Monday, October 11, 2010

Celebrating the Yummy @ Celsius Gastrolounge

The good thing about having foodie friends is that it isn't hard to invite them for gastronomical explorations. The bad thing is, well, if you're on a diet. Good thing I know my priorities. Kaya, kainan na!!!

Sem and Eman (an avid fan of Awesome Planet) have heard of Celsius Gastrolounge in Tomas Morato (walking distance from my workplace). I'm in the mood for an adventure, so I decided that I could sacrifice my scheduled cereals-and-milk dinner for a more filling one with them. Besides, who am I to say no to free food, eh? Celsius is named after the temperature gauge often used for cooking. The unique thing about this place is that they feature student chefs from the International School for Culinary Arts and Home Management (ICAHMS) in Katipunan. As it happens, they are also the group behind Aubergine which I keep hearing about but haven't had the chance to try due to budget reasons.

If there'se one thing Sem and I have in common, it's the awful habit of restraining everyone from touching the food BEFORE we've taken pictures of it. To honor our common bad habit, I am featuring her food photos in this particular entry. They are so much better than mine anyway. Thanks Sem for the pics. :D

I was late, so when I got to Celsius this interesting looking Chorizo Lettuce Wrap was already waiting for me. There was also a free appetizer with good garlic dip which was perfect because I was hungry. Nowadays, I'm always hungry.

I got to this dish quite cold already so the integrity of the flavour may have already been compromised. But my initial call --- underwhelming. Maybe I still have a holdover longing for peking duck lettuce wrap (one of my faves I could not indulge in often because it's dang expensive). But I suppose, it's a good jumpstarter for tastebuds that haven't tasted animal fat for 3 days.

It's a good thing that the Best parts were still to come. We were looking for something healthy (due to the fault of yours truly), so we decided to order the Grilled Seafod Platter which boasts of shrimps, scallops, tuna, mahimahi, and calamari served with steamed asparagus, fried spinach and shrimp essense rissotto. Oh joy!

I rarely wax poetic about vegetables, but the asparagus was beyond far-out in freshness. The risotto, which Eman jokingly referred to as champorado, was a little bland for my tastes but it somehow works to neautralize the seafood fare it came with. Sem raved about the calamari because it was by far the best she has tasted (I agree). But my personal favorite is the grilled tuna because it was grilled medium rare and you get the full flavor of fish without the icky "lansa" taste. It's like having the best of sashimi and grilled food in one. Love it.

Our other dish is the Grilled Porkchop on top of creamy slaw. The pork was a little tough to cut with a knife, but just the right consistency inside the mouth. It was also quite good.

Girls of a Certain Taste (Sem and I both loved the Tamarind Iced Tea)

Even if we only ordered 3 dishes and there were 3 of us, we still werent able to finish everything off because the servings are that BIG. We really missed having Ian around. Half of both our main courses were packed to go and lovingly given to Raffi Domingo so she could get a taste of Eman's libre. :D

It was a little on the expensive side, but I have to say... yeah, if they could maintain that kind of cooking, I could close my eyes and pay for it too (like Eman did this time around). Good food, and oh-so-temptingly close to my office. Boy, am I in some big trouble. If you plan to eat here again, you WILL need help. Don't hesitate to call me when you do. :D

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