Dinner at Casa San Pablo was a grand affair, in the context of a grand meal at home. During fiestas, or perhaps an important guest, or a revered relative, has come to visit.
Providing warmth to the rather chill evening – it rained hard in the afternoon dissipating to a shower – was what I know to be bulalo, but which I also know as a proper Tagalog nilagang baka. Bone-in beef shank boiled til tender with slices of onion and whole peppercorns, the soup sweetened with corn on the cob and cabbage.
Then there was a platter of pako salad, which is indelibly associated with Laguna. The fresh fern fronds were accompanied by slices of itlog an maalat or salted duck eggs, kesong puti (Laguna fresh white cheese), and chopped onions. The ferns, bland by themselves, were the blank canvas for the intense flavors of their platter-mates, as well as the various pickles and accompaniments arrayed on a side table.
burong saba, inihaw na kamatis sa toyo
burong bawang, burong mustasa, atsara
The chicken curry was mild, but the pork dish, sort of a dry humba, played on salty and sweet, with the latter more prominent due to the smattering of fried cubes of saba.
Dessert was delicate rounds of a milky flan, which paled in texture and lusciousness compared to the ube halaya. The kids were discontented, and wanted cake, so we had to drive downtown to a local cake shop that came with high recommendations by Casa San Pablo’s owners. And that will be covered in the coming posts.
Casa San Pablo
Casa San Pablo Lunch
Casa San Pablo Breakfast