Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wicked Food

Wicked Kitchen is a cozy little restaurant in Quezon City. It's very homey; with a large chunk of the first floor taken up by the kitchen, making you wonder if someone's grandmother is back there whipping up dinner. The second floor is more spacious, and there are 3 more small tables on the veranda, where it's surprisingly cool even on these summer nights.

Wicked Kitchen offers a tasty selection of sandwiches, pasta, rice meals and bar chow to accompany their different beers, wines and cocktails. Though I'm not a big fan of green mangoes, the first meal I ever had there was the Crunchy Bagoong Rice (which is served with just that). The polite waiter, RJ, managed to convince me that I'd love it despite my aversion to all things sour. And love it I did. The dish is served in an interesting bowl tilted at an angle that shows off the immaculate jasmine rice topped with crunchy liempo bits sauteed in delicious bagoong, with slivers of green chili adding a welcome kick. The addition of green mango strips complements the salty-sweet flavor of the bagoong, making it all the more mouth-watering. The shock of red from the single siling labuyo is thrown in for good measure, to add contrast in color and to entice you to a more wicked dining experience. The meal was sooo good I had to order extra rice even if I was already a bit full, because such good food --- even just the liempo and green chili stragglers --- should not go to waste. Another favorite of mine is the sisig which, unlike in other restaurants, is not swimming in oil on a sizzling plate. It has the perfect balance of salty and spicy. I also appreciate the fact that they cook their egg first rather than break it raw on the meat to cook in its heat, which oftentimes leaves you with a half-cooked egg (I generally like my food cooked because I believe I've evolved since the Stone Age).

The restaurant also offers desserts named after the 7 Deadly Sins --- my top 2 (coined most appropriately) being Lust and Gluttony. Lust is actually rich chocolate fondue with fresh fruits, marshmallows and tiny cakes in perfect bite sizes meant for the average human mouth, allowing you to savor the marriage of fruit/marshmallow/cake and chocolate on your tongue without gorging you from teeth to tonsils, rendering you speechless and temporarily asphyxiated. The latter is the classic chocolate cookie ala mode, except that their cookie is really warm when served, fresh and fragrant from the oven. It comes single or for sharing. Now here's the thing. The picture on the menu is not to scale so I wasn't really sure how big or small the serving sizes were, so I ordered a single, hoping it would be enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. I thought the waiter must have misunderstood because he presented me with a huge cookie (topped with a generous scoop of mantecado ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce) that I was positive nobody with a single stomach AND having just had dinner could finish. Then I glimpsed at the Gluttony meant for sharing being brought to another table --- it was roughly the diameter of a frisbee, but thicker. That's one huge cookie. Having confirmed that my gluttony was meant for one, I summoned the glutton in me and relished bite after sinful bite while, across the street from the ABS-CBN compound, a Fitness First sign beckoned in vain...

(For those who can put off their diet 'til tomorrow, Wicked kitchen is at 143 Mother Ignacia Ave., South Triangle, QC.)


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