PEPITA’S KITCHEN – You might heard of Dedet Dela Fuente‘s famed lechon degustation. I was lucky enough to experience it twice, two iterations, same indulgence of very good food. The two times that I had that private dining setup I was literally floored of how awesome the food was, both times that meal, that four-hour dinner was the highlight of my year, some of the best dishes that I ever had and with her famous stuffed lechon de leche as the star of the meal. Recently she partnered up with Diamond Hotel to bring the greatest hits of her three degustation / tasting menu to amass one epic spread for the Corniche’s (the hotel’s buffet restaurant) Filipino Food festival.
Her lechon creations have been making buzz both here and abroad where people would line up sometimes even for hours to savor the deliciousness of her stuffed lechon, truly I think she’s already successful in making lechon a true global sensaton. Now you don’t have to order the whole lechon or gather your friends to try her lechon degustation, the popular dishes from her kitchen will be showcased at Corniche.One of my favorite dish from her first degustation is this Balut Salpicao. I just love the intense flavor and the simplicity of the dish. This is a good way also to encourage expats to try balut. Perfectly cooked pieces with a lot of olive oil and garlic making for a richer taste. This is very good, would eat the yolk pieces all day if I could.
This is my absolute favorite from the starter dish of her second degustation, a dish that she calls Hiplog. So good! Basically this is plump, succulent, ever so flavorful prawns made even more awesome since it’s covered in this luscious salted egg sauce. HIPon + itLOG na maalat, you’ll enjoy eating this with A LOT of rice!!! This is an absolute must-try!
A heart-stopping dish, I mean really this Roasted Bone Marrow with Special Salt (that’s made from crushed chicharon / pork rind) and Oxtail Marmalade is so good! I suggest you have the bone marrow pieces be roasted more so you’d get more of that intense flavor and is just perfect when you pair it with the oxtail marmalade.
Another must-try is this dish that’s derived from her Sip-It Sarap (Crab with Taba ng Talangka Sauce) that’s whole crab pieces covered with a decadent taba ng talangka sauce. Damn this is so, so good! Between the fat, succulent, and perfectly cooked crabs and the ever so flavorful sauce, you’d be floored because of this amazing dish.
For something that’s a bit simpler, you should try this Ginisang Monggo with Bagnet. An upgraded version of that warm and comforting stew that’s a staple in most Filipino households this time topped with shrimp pieces and some crispy bagnet. This is my type of comfort food, something that I really enjoyed.
From one awesome stew to another, you shouldn’t miss on this Special Goto German Style that’s made from our beloved Goto cooked with succulent pieces of foie gras making this infinitely more flavorful and decadent, served with a number of exciting toppings like quail eggs, toasted garlic and some other fun stuff.
Another dish that you should check out is this Native Lechon Roulade from Tenderloin, these are pieces of perfectly cooked tenderloin filled with sauerkraut, pickled cucumber in morel sauce and served with red beet potatoes and black truffle. Happiness! This is one awesome and flavorful dish that’s best eaten with rice.
And of course the star of your buffet experience and the stuff that will make you dream of its porcine goodness after the dinner, Pepita’s Kitchen Stuffed Lechon De Leche. They are serving three types of stuffed roasted pig in the buffet spread, each special and very good.
The Original has more of a plain and basic stuffing of marble potatoes and aromatics that makes the roasted potatoes ooze with amazing flavor and then you mash it and eat them with the lechon bits and some of that crispy skin, heaven in your mouth!
My absolute favorite is this one with Truffle Rice stuffing, if you love truffle, you’ll go crazy over this. Between the super flavorful rice filled with umami goodness and that irresistible aroma of the truffle with oh-so-good lechon pieces, this is a definite must-try. I mean come on very good lechon stuffed with truffle rice?! What’s not to like right?
And just as you thought things can’t be more decadent, you have to try this Sisig Rice stuffed lechon de leche. The rice stuffing is flavored with the local favorite sisig giving it so much flavor and it has this nice bit of spice running through the background that’s jut perfect with the fatty bits of the lechon and will definitely leave you wanting for more.
For your dessert, you should definitely check out this Super Suman. Imagine a big bilao with some really good sticky suman as base and then topped with all the good stuff of ube, macapuno, yema, chocnut. pili nut among other stuff. It’s the ultimate festive dessert with a lot of flavors and topping going on but somehow it just works. A sweet tooth treat that’s both eye candy and actually fun to eat.
Another must-try dessert is this Mango Trifle of layers of amazing flavors and texture. Layers of mango mousseline, otap, rosquillos, broas, puto seko with leche flan and mango pieces it’s like a party in your mouth. This is really good stuff.
Also check out these mini Ube Ensaymada something that the hotel is known for, almost bite size version of their signature ensaymada with swirls of creamy ube and a generous grating of cheese on top. Very good with strong coffee.
But the biggest surprise was this Banana, Mangga at Queso Ice Cream, to put it simply it’s almost like halo-halo in ice cream form, well at least the stuff that I like in halo-halo. The base has this fruity, complex flavor from the mixture of bananas and mangoes and then you hit the actual fruit pieces and these cubed queso de bola bits, it’s a fruity sweet and savory treat, so good!!!
A nice surprise to end the dinner, a personal favorite from the hotel’s pastry lineup is this maple cheesecake that’s studded with almond pieces on the side that gives it nice texture to contrast the naturally creamy mouth-feel of the cheesecake base.
Feasts from The Filipino Kitchen at Diamond Hotel’s Corniche will run from June 3 to 14 and guests with a minimum spend of P5,000 nett at the buffet will be entitled to a raffle stub chance to win round trip airline tickets for two to Boracay. This is your chance to try the best hits of Pepita’s Kitchen and her famous stuffed Lechon de Leche. Rates are lunch buffet at Php 2,150 nett per person and the dinner buffet at Php 2,550 nett per person.
For inquiries, you may contact the restaurant at (632) 528-3000 or (632) 305-3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org