Looking for an eating partner, I decided to use a post on Facebook of a rare fruit as a quiz. The first to guess it right would get a lunch treat. The quiz lasted for a few hours and Igig Penaflorida won it. I invited him to lunch at a newly-opened restaurant but discovered he was abroad, and he waived it to Jane Pangilinan who guessed the fruit as passion fruit second to him. So, it was.
The planned treat was a flop because we discovered that the new restaurant required reservations before one could enter the premises and even if we tried, we were told that lunch reservations were already full. I kept my promise anyway and we went on to discover Food Empire.
The menu was filled with the regular meals that should have anyone’s favorite or preference. This was a place to get hot meals on sizzling plates.
The mix seafood sizzling was a savory delight. The tiny squid were good because they were tender. The shrimp was fresh and still juicy. The mussels were also fresh. These were sauteed in garlic, onions, and tomatoes to give a subtle sweetness to the sauce.
Fillet mignon meal was presented with a cup of rice and sauteed beans and carrots. The gravy was creamy. The meat was tender and nicely grilled before it was placed on the sizzling plate and poured with the creamy gravy that was between a mushroom kind and a milk and cornstarch type. The vegetables were tender and sweet.
Sizzling blue marlin had soy sauce as its salty base. The texture of the grilled fish was firm in the hot plate. This had a cup of rice and sauteed vegetables too. This meal is perfect for one person.
Pancit batil patong is always a point of curiosity. This noodle dish from Region 2 has its unique qualities that are a departure from the Chinese counterparts. There is a thick sauce that flavors the egg noodles that has cabbage, carrots, and beans sauteed with it and its garnish is liver and crispy pork fat. A sunny side fried egg tops the whole dish which makes it complete on its own.
The kani salad was a mix of cucumber strips, julienne sliced lettuce, sweet corn kernels, and crabmeat in mayonnaise dressing. This is a crunchy sweet-sour experience with all the ingredients. As a starter, this is actually heavy or filling because of the dressing and elements.
The sinigang na kambing puckered our lips and made us wink with its tamarind based sour soup. This sort of pickled the Chinese cabbage and string beans that were crunchy too as you ate them. Although, this did not go too well with our choice of dishes, but it was a good tongue refresher. The thick sauces from the noodles and meat were replaced with this tangy soup. The meat was tender, chewy, and stringy compared to the firm fish meat, starchy noodles, and the crunchy cucumbers of the salad.
This restaurant offers group meals too for large groups that has a combination of dishes to please all types of diners.
The treat ended. The day had its own pleasant surprises. Until the next quiz.