I had a great time today.
At lunch, my new bunch of officemates brought me to Rallos Street in Pasil to have lunch. This would become my second time to go to that area in Cebu, the first was upon the invitation of Ryan Racal during the Sinulog fiesta. Pasil as I see it is a fish port based on the multitude of fishermen and fishing boats moored in that area.
It was proven as such since my group would soon be feeding me with larang, a kind of fish stew very known in the side streets of Cebu.
I would like to associate larang with the clear soup famous among the Visayans, but only a much better version, I should say. I asked the cook in that place who, unlike the chefs and professional servers you would see in restos, was half naked while tending the larang like he was making a magic potion, if he was putting in some coconut milk on his soup. He clearly made a note that there was no such liquid added into it but water, fresh herbs and spices and the art of making it tasty no one could match.
Indeed, the larang was deliciously filling even if I finished only a bowl with a big slice of fish I forgot the name.
The fish together with the fresh tomatoes, chives, chili peppers, sampalok, strips of ginger and onions formed a tupsy-turvy of colors and flavors one could not ignore as it permeated the air some meters away. No wonder people would come to this place no matter the location.
I promised Gilda to bring her here the next time.
[A word of caution: while we were about to finish our food, another delicacy was being cooked nearby. Sea turtles (pawikan). I know this is illegal and I do not know how and why they cook it right in front of people's eyes. There are even some government people and even policemen eating around and pawikan as a delicacy is not even secret here. No one is apprehended. But still, when you don't buy illegal things, the selling will stop.]
Later towards the evening, I received a text message from Mr & Mrs L, the owner of the Payag Pizza near Sykes, inviting me to join them celebrate the birthday of their son in a dinner with the family.
Knowing Mrs L is an excellent cook who would like to experiment, I readily said yes.
Her brother, Mr W, fetched me up and soon we were at their residence in Mabolo near the Cebu Golf and Country Club. Mr & Mrs L had built their abode in that remote quarter of Cebu away from the sound of city life. Although the construction was still ongoing, I could see that the place looked great and cozy.
Mr L toured me around and I was greatly awed by the architecture of the house despite of the insistence of Mr L that he made the layout and designs. I mean, the place was professionally done and Mr L, who is a businessman could not be designing a place that perfect.
Their home boasted of wide windows they were not actually using airconditioners for the house. The kitchen was the centerpiece with a big marble-top table with stoves in the center. How do you call that kitchen thing?
Their bath offered the view of the course and the trees around. Even the shower was perfect. They even had a hot and cold shower 24/7, even if there is a threat of a major blackout. Their fully functional 250-square foot solar panels provided the electricity of their loft. Loft actually is what I would like to describe the multi-layered house.
It was a planned home and not just for the sake of art.
Much like the food we shared during dinner.
There was an alien-like creature in the table they called lobster but I could not really figure out what it was. The lobster I’ve seen in movies and some pictures on menus were red-orangey and this one was vanilla-colored. Since I could not afford to eat them in restaurants, I made the first dive no matter how weird they looked in real life.
The lobster was actually heavenly. It was cooked in coconut milk and rather spicy, which gave me more reasons to eat them. I attacked and finished two pieces cleaning them down to their skins. And each piece was literally huge. Imagine how gluttonous I was. Ignorant to be exact.
It was the only thing I ate. That and a scoop vanilla ice cream.
Mr & Mrs L were even kind enough to pack some extra cakes and to my shame, another lobster for me to bring home.
I lie bloated and decided to make this blog.
Thank you guys.