A month ago, MR's older brother's wife gave birth to a healthy bouncing baby boy and today is the baptism. The event is happening in Argao and that will take about a 2 hour car ride from the city. The whole family is going. Unfortunately, last night Dad got sick suddenly and had high fever when we woke up early morning (meeting point is at my in-laws by 5am).
We went through different scenarios, but our final decision was that I would stay with Dad and take care of him, while MR and SM would go to Argao with his family. His older brother is going back to Qatar in June so this might be the last time they'll all be together.
So while MR and SM were gone, this gave me an opportunity to be alone with my father again. I must admit I've missed these moments. I love my father very much. We fight a lot, but we laugh and have fun a lot too! For most of my life, he's been my father and my mother. We have different opinions on most matters and sometimes I feel like pulling my hair out because of his stubbornness but he's my papa.
Fortunately, he started getting better mid-morning and wanted to go out. I did not think it was a good idea. But he really begged me that he wanted fresh air and a change of scenery and I could tell he really meant it. I agreed on the condition that our family doctor would see him at home and give him his clear sign. He did.
My dad's 2 favorite things are food and shopping! And people wonder where I get that from??? LOL So we went to The Terraces at Ayala Center to have lunch first. We were undecided on which restaurant: Cyma? Bigby's? Hukad? We arrived and I told Dad that he should choose where and it was my treat. But he argued that it was his treat and that he would pay with his American Express card. Who am I to argue? haha!
We went to Gustavian first. Lunch buffet was at P499/person, but the carving of the day was Salmon. Dad didn't want that. I mentioned that I'd like to try Roma Mia, but on the way there, Dad saw UCC and said maybe we could try that. So I went all the way to UCC to be told that they accept American Express but their machine was broken. I went all the way back to the escalators where Dad was waiting for me. It was freaking hot! We rode the escalators and went to Vanille. Unfortunately, they don't accept American Express. Neither does Roma Mia. I couldn't think of anything else (the heat was insane!) so we ended up having lunch at Lemon Grass.
The place was packed and we were first seated at this teeny tiny table which we did not like. I looked around and the people at the table behind us were taking care of their bill. We transferred to the bigger table and waited for it to be cleaned.
Citrus and Herb Lemonade Pitcher (P185.00)
Dad and I ordered 5 dishes and 1 drink. If you're at Lemon Grass, it is not uncommon to see a pitcher of the Citrus and Herb Lemonade on each table. In fact, I think it is kinda expected. It is their bestseller after all! We like it because it is refreshing. Really appropriate for a hot summer day! It's not too sweet and not too sour either. It has the perfect balance, plus we love munching on the orange, lemon, and cucumbers slices. I knew the pitcher would be too much for Dad and I, but we just had to get it.
Dad ordered 3 dishes: the Goi Cuon, the Banh Xeo, and Chao Tom, which we shared. I ordered the Bagoong Rice and the Po Piah Todd, both of which Dad didn't touch.
|Goi Cuon (P175.00)-Summer rolls; Shrimp, pork, veggies, and herbs wrapped in rice paper.|
|Po Piah Todd (P175.00)-Deep-fried rolls; Mixed shrimp, pork, mushroom, veggie, and mung bean thread noodle.|
|Banh Xeo (P225.00)-Rice crepe filled with chicken, shrimp, mushroom, and fresh shallots|
The dish we always order, maybe because it's not available anywhere else, is the Banh Xeo, which is a Viet Crepe. It is a crepe that wraps sauteed vegetables, meat, and shrimps. It is topped with a lot of bean sprouts and served with a spicy vinegar sauce. It is moist and so good!
Bagoong Rice (P145.00)-Jasmine rice cooked in sweet pork cubes and fermented shrimp paste with roasted nuts topped with cilantro, egg strips, and green mango
|Chao Tom (P235.00)-Grilled shrimp quenelles with toasted rice in sugarcane.|
Lemon Grass is one of our most frequented restaurants simply because we love Vietnamese food. My problem with Lemon Grass though is their inconsistency. One time everything is great and we're having a delicious meal but we come back another time and something is off. Lately, there's hasn't been a time where every dish came through perfect. I remember an incident where something was wrong with my favorite noodle dish, another time it was dry spring rolls, another was a bland soup. It's frustrating sometimes and there are so many more dishes in Lemon Grass that I want to share with you. I just want to experience that perfect meal again!