We all fret on the budget but indulge on food for experience.Most Pinoys would eat at restaurants for food not realizing how it came to be. These days, the youth should be taught of not just culinary adventures but culinary history while at it to fully appreciate the dining experience apart from its taste.
I had one of the most memorable culinary experience rekindling history and savoring Chinoy food in Panciteria Lido New Manila,Quezon City, surprisingly not in Binondo.
Meet the Pugon Roasted Asado (P247 for 1/4 kilo), a succulent loin of pork marinated and roasted in pugon (old-fashioned brick oven) of the Lido Family in the esquinitas of Binondo back in 1936 apart from his well known favorites of noodles, wanton, and guisado. Back then when the calesas clonked their way in downtown Manila that the Chinoys started concocting these well-known dishes for Pinoys. Remembering how my mom would bring me to Binondo reminded me of biting into each slice of this Asado and appreciating it more.
Mr. Lido basted a succulent loin of pork in careful and precise proportions and measurements of Chinese ingredients. He roasted the marinated loin in a pugon, (an old-fashioned brick oven) in just the right amount of heat to lock in the sweetly pungent aromatic flavor that Filipinos love. It was an ambrosial creation. Its every bite released exquisite flavors, through its white meat underneath a layer of dark, luscious, delicately sweet sauce. Slowly, as the smoke from the pugon rose from the fresh roast, the news spread… special Pugon-Roasted asado, only from the newest Panciteria in town! People feasted on panciteria food, otherwise known as the best and most authentic Chinese food!
Chami (P115/petit and P185/mucho) is known to the ignorant majority as simply another type of pansit from all the Chinese food we've all grown up with but this type of noodles dates back to AD100 in Northern China and Panciteria Lido's Chami is distinct of other Chamis sold nationwide in its taste and texture. In fact, it had been the best-seller of this restaurant since it was first introduced. Compared to all the longevity noodles familiar to Pinoy, this Chami is not simply salty and sweet as it is mixed with variety of vegetables and seafood to excite your palate.My mom used to buy me chami from Binondo and I never thought of its origins eating it for years.
Drunken Lechon Macau (P257 for 1/4 kilo) is not a simple Lechon Macau sold in most restaurants we've grown to love but one wine-infused lechon crisp-fried to perfection.
3 Cups Chicken (P295/for sharing) a scrumptious chicken dish served in a hotpot. Created more than a decade ago, 3 cups chicken (San-bei-ji) has become one of the top selling items reminiscing history back to China’s Song Dynasty in the province of Jiangxi. This recipe is also a specialty of Ningdu - its unique flavor is reflective of the culture and traditions behind Chinese cuisine!
Syphon-Filtered Coffee, introduced in 1994, is a 100 year old brewing method of syphoning with Lido's own special bean blend and the result is a full bodied cup of coffee with an exceptional aroma and an enticing flavour craved by the most discriminating coffee connoisseur. One beverage that will lead you back in time and compare with all coffee served in other restaurants in the country today.
Steamed Fish Fillet Soy Sauce (P255) is dory fish melt-in-your mouth experience that the health-conscious will definitely appreciate.
Shrimp Balls (P275) is real shrimp in every bite served on a bed of julienned vegetables with their sweet and spicy special sauce. You'd taste all shrimp and no flour extenders compared to most restaurants serving the same dish.
And finally, my favorite historical beverage the Spanish friars had taught us to love - Hot Chocolate Drink.
My history professor, Dr. MC Guerrero of UP-CSSP eons ago introduced Tsokolate Eh as one thick hot chocolate drink not too sweet and bitter melted rounded Cacao solid in fresh milk without any sugar added beverage served to the Illustrados at tea parties. These thoughts of history I remembered sipping on the hot chocolate drink served in this restaurant paired with a dainty little pitcher of fresh milk.
The experience and the reminiscing still makes me want to be one part of history to better teach the youth of today how to appreciate our culture. It is but significant to note that food we take in should not be some simple delight and pleasure of the body but of the mind and the soul to fully enjoy the experience.
Experience not just gastronomic delights from the historic Panciteria Lido and learn our culture while at it. After all, the future holds more of justice from what we elders do today.
Own a Panciteria Lido franchise in your area and earn exponential profit as it may be your destiny to be one of the inspiring entrepreneurs in the country! With a franchise of this restaurant, return of investment may be as fast as two years so stop dreaming and pursue your own Panciteria Lido now!
For more information:
Home of Pugon-Roasted Asado since 1936
Call 414-5436 for delivery
Branches at SM Fairview Annex, Capitol Towers, E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave., West Avenue and soon to open in BF Homes Sucat, Paranaque on August 8, 2010.