Last week, I made a new resolution to totally cut rice out of my diet. Since I always have a bowl of oatmeal in the morning and a small pandesal for lunch, I realized that I might as well continue eating light for the entire day. My no-rice plan was suppose to begin yesterday. Oh dear, this was until I realized that I am meeting up with a couple of fellow bloggers to try Pepper Lunch, the newest and most talked about restaurant in Powerplant Mall.
I've heard so much about their oh-so-soft-it-melts-in-your-mouth steak, their spicy yet so addictive pepper rice and a lot more! It also doesn't help that I've been a regular visitor of Chuvaness.com, which has been giving us the exciting updates about Pepper Lunch since Day 0.
Looks like I have to move my no-rice plan one day back to give way to my first ever experience at Pepper Lunch. (Note to self: Just one more day, I promise...)
I arrived at Powerplant Mall way ahead than everyone else because I had to do some work at the store first. I took a peek at Pepper Lunch thinking that the restaurant might still be empty (it was around 6PM then) and I can still take a decent photo of the facade. Guess what? All tables were occupied already. "Woah! Filled up at 6PM? Oh no!"
I worked at the store and made my way down right after, my friends have already arrived and were all at the entrance of the restaurant choosing what to order. Good thing we were given a table right away. I love it that they have an organized system wherein a group gets a number and once the table is ready, they can place their order, pay at the counter then tell the cashier the assigned table number. In less than 10 minutes, your order will be served to you by their friendly and very accomodating restaurant crew.
For this visit, I tried the Salmon and Chicken Plate at P465 for the entire meal (VAT inclusive). At first, I personally find it a bit pricey. However, together with this comes a glass of softdrink and a bowl of fragrant Japanese Rice which totally made me postponed my no-rice diet for the next day.
Cooking it was fun too! It's like having your own mini teppanyaki griller in front of you. Following the instructions of the restaurant crew, I have to quickly spread the japanese butter onto the salmon and chicken then turning it faced down for it to cook. What I did was as soon as I flipped them to allow the butter to sizzle, I flipped it back to make sure I get to coat both sides. Haha! My chef-wannabe self was having a ball!
I drizzled some Garlic Soy Sauce on my veggies but later realized that I liked the Honey Soy Sauce better.
I slowly sliced a piece of salmon and ate it cautiously in case it's still burning hot and might make me lose my poise (kakahiya naman!:P). Good thing, the heat was just right and I can feel the salmon meat melting slowly as the flavor begins to spread out. IT'S.SOOOOOOO.GOOD. As I was beginning to fall into a trance of salmon happiness, Phoebe, who ordered the same thing as I did, asked me how I find the salmon. I was at a lost of words as I ended up just nodding and flashing her a thumbs up sign. She got it right: "It's illegally fresh". I have to agree as I only expect this kind of salmon freshness from a high end Japanese restaurant that will charge you an arm and a leg for a generous piece.
However, it wasn't only the salmon that got my approval for this dish. In fact, the chicken deserves just as much praise. I love how they were able to keep it so juicy that no dips or sauces are needed to enhance the flavor. It's teriyaki chicken that doesn't scrimp on the meat.
Lastly, the rice. Oh boy, the one that made me move my diet one day back. How can I ever say no to Japanese rice? What more, a bowl of fragrant, shiny white Japanese rice? The rice was so good that I think it's possible to eat it alone. Now I wonder how Japanese girls can stay so skinny with such delicious rice? Hmm...
A good meal deserves a good ending. Thanks to Jayvee who was sooooo nice that he treated us to a couple of PL's desserts for us to sample and rave about.
First up was the Vanilla Crepe Cake (P120). There's something very familiar with this cake when I first saw it. It was as if I've seen this before even if I know that it's not locally made. I took and bite and tried to rack my brains some more. Then I remembered! It was similar to an Indonesian cake that our partners from Indonesia brought for us to try during our coffee tasting in Cebu. That was it! I loved that cake so much I think I had two to three servings that morning. Pepper Lunch's Vanilla Crepe Cake tastes very similar to the Indonesia cake but is more creamy and soft. Yet, it maintains its lightness and agreeing with Juned, it's something fun to eat because you won't get stuffed easily. I'd like a cup of coffee with my Vanilla Crepe Cake please Ü
Pepper Lunch's Vanilla Crepe Cake and Starbuck Coffee Indonesia's coffee cake
(I forgot the actual name)
I was simply blown away with the yummy Vanilla Crepe Cake that I was totally caught off guard when I took a small slice of the Molten Milk Chocolate Cake (P120). "Woah!" was my initial reaction. I got to say, I am admittedly a molten chocolate cake lover! First was Cyma's Skolatina and now Pepper Lunch's Milk Chocolate Cake. I love slicing the soft, chiffon-like cake and later on seeing the rich, milky chocolate sauce slowly oozing out like a dramatic volcano. It's just chocolate heaven! Once again, my coffee please?
Lastly, there was the Korumitsu Ice Cream (P30). This is japanese soft served ice cream served with brown unidentified syrup. It looks like caramel to some while others things it's something else. Nonetheless, we all agree that it's pretty good but sadly the first two desserts are tough contenders which makes this poor little fellow look like an ordinary dessert similar to the sundaes of Mcdonald's.
Surveying what my friends ordered, I realized that the price really do justify the high quality that they make sure is present in all their food items. To enjoy a wonderful meal at Pepper Lunch, make sure to prepare around P500 per head as price ranges from P235 (Beef/Chicken/Pork Pepper Steak meal) up to P660 (Rib Eye Steak meal).
It was a fun night hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones. Till our next food trip!!
1st column: Phoebe, Sophie, Didi and Juned
2nd column: AJ, Jayvee and yours truly
Pepper Lunch is located at the Ground Floor of the Powerplant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati City