For our next stop, we tried C2 Classic Cuisine in Power Plant in Rockwell. I’ve eaten in C2 a number of times before, but I’ve been to their EDSA Shang and Megamall branches, but it’s my first time in their Rockwell branch. C2 proves that Pinoy cuisine is not just your regular lutong bahay, but something you’d go out of your way for. They like putting a twist to the classic dishes, plus, they let the diners “assemble” the dishes to their individual liking. It’s common to find the meat separate from the sauce/soup. It’s an interesting way to plate food. You’ll have to forgive me, I’m paraphrasing the dish titles since I wasn’t able to get the actual names. Treat my titles more as descriptions of the dishes.
We started off with Lumpiang Hubad, which is a favorite of mine. I usually love this lumpia, whether it hubad or fully clothed. The twist is having the lumpia wrapper fried into little rolls that held pea shoots, think togue, but from peas. Reminded me of the pea shooters in Plants Vs. Zombies. Even without the sauce I always enjoy this dish.
Sinigang Na Ribs
Our soup was the Sinigang na Ribs. This is what I mean, the meat was separate from the soup. So if you wanted, you could put the soup and some meat together in your bowls as you please. Or you can drink the soup first, and treat the ribs as a separate dish. Plus, their sinigang broth is flavored by kamias, a not so used ingredient to sour the broth. It’s more common to find sampaloc or bayabas used in sinigang, so the kamias is a welcome version to the familiar sour soup.
Munggo with Galunggong
Technically we had two soup dishes. Since it’s a Friday, we had Munggo with Galunggong. Why is it that munggo is served every Friday? I just recently learned this apparently commonly practiced culinary quirk. They say in carinderias all over the Philippines, munggo is served every Friday. Someone tell me if they know.
A much overlooked dish, Menudo is rarely found in menus of Pinoy restaurants. I really wonder why? Adobo is omnipresent in any vaguely Pinoy restaurant, but something as equally ubiquitous in the Pinoy dining table as Menudo is strangely absent in the same menus. Their version is almost a fusion between menudo and caldereta. I truly believe Pinoys should rediscover the restaurant potential of the humble but savory menudo.
If dishes were animals, their Crispy Kare-Kare would be the apex predator. This was definitely the climax of the dining experience. Think kare-kare, but instead of ox tail and tripe, they used crispy pata as the meat. Of course I drowned my crispy pata and rice in the peanut sauce, as I always do, and with the dollop of bagoong to complete the ensemble. Kare-kare is my favorite Pinoy dish anyway, so this was an easy pick for me.
Dilis Rice and Adobo Rice
They served us two types of flavored rice, the Dilis Rice and the Adobo Rice. They’re both very tasty, with the dilis rice slightly stronger in flavor, while the adobo rice was more in-the-background type. The adobo rice paired better with the stronger flavored dishes like the kare-kare, while the dilis rice paired better with the milder flavored dishes like the munggo.
The desserts for me were the killers. First up, they served their specialty, their Bibingka Souffle. I know, you’re probably thinking how could souffle go bibingka? It’s delightfully possible. When you collapse the souffle dome and pour in the milky liquid, it reveals a devilishly fluffy souffle with bits of bibingka and itlog na maalat. Yes, it’s savory, but it definitely qualifies as dessert as well. It’s quite an experience. I recommend everyone to try this!
The souffle may be the star of the show, but my absolute favoritestest, is the Durian Brulee. People who know me know how much I adore durian. But even for the phobics who couldn’t stand the taste nor smell of the fruit would enjoy this concoction. It’s not as gelatinous as your usual brulee, it’s actually more creamy in texture, and it resembles the creaminess of the actual durian fruit. It’s hard to explain, it only needs to be experienced. Don’t be put off by the durian, even if you’re a hater, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this one.
Our experience was made extra special since we were joined by their Marketing Manager, Alvan Young, and a couple of other people, including their chef, and they served and explained the dishes as we enjoyed them. Suffice it to say, we were spoiled rotten by their wonderful team. They even gave us a chocolate caramel cake to take home. It was divine! If you want to experience the classic Pinoy dishes with a twist, you may want to try C2 Classic Cuisine.