Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015
Chicken Ranch Pot Pie

O F   C H E E S E,

S W E E T S,

A N D   S T E A K S

The vast expanse of Alabang that welcomes Metro Manila revelers from the South Luzon Expressway is no longer the lonely wilderness that's subsumed only in exclusive real estate. With posh walls down and various amusement sanctuaries jutting out from empty lots at the exciting Westgate Center, dining is finally made relevant in booming Muntinlupa City. Just a few minutes from my booked staycation room at the 5-star Vivere Hotel is a new European cuisine-oriented restaurant called Tu's Claypots and Skillets (TCPS) where I dined one busy weekday a few days ago.

I'm yet to confirm with a Spanish-speaking friend if the word tu really means "yours" in English but since I saw the latter embellished on a simple table mat at the restaurant, I'm assuming that it means something to that effect. What I was certain of was the exact location of the new dining venue in Alabang's Filinvest where Vivere Hotel's shuttle dropped me off after a late check-in.

Cheese and Onions Skillet Steak (well-done)

Cozy At The Door

Instantly, I felt cozy when I received a welcome bowl of fresh toast even if the server spelled my name wrong. While I waited for my orders of a pot pie and a much buzzed about skillet steak, I wandered around the second level of the loft-type restaurant interiors where I noticed a few quirky paraphernalia that served as wall accent to the mostly wood-finish vibe of the whole venue's design.

Turning One This February

The restaurant just turned 1-year old this 2015 after serving many delicious meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner to countless of its patrons. What sets this restaurant apart from the glut of other dining venues that opened last year is its attention to fond seasoning that endears most of the guests to its best-sellers. Across the panoply of dishes in its roster, the taste is distinct. Regardless of the cuisine's simplicity or complexity, the flavors are remarkable. The experts behind the brand clearly ascertains the quality of food not just in hefty servings but also in the caliber of freshness when it comes to ingredients that go into each dish.

Half-baked Cookie
The Luxury of Quality Rib-eye Steak

My order of the Cheese and Onions Skillet Steak proved this to be true. The tender meat of the well-done steak was as stellar in taste as its drizzle of melted cheese and sauteed white onions. I had my plate served with corn, but there's a side option for home fries, smashed potato with gravy, butter or rice.

Chicken Ranch Pot Pie

Next, I sampled a TCPS favorite -- pot pie. The specific flavor I had was the deep-dish pizza called Chicken Ranch which, after seeing it got served, assured me that there's no such thing as too much cheese. I had the server carefully slice into the bowl of cheesy rambunctiousness before sampling it. There's really no right way of digging into it except to have it fast while it's still hot and fresh! I enjoyed the homemade dough-covered pie that was oven-baked to perfection. Beyond its edible bowl was pan-seared chicken swimming in creamy buffalo sauce. The distinct ranch dressing made the whole stuff amusing to feast on especially since almost anybody I know would dunk anything, even veggies, into a ranch dressing and this one had so much in it.

Half-baked Cookie

Delicious Finish

I finished off my early dinner at TCPS with a combo of comfort food for dessert. Called the Half-Baked Cookie, the sweet treat was a set of an ice cream scoop and house-made cookie dough that was half-baked in a cazuela or a traditional clay cookware from Spain. I've seen tapas and other similar Spanish dishes, including a Crema Catalana dessert, served in one but it was the first time I had this type of cookie that way. I got an exciting tingle in the mouth with the combination of the hot dough and the extremely cool ice cream which I intended to munch on at the same time and not separately. I guess the kid in me won with the idea of doing so and I loved it like a good game. The drizzle of chocolate syrup added to the prevailing sweetness of the set.

I wouldn't have had it any other way -- my recent dinner at Tu's Clay Pots and Skillets. Better than just being luxurious, it was down-home. It was something that partly left me spoiled during my 3-day staycation at the nearby hotel. Truly, experiencing TCPS was worth leaving home for.

Tu's Clay Pots and Skillets

Official website of Tu's Clay Pots and Skillets

Address: D1 Westgate Center, Filinvest Corp. Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines
Phone: (02) 828-3178

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