For my post birthday celebration we're supposed to eat at Chelsea in Serendra, unfortunately, they had their last call for the lunch set and will only serve merienda/snacks like pasta, pizza and sandwiches.
With the kind of appetite my family have plus the fact that we're extremely hungry 'coz it's waaay past lunch, snacks like that won't do.
We scouted the other restaurants at Serendra, most of which were closed, because it's January 1.
We settled at Abe, where Amy Austria & Family ( who also tried their luck for lunch at Chelsea) and others who were as disappointed as us, had their very late lunch.
Abe (ah-beh), capampangan word for friend, companion and getting together. Also the nickname of Emilio Aguilar, writer, editor, painter, connoisseur, bon vivant & legendary eater outer of Pampanga. It also means good "Filipino" food. Lastly, it is Larry Cruz' (LJC Group's founder & president) tribute to his dad, Abe.
Here were our orders:
Lumpiang Ubod P65
Spring roll of fresh heart of palm, served fried or natural (we chose natural).
The lumpia is good but a little bit salty, the peanut sauce is good also.
Mungo Bean Soup P85
A hearty green bean bisque topped with fish tinapa flakes & chicharon.
This dish is loved by everyone in my family. There's nothing wrong or bad in this dish except for the serving size. A serving is only good for one.
Lamb Adobo P305
A favorite Filipino dish made better with lamb.
It is fall-off-the-bone tender, a rich and flavorful dish, also high in fat and calories =)
Binukadkad na PLa Pla P275
A Bistro Remedios original. Overgrown tilapia butterflied & fried to delightful crispiness, served with balo balo relish and mustasa leaves.
This is also good, fried just right, crispy and not oily.
My Mother's Rellenong Mais P175
It's the first time we came across this kind of dish, never thought that it can be had as a meal and not as snack or dessert.
The dish is good and savory.
Spicy Sisig Pampanga P155
Minced pork jowl and chicken livers sauteed in garlic, spices and chilies.
It's the first time after a long time that I liked a sisig dish. I avoided eating it for quite a while. But Abe's version made me like it again.
Contrary to its' description and from what I remembered, it is not spicy, it is sweet and not oily, it doesn't even need additional seasonings like worcestershire, knorr, calamansi, etc, that we always put on sisig.
Sinuteng baby Squid P125
Small squid sauteed in olive oil and seasonings.
It is a flavorful dish and also a favorite of my niece (who likes to eat weird food like 1 day old chick, chicken feet and balut). Only gripe, too small serving, also only good for one.
We partnered these dishes with their Bamboo Rice P195 (sorry, no photo, we're extremely hungry and this is the last dish to be served =( ) Mountain rice cooked with shrimps, wood ear mushrooms & bamboo shoots, steamed in a bamboo shell.
Another flavorful dish, good presentation, they cracked open the bamboo shell in front of you and they'll be the one to serve it. An order is good for 3-4 people.
For desserts we ordered Maja Mais, resembles panna cotta/gelatin, not rich but creamy in a way and Turon, wrapped banana with langka, rolled in sugar and fried. The turon is not too sweet but flavorful. A notch higher than regular turon sold in the streets.
Overall, the service is fast and friendly, the ambience is homey, the place is clean, the food is innovative and flavorful, the price is kinda steep, because most of their dishes are good for one, but they do have bottomless rice for only P45. We came out of the resto full and satisfied but with a huge dent in my wallet (or Art's).