Double Curry Beef Pepper Rice

21 02 2011

Double Curry Beef Pepper Rice


I’M NOT planning to do a Supersize Me.

But on Friday night at Town, Brother and I found ourselves gravitating towards Pepper Lunch yet again.  We didn’t feel the need to convince each other to choose it over the many restaurants on that second floor strip alone.  Pepper Lunch has become the natural choice.

So standing in front of Rona at the counter, I pronounced to Brother, yet again, my goal.  Honestly, it’s something I’ve felt I couldn’t commit to so I have kept myself from blurting it out.  Until that second, Friday night.

“I think Brother that even after you’ve gone, I’ll try my best to go through everything on the menu.”

I began by finally going past the Beef Pepper Rice on the board.  Breaking from a routine for me could be quite hard sometimes, so I decided to take baby steps.  I ended up not wandering far from my usual – I asked for Curry Beef Pepper Rice.  Double beef of course!

I love curry.  And I want it unapologetic.  Not the usual yellowish powder being passed off as curry when it actually tastes like ground cheez curls to me.  On a trip to India, I gained a deeper appreciation of just how curry is the cornerstone of their cuisine.  This pungent blend of spices serves as the fundamental ingredient from and around which a whole dish is developed.  A typical curry powder may contain the redolent smokey-ness of cumin, the parsley-like essence of coriander, the deep aroma and intense color of turmeric, the biting heat of chili powder, and the licorice sweetness of fennel, among many others (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves).  Depending on the proportions, and the region where a dish originates from, one may have a “tika,” “tawa,” or “goan” curry.

Fortunately, I didn’t have the same problem as Grace Adler (of Will & Grace fame).  My hair doesn’t frizz the moment the sizzling plate hits the table.  And this one being “Curry” Beef, I instantly caught a whiff of the potent, heady earthiness of the spices. 

I felt to be at the mercy of the limitations of my Canon IXUS 860IS because I just couldn’t find a way to get a clear shot of the really hot food.  So before the lovely pink and juicy beef strips got overcooked, I proceeded to mix my Curry Beef Pepper Rice.  I noticed that the mound of curry-capped white mountain of plump Japanese rice hid underneath a slosh of sauce that I surmised to be the garlic soy sauce.  Mixed with the curry powder and heated perfectly through, it was a gust of air enough to send me on a gastronomic high.

I might end up cheating on my goal.  Because I’m feeling that on my next time back, I will have to get the Curry Beef Pepper Rice – double beef please! – one more time.  I’m having dreams of this curry concoction as it is exactly what I wanted curry to be – not a smack, not even a kiss on the lips, but a full on torrid affair.

The beef strips are just so temptingly pink and oozing with juice.


Done mixing!


The requisite side of beansprouts


I top every "chopsticks"-ful with beansprouts!


Newfound love!


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

Not even a smack but I’m not complaining

16 02 2011

Kiss on the lips!

“HAVE YOU made it to 50 couples yet?”  The Flash asked, quite obviously alluding to the resto’s “Kiss on the lips” promo, now on its third year.

With a smile, the cashier said, “No, Sir.”

I looked at The Flash straight in the eye and snapped back with something like, “I’m not that desperate for a free tiramisu!”  Hahaha!  He turned around and scouted for unsuspecting diners to help him snatch a free dessert.  I knew he was just kidding because we wouldn’t trade our Pepper Lunch dinner for a run-in with law enforcement.  And he would have to answer to Brother first, who at the time was already comfortably seated, waiting for his order of Beef Yakiniku; and then to The Tycoon who was also standing by for his sizzling hot Hamburger Steak with Fried Egg.

Brother's Beef Yakiniku


The Tycoon's Hamburger Cut Steak with Fried Egg

I heaved a sigh of relief when The Flash turned serious and ordered his Unagi and Salmon Combo.

Unagi and Salmon Combo


The Flash mixes his seafood combo!

Pepper Lunch must’ve been at Rockwell for over a year before I even had the chance of trying it out.  Friendship and TheCorporateTeener would egg me on – tease me with real-time accounts of their lunches there – to finally give it a try.  I wouldn’t budge.  But when I finally did, there was no stopping me to keep going back.

For a change, I asked for the Hitokushi Cut Steak, with Mixed Pepper Rice, Miso Soup, an extra Mixed Pepper Rice, and an extra side of beansprouts.  Yeah I know, it’s like eating for two again.  But I’m not coming clean and say that it was Valentine’s Day, I’m single, and I was taking everything out on the food.  I’ve always had an appetite bordering on gluttony that would’ve earned the ire of John Doe in the David Fincher thriller Se7en.

My Hitokushi Cut Streak


A close shot of my steak!


To prevent overcooking, I just flipped the steak once and then rested the chunks on top of the vegetables.


Empty bowls!

While staring at the stack of five cleaned rice bowls on our table – we actually finished seven between us four – I floated one ambitious task for Brother and me.  “Why don’t we go through eveything on the menu before you leave for Singapore (for good)?”

I knew we won’t have the time.  But I guess we can still make it to one more visit – at least to try their newest dessert, the tiramisu made by their Japanese pastry chef, kiss on the lips not necessary.  Hahaha!

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

Over the moon in 140 characters

7 02 2011

Such a sweet tweet by @PepperPhil

BEFORE HITTING the sack at way past midnight, right about the crack of dawn, I logged in to my blog account to make a couple more new posts.  That’s when I noticed that my site’s weekend readership was unusually busy.  (Not of meteoric proportions.  Just against my standards.)

And that’s when I saw that most of the incoming traffic was from – drumroll please, mention of the world’s most popular social networking and microblogging site ahead!twitter!

What?!  I’m on twitter?!  I don’t remember getting into a fit with any celebrity.  Hahaha!

Seriously, I was floored to find out that @PepperPhil, the official twitter account of Pepper Lunch Philippines has tweeted about my most recent blog post about them.  I saw their comment on my post, but no explicit mention that they tweeted about it.  Quick on the heels of that tweet was the retweet of @piamagalona.  Yes, the Pia Magalona.

I’m like…  I mean…  you know…  beyond.  Like, so beyond!  Super thanks for the mention!

Retweet by @piamagalona, the Pia Magalona


Brother found a couple more retweets!


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

Moo two nights in a row

4 02 2011

Clean! This is The Flash's. I always use Pepper Lunch's orange chopsticks. And I end up with a clean plate too!

IT WAS a one-sided carnage outside a Roman coliseum.  For two consecutive nights.

Brother, The Flash and myself spent a couple of nights together shopping *wink*.  I guess it was just one of my little efforts for a little more altruism in this world.  That is, expressing my unselfish concern for the welfare of others.  I mean, in terms of what they strap on their wrists.

With The Flash


With Brother

Of course, shopping meant getting famished towards the evening’s end.  As both were nights in Town, the three of us decided – no long discussions necessary – to indulge in our carnivorous desires at Pepper Lunch.

As a creature of habit, I’d order the same thing over and over again.  I would stop at the point in the menu where it says, “Beef Pepper Rice”, which is like the starting point.  I’d ask for it to be “double beef” then, I’d have extra Mixed Pepper Rice, and Miso Soup.  Once settled comfortably in my seat, I’d make another go to ask for a side of Vegetables (just the bean sprouts, please!).  And once I’m done with the first portion of rice that comes with the dish, I’d make yet another trip to the cashier – or the likes of Hazel or Oteph at Town would offer to do it for me – to get another Miso Soup and another side of Vegetables.

See, I always eat for two.  Hahaha! 

Pepper Lunch has been a favorite and I’ve talked about it in length here.  Five posts, to be exact – here (Now this is sizzling hot), here (Stare. Spread. Flip. Enjoy.), here (Dinner, a movie, and “semblance of a life”), here (Peppery & Spidey), and here (The Caped Crusader in person at Pepper Lunch).

Double Beef Pepper Rice


My Double Beef Pepper Rice, mixed up!


I really love the amount of yummy "fat" that comes with the beef in their Beef Pepper Rice!


Brother's Double Beef Teriyaki Pepper Rice. He was busy surfing the net when this landed on the table. So I took it upon myself to "cook" his food.


The Flash's Salmon Pepper Rice


Brother's Tokusen Rib Eye Steak


Brother spreading butter on his Tokusen Rib Eye Steak!


The Flash's Unagi Pepper Rice


Really yummy unagi!


Mixed Pepper Rice


Quite obviously, I'm super fond of pepper! And Pepper Lunch uses only the outermost covering, which is the most fragrant part of the peppercorn!


Molten Chocolate Cake A La Mode. Pepper Lunch has fab desserts too! I haven't tried any of the salads though.


Vanilla Crepe Cake A La Mode


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

Notes from a time traveling day

1 09 2009

AND I thought Sheldon was just being impossibly difficult.

That and the fact that he – Sheldon of the hit TV series “The Big Bang Theory” – was most probably just given the really juicy, overly descriptive lines befitting the really smart guy that he is.

With much frustration, Sheldon says, “This sandwich is an unmitigated disaster.  I asked for turkey and roast beef with lettuce and swiss on whole wheat.”  “What did they give you?” asks Raj.  “Turkey and roast beef with swiss and lettuce on whole wheat,” Sheldon explicitly describes and continues, “It’s the right ingredients but in the wrong order.  In a proper sandwich, the cheese is adjacent to the bread to create a moisture barrier against the lettuce.  They might as well drag this thing to a carwash.”  Leonard protests, “I don’t believe it!”  And Sheldon couldn’t help but agree, “I know!  It’s basic culinary science.”

That was exactly how I felt with the sandwich that I had in my hands while watching “The Time Traveler’s Wife” last Friday.  Starbucks Coffee Company® calls it (something like) their Chicken and Ham with Gruyere in Turkish Bread.  Sounded fancy.  Sounded yummy.  And sounded like a good enough alternative to my usual Hungarian Sausage with Eggwhite and Cheese in Ciabatta which was already sold out at the time.

The premise of the sandwich was actually great.  It was the gruyere that got me.  I love love love gruyere cheese, one of the two cheeses in my macaroni and cheese recipe.  Now slap that together with chicken and ham, all together in a visually appealing black-and-white-sesame-seed studded crusty bun and I guess I’d have a winner right there!

But with my first bite – as the opening credits of the movie started rolling – Sheldon’s predicament came to mind.  While on its own the flattened chicken fillet in the middle of my sandwich was really moist and flavorful – redolent with smoky hints of cumin – the rest was a disaster.  The worst was the absence of that “moisture barrier” that left the bottom of my sandwich badly soaked in extra virgin olive oil and the tomato-based dressing.

I ended up just sipping – really slowly, as if rationing out to my own self a really scarce commodity! – my Mocha Frappucino with Raspberry Syrup.  I’d usually get this in the Dark Mocha variant.  But sadly, that too was unavailable.

Too bad Pepper Lunch was packed full when I stopped by.  Oh well, it wasn’t my day.  At least the movie saved it from being a total bore.

Peppery & Spidey

6 08 2009

FINALLY, I was able to bring something peppery and someone Spidey together!

Being one of my staunchest best friends, Spider-man has been keeping me company through my ordeals.  Remember the greeting I made him for his birthday?

Spider-man - Pepper Lunch 04

Peppery & Spider together!

This week, since I have been egging him on for days on end to join me for a “Pepper Lunch” meal – and since he knew I’ve been bracing for August 5th – he finally joined me at the newly opened branch at Town.  This would be my fourth time at the said “fast steak” place.  I’ve harped about my joy already here, here, and here.

Spider-man - Pepper Lunch 01

Going through the rather extensive menu

Never someone to make me feel or think that he’s like some people who take advantage of me (HAHAHA!), Spider-man was insisting to try just the Double Beef Pepper Rice (Php 246.00 a la carte).  Never someone to make my superhero friends feel or think that I’m not giving them the best (things I myself love), I insisted that he should try at least the Shimofuri Pepper Steak (Php 570.00 a la carte).  Guess who won the debate!

Spider-man - Pepper Lunch 05

Spidey getting ready to sizzle it his way!


Spider-man - Pepper Lunch 06

My yummy Double Beef Pepper Rice. I was told I could make this "triple" beef the next time! Wow!

As usual, Pepper Lunch didn’t disappoint.  And Friendship will be happy to note that the quality of the food and the service is consistent.

Spider-man - Pepper Lunch 02

Fine steak, great value!

I think Spider-man was a happy camper.  He was so full that he just decided to have his Molten Chocolate Cake (Php 120.00) to-go.

Spider-man - Pepper Lunch 00

Corte de las Palmas at Town. Pepper Lunch is on the second level, between Cibo and Recipes.

Stare. Spread. Flip. Enjoy.

28 07 2009

I’VE NEVER gushed unabashedly about anything since Cupcakes by Sonja.  Until now.  All I could talk about at work yesterday was Pepper Lunch.

To think that at the time all I’d had was just the Double Beef Pepper Rice!

Pepper Lunch - Logo

Sizzle it your way!


Pepper Lunch - Signage

Look for this for good steak! That's the Pepper Lunch signage at their newly opened Alabang Town Center branch!

So to make good on the personal targets I had set last week (“targets” – oh it sounds so SONA-ish…  hahaha!), I returned to Pepper Lunch at Alabang Town Center after office hours yesterday.  I invited a couple of friends to this gustatory adventure – Brother (a steak authority himself) and Francis.

We asked for two Tokusen Rib Eye Steaks (Php 585.00* each, a la carte) and one Shimofuri Pepper Steak (Php 570.00* a la carte).  We made our accompaniment the Mixed Pepper Rice.  And we had to cap a fabulous dinner with luscious desserts – the Molten Chocolate Cake A La Mode and the Vanilla Crepe Cake A La Mode.

Pepper Lunch - Francis's Tokusen Rib Eye

Francis's Tokusen Rib Eye Steak!

I stared

The moment the patented sizzling plates hit the table, the first thought that cropped up in my head – as if carried by the gusts of steam – was “truth in advertising.”  Up to that point, I had actually saved up – for these steaks – whatever capability I had for understanding for a day.  I mean, I would have understood if they were smaller in actuality against how they appeared on the menu.  But they sure weren’t!  The Tokusen Rib Eye Steak was cut considerably thick and looked really fresh, red and every inch the tender and nicely “fat” cut of beef rib eye is supposed to be.  As for the Shimofuri, I have to say that I’ve never seen something marbled with fat so prettily.

Pepper Lunch - Brother's Tokusen Rib Eye 00

Brother's Tokusen Ribe Eye Steak!

Pepper Lunch - eNTeNG's Shimofuri Steak 01

My Shimofuri Pepper Steak!

I spread

As if an homage to my unabashed enthusiasm for cupcakes of days gone by, a “kiss” of a tan-colored cream sat on top of the reddish pink meat, seemingly piped in place by a pastry bag with a floral tip.  “This must be the special, unique butter that I need to spread on the steak as it cooks,” I said to myself.  So spread I did!  I felt the creaminess of the “unique” butter as I distribute it on top of the meat, noting how poetic it melted and cascaded down the developing crust that was the sides of the meat.

Pepper Lunch - Brother's Tokusen Rib Eye 01

The Tokusen Rib Eye Steak flipped to the other side.

I flipped

As the molten butter sizzled, flowing perfectly into the fat that had earlier been hissing already on the sizzling plate, I glided the tines of the fork carefully under the steak, not wanting to pierce the seared meat.  With one quick action, I flipped each cut to sear the other side.  More hissing action ensued.  In two minutes, I had no other choice but to move towards satisfying my craving.

Pepper Lunch - eNTeNG's Shimofuri Steak 02

Halfway through to enjoying the Shimofuri Pepper Steak.

I enjoyed

With the orange chopsticks, I picked up one cut of my Shimofuri steak and put it in my mouth, being very careful not to burn my tongue.  And I have to say, Pepper Lunch’s Shimofuri steak has got to be one of the most tender steaks I have ever had.  I was preparing myself to chew, only to realize that I didn’t even have to.  The meat literally felt like soft butter in my mouth.  In describing some of my successful gastronomic adventures, I would be holding back in saying something as “literally melting in my mouth.”  But the steak I had at Pepper Lunch deserved nothing less for a description.  And I liked it the way it was, just flavored with the fragrant outermost shell of black pepper that the store prepared for the day.  In between bites of the meat, I helped myself to the generous heap of high quality mung bean sprouts and the mixed pepper rice I had in the bowl on my hand.

Pepper Lunch - eNTeNG's Shimofuri Steak 03

Just the way I like my steak - seared but kept moist and juicy, and pink in the center. Apparently, cooking on the high heat available thru Pepper Lunch's patented sizzling plate does just that!

To cap this unforgettable steak dinner, I made good on yet another promise – to try the desserts!  I asked for a la mode renditions of the Vanilla Crepe Cake and the Molten Chocolate Cake.

The Vanilla Crepe Cake was a patient work of art.  Imagine thin layers of crepe piled one on top of another, separated only by the subtle hint of vanilla-flavored cream in between.  I’ve loved crepes so much that whenever I’d have it, what I would actually do is remove the filling and just enjoy the very thin, very light pancake.  Thanks to Pepper Lunch’s Vanilla Crepe Cake, I got to live this “fantasy” dessert many many layers over!

Pepper Lunch - Vanilla Crepe Cake 00

The Vanilla Crepe Cake!


Pepper Lunch - Vanilla Crepe Cake 01

Now one of my fave desserts - Pepper Lunch's Vanilla Crepe Cake!

With a name like Molten Chocolate Cake, I expected a cake that at the very least, should be warm.  And I wasn’t disappointed.  Pepper Lunch’s version was so much more – perfectly “half-baked”, slathered – no! – blanketed with good chocalte fudge, and dusted with (I think) chocolate or coffee powder.  I turned into a giddy kid armed with a teaspoon.  I aimed for the domed cake top, pierced it, and waited for the molten chocolate to ooze out.  I took a good teaspoonful of everything and tasted what could very well be the best cake Php 120.00 (a la carte) could buy.  I closed my eyes and dreamt away.

Pepper Lunch - Molten Chocolate Cake 00

Molten Chocolate Cake


Pepper Lunch - Molten Chocolate Cake 01

The molten chocolate seeps out of the Molten Chocolate Cake!

Brother and Francis had to wake me up.  The desserts were that good!

Pepper Lunch - Ice Cream

Our desserts were "a la mode" so we had two of these - the lovely (vanilla) ice cream!


Pepper Lunch - Official Receipt

"Clark" (that's my "coffee name") has a new favorite - Pepper Lunch!


Pepper Lunch - Order Slips

I forgot to get Brothers "dish up" slip before his tray was taken away.

*a la carte prices corrected from previous post