April 11, 2008
I'm very fond of street food. Eversince highschool, the thought of fishballs, squidballs, balut, and dirty ice cream would always make me anticipate dismissal time all the more. The watering of my mouth would precede the ringing of the bell when it comes to street food outside our high school. Come college, the University of the Philippines is well known for it's street food and in my opinion, they have the best isaws, kwek-kwek, and cheese sticks as far as I am concerned. I don't know what is it about street foods that I absolutely go bonkers for... Maybe the nostalgia of the past or the comfort it gives me... Maybe the sense of being "at home"...
When I heard about Lime 88 from my sister via Anton Blogs, I was so excited to try it out. Frankly though, the thought of street foods with a twist makes my wallet shake in fear a little bit. Here's a quick look at what we sampled and a bit of a critique:
Roti Prata - A take on the classic Indian street food. This was a perfect take and I love how it was flavored to replicate the classic taste. The curry sauce was not that strong though. I love a strong curry flavor and the sauce was more sweet that spicy.
Ice Scramble - It a poorman's halo-halo and the Pinoys love to snack on this especially with our warm weather. This ice scramble was nice but it lacked a certain flavor or maybe it was the wrong combination of the restaurant atmosphere against the street food quality of the ice scramble.
Street Food Plater - Classic barbecued street foods in one plate. This was awesome, all the flavors were authentic. The only thing wrong about this is that they sample only 3 kinds. On the top of my head I can think of 10 street foods. Quality was good, quantity was not.
Balut With Red Wine Sauce - A posh take on the balut egg we all love. A Pinoy classic that I don't think should be messed with. The balut's authenticity is destroyed and its flavor, dilapidated by the presence of any sauce or breading. Balut should be eaten by cracking the eggshell, sprinkling salt or adding vinegar (whichever you prefer), drinking the soup, and eating EVERYTHING!
Kare-Kare Osso Bucco - Another degradation of a classic. More bone than meat and it had a gamy taste to it.
Baked Oysters - The oysters were not of good quality and left a fishy, sour, metallic taste in my mouth. I was definitely not a fan of this dish.
Longanisa Pizza - This was a Pinoy take on the classic Italian Pizza. The "pinoy" ingredients used were sweet tomato sauce and longanisa. This tasted like any normal pizza dish but the longanisa was very good! Sweet with a jolt of spiciness!
Tilapia With Mango Salsa - Loved this dish. The fish tasted fresh (I hope it was) and the combination of the mango salsa together with the fish's meat was definitely lovely.
Curried Meatballs - Salty and nothing special.
Quail Egg Tempura - This is always good. High-blood enemy, but good! :) Did I mention I love their vinegar?
Chicken Breast Stuffed With Kangkong And Kesong Puti - This dish was absolutely awesome! The chicken breast was cooked perfectly. The juxtaposition of flavors was absolutely magical! ALTHOUGH, more kesong puti would've highly been appreciated! :)
Lime88 was a disappointment. I didn't like their take on Pinoy street food deconstruction. I think it is overrated and the "twist" they were talking about was not at all out of the box. A bit more studying on molecular gastronomy would definitely work wonders...
Service was really slow and unaccommodating. It seemed that the service crew were not trained really well. Price-wise: VERY expensive when you come to think of it. Except for some awesome dishes, you are better off eating at your friendly street food vendor than in Lime88.