When it was suggested that dinner would be at a restaurant that served fancy street food called Lime, I almost vetoed the idea because I was picturing a swanky and pretentious night. I did a quick research of their menu online and offerings called “Balut in Red Wine Sauce” and “Tinapa and Sundried Tomato Pasta” cemented that idea of a highfalutin, overpriced restaurant in my head. Boy was I wrong.
As soon as we entered the place, I knew it was the complete opposite of what I was thinking. Chef Arch’s Lime is actually a simple and laid back restaurant that seems perfect for chill Friday night get togethers with friends instead of a place to bring a high maintenance date. Thank goodness I didn’t use a veto that night.
For starters, we settled on their three most famous “sosyal” street food orders: Balut in Red Wine Sauce, Quail Egg Tempura, and Street Style BBQ Platter. Of the three, the balut is probably the most famous. What is usually eaten with bare hands on the street is now served to you de-shelled, coated in breadcrumbs, fried, and then drizzled with red wine sauce. I ate very little, only because I can’t stand eating a peaceful looking baby duck in its shell, but I liked the contrasting taste of the sauce against the texture of the coating and the taste of the egg yolk.
Because I’m a super fan of the bright orange kwek kwek balls sold in street carts, my favorite of the three would have to be the Quail Egg Tempura. Instead of an orange coating, their version had a tempura-like coating and was to be dipped in a sweet soy sauce. To make sure you get that theirs is a “Japan-ized” version, strips of nori hung from the martini glass it’s served in.
The Street Style BBQ Platter is a plateful of all your favorite grilled street noms on a stick. There’s chicken ass, chicken and pork isaw (intestine), betamax (coagulated chicken blood), and pork skin served with peanut sauce for dipping. I have no idea which was it I tasted (I don’t usually eat these things but for that night, I had them pick one for me to try) and liked the somewhat sweet seasoning on the meat(?).
The Crispy Dinuguan is good for sharing, it was tasty dinuguan and one order had plenty of pork and various pig innards but they weren’t as crispy as I’d have liked. The Kangkong and Kesong Puti Stuffed Chicken Breast was served on a bed of (womderful) mashed potatoes, and had a unique flavor to it that only kesong puti can give. Like the chicken, the Baby Back Ribs was served with mashed potatoes, it’s not your regular street noms (or even Filipino noms) but it was good, tender and has a smoky taste.
The Osso Bucco Style Kare-Kare is one for the books. A huge slab of succulent beef shank is at the center of a serving plate flanked by eggplant, string beans and shrimp paste, and then drizzled with thick kare kare peanut sauce. I brought home leftovers and my mom (who is famous for her kare kare) exclaimed that it was almost like how she makes it.
We would have stayed longer and perhaps would have tried their desserts (I had my eye on the Jackfruit Walnut Torte), but alas, the surprising heavy torrent of rain forced us to pack up early and call it a night (Mandaluyong apparently fills up quick and we had to drive through calf length flood water).
- Old favorites are given a new twist.
- The staff is friendly and efficient.
- The prices are more than reasonable.
- There are limited seats.
- The lighting is a bit dim (not easy to see the details in the noms).
- The restaurant is not easily accessible.
Chef Arch’s Lime gets 4 out of 5 bacons. They give a new take on old favorites and are able to offer fair prices for them. The flavors are unique and yet familiar. It’s a great place to hang out in and share many a good time with friends or family. We’ll definitely be back for more.
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