I just had one of the best gastronomical experiences recently. No doubt, one for the books… and probably the looooooongest dining experience in my entire life.
My wife and I had the pleasure of being part of an amazing food tasting dinner event called, “Hayop Na Degustacion”… and I have Ms. Dedet dela Fuente and her very own Pepita’s Kitchen to thank for this delicious journey which isn’t just a feast to the tummy but also to the eyes.
It’s quite difficult for a non-foodie like me to elaborately describe every dish that was served to us… so, I shall let my photos do the talking instead. But I must warn you… some of the images may leave you hungry.
Pepita’s Magic Drink
You’re probably asking why this is called “Pepita’s Magic Drink”, right? Well, the magic happens when you pour the accompanying alcoholic pineapple beverage over the cotton candy. The cotton candy dissolves and mixes into the liquid that was poured over it. It was really fun!
Check out this short Instagram video I took of this drink.
Not too keen on alcoholic drinks like me? No problem. You can opt to use something non-alcoholic instead (which they will happily provide you with).
Tendon Chips with Sinigang Paste
Yes. Beef tendon chips… not chicharon! Very flavorful, I must say. And the sinigang paste which serves as a dip is as tasty as it is ingenious! You get the flavor of sinigang sa gabi with every dip. I really enjoyed this particular dish. What a way to start the evening.
OMG! I fell in love with this right from the very first bite. Why is it called “Hiplog”, you may ask? Well, it’s Dedet’s play on the words, “hipon” (shrimp) and “itlog na maalat” (salted egg) which are the main ingredients of this dish. I momentarily forgot my name when I first tasted this delicious specialty. WOW.
Than Long Lechon
I love lechon. You may be familiar with the usual ways that lechon is prepared… stuffing it with herbs, spices, tanglad, etc. This one is quite different from your common lechon fare. And that’s a good thing!
Dedet, stuffed this lechon de leche with delicious noodles making it absolutely flavorful and a complete meal all on its own! I cannot even begin to describe how it tastes… just know that this Than Long lechon is divinely different.
Bone Marrow Surprise
Love bone marrow? Well, then… this one is FOR YOU! There’s absolutely no holding back on glorious cholesterol with this flavorful Pepita’s Kitchen specialty. A very generous amount of delicious bone marrow with (get this…) “Ox Tail Marmalade” and chicharon bits (YES!!!) which you sprinkle on top of the marrow to give it added flavor. OMG. OMG. OMG.
Sip It Sarap
This one was another seafood hit! A huge crab claw (sipit), cooked in coconut milk and taba ng talangka! Imagine all these flavors inside your mouth… fantastic! Sipit sarap, indeed!
I love oatmeal. I also love white chocolate. This was the best of both worlds – Oatmeal cooked in white chocolate… YUMMEH! I wanted to have more of this but I had to hold back since the deluge of food was still in progress. Hahaha!
Lechon Ham in Sweet Ham Sauce
What??? Another majestically prepared lechon dish?! By all means!!! This time, unlike the previously served Than Long lechon, this particular lechon de leche was stuffed with ham! Yes… HAM! The sweet ham sauce was the perfect compliment to the salty taste of the lechon’s crunchy skin. I fell in love with this. A must try.
More Delicious Pepita’s Kitchen Specialties
Dedet also served other delicious dishes which were unique not just in presentation and taste, but also in how they were named…
- Pop Salad – A really colorful salad consisting of cashew butter, micro greens, homemade herb yogurt cheese (made of carabao’s milk) and… Pop Rocks! Yes, guys! POP ROCKS! The kind of candy that “crackles” in your mouth. COOL!
- Pinoy Henyo Para di Manangamote – Ox brain with camote chips on the side. Get it? Pinoy Henyo = “brain” + Mangamote = “camote chips”. Creative, eh? This dish, apparently, won’t be included in the final menu, though.
- Lucky You – Not a typo, folks! Yes… it’s called, “Lucky You” and NOT “Lucky Me” (like the name of a local instant noodle product). Cold Chap Chae noodles with Basil Sauce to cleanse the palette. Why “Lucky You”? Well, simply because Dedet almost didn’t serve this dish… then she decided otherwise at the very last minute! So… “Lucky you”!
- Lambada – Yes! Lamb Caldereta! Spicy and hot… just the way I like it. The steamed rice is wrapped in a banana leaf (just like Cebu’s very own “puso” rice). Dedet said, it was named “Lambada” because mapapasayaw ka sa anghang!
- Cheers! – Homemade Sampalok Sorbet to cleanse your palate.
- Pinoy Dessert – Suman, yema, macapuno balls, pastillas, chocnut and pili… all rolled into one! Crazy good.
We were also treated to some amazing dessert courtesy of Cyrille and Anna Soenen of Brasserie Ciçou…
Forget cronuts! THIS is out of this world delicious! For someone like me who hardly eats any kind of pastry, the Kouing Aman blew me away! The Kouing Aman is a traditional dessert from Brittany. Salted caramel ice cream + sweet dough. I cannot fully describe in words how damn good this dish tastes. You MUST try this out. You MUST!
What more can I actually say to an amazing experience that I won’t forget anytime soon? The entire dinner lasted about 5 hours (8:00PM – 1:00AM). But I hardly noticed the time because of the company I was with as well as the delicious food Dedet showcased to all of us.
I’d like to personally thank Dedet dela Fuente for all the awesome dishes she uniquely prepared and also for being a wonderful host during the evening’s festivities.
Thank you also to Spanky Enriquez for inviting us to this insanely fun and outrageously filling dinner. If this keeps up, I’m gonna have to clock in more hours at the gym! Hahaha!
I had so much fun with the rest of our KTG (“Kain Tulog Gang”) – great friends, amazing foodies, and some of the awesome-est food bloggers in the country. It was one absolutely incredible night!
Pepita’s Kitchen is only available for private bookings. If you want to bring friends and family over to experience this incredible dining adventure yourselves, check out their contact details below as well as their “Hayop na Degustacion” and Take Out menu.
0917-8660662 / 425-4605