LZM “Lutong Bahay” – gastronomic feast closest to the warmth of hearth and home

24 12 2008
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On board Spider-man's car on the drive to LZM. That's Chax, and of course, Spider-man!

For quite a while, I’ve been harping about that it has really been looking a lot like Christmas.  I mean, eversince Batman and I saw the Christmas trees being put up in Greenbelt 5, it has felt like Christmas.  Even the gentle breeze already carries the season, as it kisses your cheeks and whispers in your ear.

 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t and can’t still take off early as a lot of work still needs to be done.  Not that I’m complaining, because, as a lot of people know, I love what I’m doing.  I love my work so it’s not really work.

 

True enough, December 23 was still bustling with activity here in the office.  And since a lot of our engineers, especially the new ones, still reported to work, we thought about going out to lunch!  It was a way to reconnect with one another, over none other than the closest to home-cooked meal that we could get.  A couple of generous people helped spread the season by footing the bill – Brother and one of my four new engineers, Dennis.  And for good measure, I just threw in a little more.  Hahaha!!!

 

The bill amounted to Php 7,170.00, plus a generous tip.  Not bad for satisfying 23 really hungry people!  I was joking over lunch that I must’ve starved all of them with too much work (I was department Officer-In-Charge) because each dish was literally wiped out the very moment the serving platters landed on the table!  But I guess the fact that we had to really wait was the more likely reason.

 

But as what we have come to love at LZM Lutong Bahay at their original restaurant in Silang, Cavite, the food at this new branch we went to – the one in the “Magdaragat” Paluto (“Magdaragat” cook-to-order) – was just superb!

 

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Of course, there were the requisite ‘giant’ Daing na Bangus (Crispy-fried Milkfish marinated in vinegar and spices, Php 250.00).  I’ve always loved this, though I still maintain that the one at Leisure Coast Resort in Pangasinan is still the best.  The Beef Bulalo (Beef Bone Marrow Soup, Php 360.00) was really comforting.  The essence of beef was well-pronounced in the stock that was so hot, I got a facial!  Devouring the bone marrow Chax served me, I felt like I had a death wish while having my lunch!  The vegetables in the dish were plenty and were left half-cooked, really crisp and brightly colored.  So those couldn’t help but just whet my appetite further!  The Buttered Garlic Prawns (Php 240.00) were really fresh.  The garlic was really prominent and some of it on top were a little raw.  The freshness of the prawns infused the buttery sauce with a certain sweetness that was refreshing.

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The Tortang Talong (Omelet of Grilled Eggplant, Php 120.00) was my special request.  I loved the smoky goodness the grilling always imparted to the eggplants.  It was just further enhanced by the sauce I made out of lots of calamansi (Philippine lemon) juice, soy sauce and siling labuyo (Philippine chili).  And the way LZM does their tortang talong, totally left devoid of any other ingredients to enhance the dish, is exactly how I love it.  Added to our vegetable repertoire was the Pinakbet (Mixed fresh vetables stewed in fermented shrimp paste, Php 270.00).  Of the many variations made to this all-time favorite dish, LZM’s is my favorite.  It’s the faint sweetness that you would get from the sauce that married the freshness of the vegetables with the pungency of the fermented shrimp paste that I always found irresistable!

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The final dish on our table was the one that surprised me the most!  It was the usual Calamares (Fresh squid in rings in a light batter, deep-fried to a golden crisp!, Php 190.00) though what LZM did was probably get the freshest catch, coated them in a light batter and fried them to perfection!  I got the crunch right away, and the coating revealed the most tender, sweetest squid rings I’ve ever had.  I didn’t need any ‘thousand island dressing’.  The calamares themselves alone were super!

 

Right after lunch, I laughed at myself when I realized that I was scratching my tummy – in public!  I guess that was just me unconsciously giving my stamp of approval to a lunch and time well spent.  With great food.  With really great people!

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With my engineer, Dennis (generous!) and Spider-man...

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2 responses

25 12 2008
Chax

I soooo love the fried bangus, the calamares, the pinakbet…hmmm actually all of them! hahaha
I really enjoyed that sumptuous lunch!

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30 12 2008
Michael

Hey eNTeNG!
Nice blog, I read every entry because I have your feed on my RSS reader. I was wondering if you know of any good recipes that use ranch salad dressing? My brother wants to try to make a meal using ranch for every course. He also is a bit of a food connaisseur. Hope you have a happy new year!
-Michael

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