Felices Fiestas

There's nothing like enjoying a good meal with dear friends during the holidays.  Two of my long-time friends (since the 3rd grade!) and I had our Christmas lunch in what I think is the best restaurant in Manila.   

Terry's serves exquisite Spanish food as well as other European inspired cuisine using only the finest ingredients as evidenced by what you can find in their gourmet store, Terry Selection.   It's one of those few restaurants that consistently serves great food and continues to exceed my expectations.  To whet our appetites, we ordered three-cheese croquettes, stuffed piquillo peppers, and torta Asturiana.  Croquette, or croqueta is thick bechamel sauce shaped into bite-size pieces, rolled in breadcrumbs, then fried.  Loved the crunch as I bit into each nugget followed by the creamy, cheesy bechamel.  Then came the piquillo peppers - stuffed, which is how they do it in the Basque country.  At the restaurant, they stuff the peppers with tuna belly and anchovy mayonnaise, which gives a velvety texture to the stuffing  The capsicum foam on the side added just the slightest heat. For the torta, the sliced potatoes smothered in Cabrales cheese did it for me.  One of my favorite cheeses, it is Spain's answer to the Roquefort. 
For our main dish, the Super Cochinillo Confit was the star of the lunch party.  For me, it is Terry's best signature dish.  Super tender pork with crispy, wafer-thin, skin.  Served with arroz bomba risotto, caramelized onions and Calanda peaches, drizzled with rich, Muscovado syrup, it was a feast for us three.  Happy holidays indeed.
Another main was the Angel's Nest.  It's a pasta dish with shrimps, diver's scallop and squid in a Gruyere and Emmental sauce.  Perfect balance of cream and cheese; not heavy, as you would expect from a cream-based sauce.  Perfectly cooked seafood and the noodles had a light creamy texture in every bite.  It's a shame there was only one melt-in-your-mouth scallop that we had to divide in three.  
Now we all know that a meal won't be complete without dessert.  With all that savory food, would there still be room for more?  Of course there was.  Plenty.

The Chocolate Marquesa is simply to die for.  It is, like they say, pure bliss.  Rich, decadent frozen chocolate mousse topped with crushed almond praline.  Words can't describe how good it tastes, you just have to try it yourself.  Equally good is the Tocino de Cielo, a flan that is thicker, richer, sweeter than the one we're used to.  

Food takes center stage whenever we celebrate, specially at Christmas when we enjoy it with our loved ones.  It is, after all, the season for sharing.

Happy holidays!





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