Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Leslie's Restaurant and Filipino dishes in Tagaytay

Leslie's Restaurant - lunch on December 23, 2014
Just a little rainy that day
Since I'm all about the food, taking pictures of it, eating it, documenting it, here's the pictorial of what we had at Leslie's Restaurant when we went to Tagaytay. Overall, the food was pretty good albeit the service was a little slow.
Entry way into Leslie's
Large dining room with an open area towards the back
Kalamansi Juice
Kalamansi juice is what I consider a cross between limeade and lemonade and some refer to it as Filipino lemonade. The kalamansi fruit looks like a thin-skinned little round meyer lemon that starts off green and ripens to a sunny orange-yellow color. In hot weather, it's drunk ice cold like frosty lemonade and in cold weather, hot kalamansi tea is popular and, I'm told, soothing for the throat. My mom has a kalamansi tree that produces multitudes of fruit. Good thing you can use kalamansi in many things, not just for making juice. It's also often squeezed over pancit, used as a garnish and can be used in marinades.
I had to take a picture of Diet Coke or "Coke Light" as they commonly refer to it in Asia as it turned out to be a rare sighting on our 10-day visit. Most establishments and grocery stores only carried Coke or Coke Zero. I'm still an adherent of Diet Coke and I hadn't realized how rare it was starting to get in the Philippines. There were days during the trip where I told my nieces I might need to trade one of them for a can of Coke Light; they just rolled their eyes.
Hot broth
Fried Bangus (fish)
Bangus is a milk fish and is considered the national fish of the Philippines. I didn't even know there was a national fish for the country. Huh.
Shrimp and Vegetables
Kare-Kare (oxtail stew)
Kare-kare is a Filipino stew typically made with oxtail and other parts of cows and pigs I don't normally eat (feet and sometimes offal and tripe). I'm what you'd think of as a Filipino-food-lite eater. Meaning I don't eat the hardcore Filipino food like kare-kare or dinuguan (blood stew) or bagoong (fermented shrimp paste). My taste buds are Americanized Filipino so I'll chow down on pancit (noodles), tocino (really yummy, more on that in a future post - hopefully) and bistek (below).
Chicken Barbecue
Filipinos make the BEST barbecue. Seriously. The marinade always has incredible flavor and the barbecue is done to perfection. No additional sauce needed as there's plenty of flavor in the chicken itself.
Bistek Tagalog
Bistek Tagalog is sliced beef in a sauce of onions, soy sauce and lemon. It's one of my favorite Filipino dishes although in Leslie's version, the beef was a bit chewy. My mom makes it very tender and flavorful.
Garlic Fried Rice
Rice. 'Nuff said.

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