After work, Kuya Ferdie gathered a few of us in the lab who were available to celebrate his birthday with him. The initial plan was to eat at a budget restaurant. However, we couldn't come up with a good restaurant for birthday purposes with that kind of price range. So Dara made the suggestion to eat at Mio Cucina (just outside UPLB, along Lopez Ave.) instead. There were six of us altogether and it was quite a challenge to seat us in the tiny restaurant. After everyone has squeezed in, Dara took charge of selecting the food...
We ordered pako salad with white cheese and lemon vinaigrette. It was heavenly! The cheese was so creamy and readily melted in the mouth while the pako offered a contrast in texture with its rough leaves and stems. The vinaigrette, on the other hand, contributed a tang to the dish which was watered down by the hint of sweetness of the singkamas (Mexican turnip).
Then there's the steamed sole fish. Another winner! The sole was cooked just right; it wasn't tough and it wasn't too mushy that it'd fall off the serving spoon. The sauce enhanced the flavours already found in the fish, while the sprinkling of onion leaves gave a crunch to the otherwise soft dish.
Chicken in pickles. Now that was the odd dish out... what a weird combination. However, it is a mix of flavours that worked out for me. The chicken meat was cooked to tender perfection; almost melting in one's mouth, if that were possible.
Finally, a slab of beef with green olives. Dara was on a roll with the food choices. I definitely liked this one... the big selling point was: OLIVES! I'm one of the few people in the office who love eating olives.
What a way to end a hectic week!