips of green onions, the textures were a medley, as the name says.
The salted egg chicken wings have become vogue for the last six years. My first encounter with salted egg flavored food was at the food fair in Taiwan sometime 2017 and it took some five years until almost everything now has the flavor from chips to fries to chicken wings. But this is a must taste because the treatment is different at Decades. It is in the glaze too but with a creamier appeal. This plate has a similar salad on the side that also balances it.
Beer lovers can’t resist the appeal of craft beer. This is because nothing will ever taste similar, these are forever different anywhere you go. The similarity will be in an ingredient that is common but even the water in the place where the craft beer is made, will always have an influence on the flavor. I remember living in Cebu where the Pale Pilsen from the Carcar plant was better than those from the other plants in the Visayas area.
When I heard from Melan Ku of Podium Boutique Hotel that Hoka Brew had craft beer, it had to be sampled. She confessed that it was made in Tarlac, it had to be sampled. And so, there was Vaccine, the name given to the India Pale Ale version of the brewer, and Trigo for the wheat brew as the limited choices meanwhile the Covid-19 quarantines.
The wheat brew was as pale as light beers and the IPA was a tinge darker than Pilsen. These should be a little stronger in alcohol content than the bottled counterparts and they are a little bubblier too. Of course, beers will always be bitter, the better to blend with a board of nachos, Hoka Brew edition.
Nachos here use the colorful corn chips that come in purple, greens, reds and oranges neatly layered above a bed of strips of lettuce, topped with pasty chili beans and slathered with neat waves of garlic mayo or is it garlic yoghurt and cheese. It is different and great with the beer and the laughter or juicy gossip.
This night cap has a breathtaking view of Loakan through the glass picture windows outside the café. The lights are like jewels on a velvet mantle.
I was going to snack on the BIBIMBAP as midnight treat but I save that for the next food trip. Here are two more places to fill your curiosity. Happy Women’s Month!