I don’t have the time or the patience to do the Ortigas thing, and that’s to bring along baon. If you do a lot of voluntary overtime and develop symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, cooking your own lunch is the last thing on your mind. The office “pantry,” though, is reminiscent of school canteen food: it takes a strong stomach and an empty wallet to eat there on a daily basis. That’s why you see siomai counters and MiniStop outlets everywhere in Ortigas Center.
Me and an officemate decided to break out of this canteen-food lunch rut and headed out to a restaurant called “Foodash” at San Miguel Avenue, just a few stalls behind Rufo’s Famous Tapa (which Bachelor Food Blogger Manolo Quezon already wrote about before). For a 15-minute wait, I had something called “Crispy Lemon Chicken,” which cost around P85. For that kind of money, it must be good; after all, I may have the least sophisticated palate among the Bachelor Food Bloggers.
Yes, it looked so odd that I had to take a picture of it. “Odd,” as you may expect, is a nice way to put it.
I always expected “crispy lemon chicken” to be a crispy piece of chicken in lemon-infused Béchamel sauce, cream sauce, or just plain old lemon juice. This was different; the clear sauce almost looked – and yes, tasted like – molten lemon-flavored Maxx candy. I would have paid P85 just for the chicken, which was half-decent and perfectly palatable with a bit of soy sauce.
You could only imagine the cook before lunch hour melting candies on a skillet, I can tell you that. The sauce does kind of turn you off at first, since it reminds you of… hmmm, how should I put this… crystallized cat urine. (I haven’t seen crystallized cat urine before, but I’m sure it would look like that.)
Plus points: the crispy chicken fillets are excellent… although I have the feeling they were already pre-made. The water was also very refreshing. The serving of rice is very generous, compared to the few spoonfuls you get at the adjacent Rufo’s.
I’m all for restaurants that push the borders when it comes to cuisine, but this took the cake for me. Nothing against Foodash – which serves great Garlic Chicken – but this crispy fillet of chicken breast drenched in the syrup rendered from what looks and tastes like lemon-flavored candy is pushing the borders a bit too far. I won’t be surprised if some enterprising restaurant decides to make a chicken dish with a mint sauce made from Mentos.
Then again, Sam-I-Am and green-eggs-and-ham do have to apply – to a certain extent – to this monstrosity of a lunch that costs a little under P100. Surprisingly, once you get over the fact that you’re eating something drowned in melted candy, it does taste quite good. Well, like I said, I may have the least sophisticated palate among the Bachelor Foodistas.
But even I, a culinary alcoholic plebeian, know that Crispy Lemon Chicken sucks. Stick with Foodash’s Garlic Chicken.