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A Relish-ed Lunch

Before anything else, I would like to congratulate all the winners of the recently concluded 2010 Philippine Blog Awards. You guys make me want to keep working on this little blog of mine to make it better by improving content as well as Internet presence (I really wish I had SEO knowledge or the services of an SEO Company like SEO Australia).
I’m lucky to have someone that’s supportive of this endeavor, the official date helps me out by suggesting new places to eat at whenever we can (it doesn’t hurt that he also has a healthy appetite). Last week, because we were within walking distance of each other on a weekday, we met up and he suggested that we eat at this place in between our reporting offices for the day.
The restaurant is called Relish and it is conveniently located along Valero street in Salcedo Village, right in the thick of all things going down in the Central Business District. Since it was the first time for both of us, we weren’t sure what exactly to expect.
We didn’t know that it was a classy restaurant where most patrons were in business attire or smart clothes while we were in casual shirts and jeans. A lot of the diners also looked like they were holding official business over lunch, some were closing deals, some others were interviewing potential employees, and others were winning over some new clients. For a regular day in a snootier-than-thou restaurant, Relish was mighty packed.
The fixtures were almost monochromatic
And although it seemed a little excessive for a weekday lunch with no occasion or event whatsoever, because we were hungry and we were already settled in, we went through with it and ordered our nomz. The lunch date had the Chimchuri Chicken Kebab. Taken off their menu, the fancy description for this dish is- “Boneless chicken chunks marinated in our special chimchuri sauce, skewered with onions and tomatoes. Served with aoli.”. Here’s the lovely dish-
Chimchuri Chicken Kebab (p375)
The kebabs were delicious- the chicken chunks were tender and the flavor of the special chimchuri sauce seeped through the meat making it both flavorful and juicy. The mild flavor of the aoli (which I just found out was made of chopped garlic and olive oil) went well with the meat. Even the tomatoes were juicy and grilled to perfection, seasoned with just the right amount of pepper. The entire dish was cooked perfectly, I guess it’s part of what you pay for.
I ordered the Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder. And because I never know how to describe them fancily, I copy directly off their menu. Their description goes like this- “Slow roasted lamb shoulder marinated in rosemary and garlic. Served with couscous and aoli”. Check it out-
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder (served with couscous) (p390)
The thinly sliced meat from a baby sheep’s shoulder is prepared without much frills, with only herbs such as rosemary and garlic added to enhance the natural flavor of the meat. It’s also served with a sliver of lemon to squeeze a few drops to get rid of the sometimes weird lamb taste (most people don’t like it but I actually quite like this distinct flavor) and aoli, which complemented the dish well.
I want to highlight the couscous that my dish came with. This North African food is similar to rice, with smaller grains and prepared in different ways, depending om the cook. I’m not usually a fan of the grainy texture of the couscous, the feel of the small grains rolling in my mouth is unpleasant (not unlike drinking juice with pulp bits). But unlike any other coucsous that I’ve tried, this one had a silghly tangy taste to it, with a sprinkling of sweet and citrus-y bits that I still can’t name up until now. This tangy couscous won me over, the non-fan has become a convert. It went awesomely with the lamb too. I absolutely adored the entire dish.
Relish is a welcome change from the many fast food stores that pepper the entire length of the street where the restaurant is located. If you’re looking for a place to bring a date, hold business meetings, or simply to meet up with a friend and have a good lunch from an actual sit-down restaurant, Relish is your stop. It’s more expensive than your favored fastfood joint but sheesh, you’re a Makati yuppie, you can afford to treat yourself out for a good meal every once in a while.
Relish
Location: G/F Ponte Salcedo building, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati
Contact Number: (02) 519-3543
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