Greens, meat and sweets with Mama Hen

23 12 2009

Turning at the Highlander Steakhouse driveway, this was all I could see. The dense fog blocked all view from the ridge.


The Highlander Steakhouse interiors has that authentic log cabin look.


The restaurant's antler chandelier got dressed up for the season!

IT FELT like we could make it a scene straight out of a Western or of a 15th century vagabond roasting meat over a roaring fire.  It was the really dense fog that conjured up these images in my head.

Stepping out of the car, the chill in the breeze pierced through my pique polo shirt and I knew I was back to a familiar place, unforgettable to me for their 20-oz. dry-aged certified U.S. Angus Beef Rib Eye Steak – the Highlander Steakhouse at Tagaytay Highlands.  I first wrote about it here.  But unlike in that first experience, my lunch last December 21st was embraced in the thickest concentration of water droplets suspended so near the ground it rid me of all visibility.  It took our hostess’ generosity to warm the surroundings and my heart, making me truly feel it’s already that time of the year.

The hostess with the mostest happens to be Mama Hen, our top legal eagle at both multinational companies I have had the pleasure to work in.  To a certain extent, I feel like she is my adoptive mother.  But her interest with me came much later so her family’s looks and her flawless complexion have never rubbed off on me.  Hahaha!

I espied Mama Hen's brand spanking new Tod's bag!

Bling it on! I couldn't help but ask for a shot of that diamond. It was he size of my thumbnail! Probably bigger.

A tight shot of that bling bling!

Everytime we share a meal, I feel so taken care of.  She never fails to remind me of that first dinner we had together and how it has brought about the lasting impression she and her husband has had about my legendary appetite.  In the small details – she sharing her pot of tea with me, she asking me if I prefer rice over the potatoes, she allowing me to get served first, she asking the wait staff to tell me about the dessert options, she constantly referring to me as “growing boy” – I can’t deny just how much premium Mama Hen puts to valuing her friendships.  And just how much – even in all my decades of existence – she still sees me as that shy, unassuming boy who needed at least six cups of rice to feel satiated.

Mama Hen always remembers and can make anybody feel so loved.  Thanks for always remembering me (the same goes out to the one person who always makes it a point I make it to these get-togethers – Ms. Jo!).

The complimentary bread – a small French Baguette and a small Tuscan Round – came stylishly nestled on a cutting board with a knife dramatically wedged in.

A slice of the baguette. I finished almost half the bread!


A slice of the Tuscan round, which I liked better than the baguette. I finished almost one whole of this.


Salad of hearts of romaine lettuce with smoked salmon, bacon bits, croutons, and freshly saved parmesan cheese in a light vinaigrette.


A tight shot of the yummy smoked salmon.


A portion I served myself. I had a couple more helpings after this one!


The Steakhouse Clam Chowder


The star of the lunch – the fabulous air-dried aged U.S. steak! This was my first serving. Hahaha!


The steak with a side of sweet grilled vegetables. My favorite was the zucchini.


The sweetness of the grilled roma tomato went perfectly with a cut of steak doused with A1 steak sauce.


The steak came with plates of grilled vegetables – green beans, eggplant, carrots, onions, and zucchini.


... and the crunchiest French Fries!


Plenty of steak sauce options – mushroom, pepper, and a red wine reduction.


I had this Flourless Chocolate Cake for dessert. It had the most delicate texture and flavor, with the subtle hint of orange.


Mama Hen asked for this Apple Tart with a yummy steusel and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Others favored the Blueberry Cheesecake.


I washed everything down with Hot Green Tea infused with Jasmine Blossoms. The lady at the background is Ms. Jo – simply the most thoughtful colleague there is!


I sipped cold water from this lovely crystal.


I couldn't figure out what the stamps were on my dessert fork.


My Western-themed main course plate.


The very lovely and gracious Mama Hen (fifth from left) with the rest of the gang – Vi, Glendz, Vic, my good good friend Ms. Jo, Cynch, and Gus.


On our way out, it finally cleared.


View at the top, where the Steakhouse is.


I took this shot while we were speeding off... Wow, my Canon Digital IXUS 860IS has a good stabilizer!


All throughout the meal, I'd keep on glancing at this window beside me. I found the play of light through thick fog, through the frosted glass poignant and melancholic.



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