Here's one trio that has been together for more than five years -- it all began in our university, UA&P, where we were all active members of the student council. E was the finance officer that school year where I was part of her office that launched the first ever UA&P discount card. C was the one who took over this big project and brought it to new heights the following year. I really couldn't remember the nitty-gritty details of how our trio was born but I can probably say that it was simply because we all got along really well and the rest was history.
There's a running joke that we only get to meet up every six months, it's funny because even how hard we try, we really do end up meeting six months after. Nonetheless, this does not, in any way, weaken our bond and it surely makes every lunch or dinner interesting as there are a million and one stories to be shared.
It has been six months since our last meeting and the trio met up for lunch at Tres Cuisine. C has been inviting us to try it out since last year but due to our busy schedules it was pushed back to just last Saturday. I did my research before heading out for lunch and boy, was I excited. I read about their delicious Filipino dishes and even on our way there, C was telling me about her personal favorites. Thus, we left the ordering up to her.
We arrived a little past one and feeling a bit hungry, I guess we ordered a little bit too much for our party of three. Here's what we got:
Crispy Ginataang Hito (Php. 273)
A true WINNER! I love every bite of the crunchy catfish (hito) fillet topped with creamy coconut sauce and garlic bits. I also enjoyed munching on the kamote chips that came with it and dipping it into the same sauce as well. This immediately became our favorite as it was our first time to enjoy catfish prepared this way.
Lamb Adobo (Php. 353)
This was my request after reading about it in reviews online. While I love the tender lamb chunks, I find the sauce a bit too salty for my taste. I guess my taste buds have become extra sensitive particularly to salty and sweet flavors. It goes perfectly well with rice though and I'm glad that the lamb was well-prepared so you should not fear of any awful smell from the meat.
Gising Gising (Php. 133)
To balance off our very meaty line-up, C ordered her favorite Gising-gising. When translated to English, the name literally means Wake-up Wake-up. I guess there must be some reason for naming this dish so as one bite of the Gising-gising will surely...wake you up! It's a spicy mix of Baguio beans, ground meat, coconut milk and chilli. It's spicy and delicious, it will make you want more rice with it.
Kalkag Rice (Php. 133)
Speaking of rice, C also recommended the Kalkag Rice which a notch above our typical garlic rice as they have added a generous amount of kalkag (dried shrimps) on top. I love the slight crunch that I get in every spoonful and the rice goes perfectly well with all the other dishes that we had on the table that day. I'm definitely going back for more Kalkag Rice on my next visit.
Ensaladang Ampalaya (Php. 93)
When enjoying Filipino food, it's best to pair this with salad, be it with green mangoes, tomatoes and salted egg or in Tres Cuisine's case -- the Ensaladang Ampalaya. A platter of chopped bitter gourd (that's not bitter, trust me) and dried baby shrimps on top. I've grown fond of eating ampalaya (bitter gourd) just last year and I haven't stopped since. In fact, my family and in-laws know how much I love it that I ended up having ampalaya for four consecutive days just last week! This is my favorite ampalaya dish as the sour vinegar as dressing that miraculously takes away the bitterness of the vegetable.
Crispy Pata (Php. 393 --> Php 33!!)
Tres Cuisine has an amazing promo! For a minimum bill of P1,000, you can have their Crispy Pata for only P33! That's a great deal! Since we qualify for this promo, it was hard to say no and even knowing that our table will definitely be filled with food, we said yes to the 33 Peso Crispy Pata! How I wish Paul was with us that lunch as he would have probably enjoyed this dish tremendously. The skin was crackling in every bite and the meat was pretty tender. Just like the Crispy Ginataang Hito, it came with more Kamote Chips which we happily munch on while swapping stories.
Banana Ube Turon with Langka Sauce (Php. 73)
For dessert, C highly recommended the Banana Ube Turon with Langka Sauce. The moment the server placed the plate down, I can smell the jackfruit (langka) sauce and it surely smelled delicious. We each got a piece of turon and generously spread the jackfruit cream on top. I love the filling with banana and ube halaya, it has just the right amount of sweetness that highly complements the creamy langka sauce. This is definitely a must-try!
How I wish Tres Cuisine would open more branches near the Ortigas area. I'm sure residents of San Juan, Mandaluyong and Pasig would truly appreciate this new player in the Filipino cuisine in this part of town. I'm glad though that SM North EDSA is just an an easy twenty minute drive and on a light day perhaps we can get there faster. I love the location as it is at the Ground Floor facing a parking lot. For those who are too hungry to wait (like us), valet parking is available for Php. 90 for the entire day.
Tres Cuisine is located at SM City North Edsa The Block. Contact them at 352-7030 / 0908 -8937786.