Uncle Cheffy

12:38:00 PM

Uncle Cheffy | Awesome in Manila

"'Pag natikman mo ito, hindi mo na magugustuhan ang [insert preferred canned corned beef brand]." This was the promise made by Larry Cortez, president and CEO of the Uncle Cheffy Group of Restaurants, when his team invited over a host of bloggers and press to try out Uncle Cheffy's brand spanking new corned beef menu.

The idea came to him once upon a meal in Tagaytay. He says the corned beef they serve (at what I'm guessing is not one of your run-of-the-mill dining places) there was far from the watery, thoughtless variety we can easily find in the metro, so he decided to jump on the opportunity to make better choices available down here. Larry discussed it with his partner, Chef Mau Arjona Jr (VP and owner of Chef's Quarter), who then developed the curing process and the recipes, and the rest as they say is history. (Quite a history, actually, since it all just happened about a month or two ago—proving how dynamic Uncle Cheffy's team is.) Asked about whether he likes being hands-on in the kitchen, Larry says his time is naturally eaten up by management duties but it doesn't stop him from pitching in the expansion of the menus every once in a while.

Uncle Cheffy buys their beef from Tagaytay and boasts of having their own 48-hour curing process.  Price range for this particular list of offerings is somewhere between P195 to P450. All dishes are for sharing, split in small and large portions to accommodate pairs and families, respectively.

Now, let's get on to the part where Uncle Cheffy blows my mind about the many ways corned beef can be served!

Uncle Cheffy | Awesome in Manila

Since Uncle Cheffy is known for its panizzas, it only follows that they create a corned beef variant that does not disappoint. And even though it wasn't the most exciting thing about dinner, it remained loyal to what I've always loved about Uncle Cheffy's panizzaslight (perfect as an appetizer) and tasty enough, not nakaka-umay even if you finish the whole thing by yourself. Slivers of corned beef added a twist, though not at all surprising as we are already used to having corned beef as palaman here in the Philippines. It's okay as it is, but there's still room for improvement and I do hope they find ways to make it more fun to eat.

Uncle Cheffy | Awesome in Manila

I'm not the biggest curry fan but, oddly enough, Uncle Cheffy's Corned Beef Curry made me miss the way my mom cooks curry. It's got that homey, earthy blend of spices, so flavorful it will make non-rice people (such as meself) want rice.

Uncle Cheffy | Awesome in Manila

I don't know if the others would agree but Uncle Cheffy's Mediterranean Corned Beef might have a better chance as panizza. It may just be the excitement the panizza from earlier needs. (BECAUSE PIZZA DESERVES TO BE EXCITING, GUYS.) I say that but, funnily enough, I don't remember much about it aside from the handful of olives and leafy green things on top. Or maybe it just needs more garlic?

Uncle Cheffy | Awesome in Manila

I think, if you really want something light (on the taste buds, in the tummy) for lunch, the Corned Beef Panizza and Pasta combo is the way to go. Of course that combo doesn't really exist but might as well, right?

There's not much to say about the pasta, so I'll just briefly talk about the corned beef experience in general. I like that slivers of beef didn't get in between my teeth, and the meat was soft and smooth enough to just slide right down the throat. Uncle Cheffy succeeds in changing my mind about corned beef being a last resort-ulam I only eat days heading to payday. You will see soon enough how versatile corned beef is, when we get to Sinigang and Nilaga (yeah-huh) but for now, a commercial break:

Uncle Cheffy | Awesome in Manila

Uncle Cheffy also took the chance to introduce its contender in the fried chicken arena, the effortlessly named Uncle Cheffy Fried Chicken. Though entering considerably late in the game, Uncle Cheffy proved that the long wait was totes worth it. Compared to more popular Pinoy-style fried chicken offerings, I found Uncle Cheffy's a bit more tasteful and less dry—just the way I want my fried chicken.

Uncle Cheffy | Awesome in Manila

I needed something to prepare you for Sinigang na Corned Beef. Because sinigang na corned beef. As soon as "sinigang" and "nilaga" were mentioned, I immediately imagined a messy stew of shredded, blood red meat that's not at all as enticing as the pakwan dishes that trended sometime ago. It wasn't a pretty picture. Fortunately, that trail of thought was broken way before I got too deep into it. As you can see in the photos, unlike my feelings the meat held itself together perfectly fine.

Some would argue that Uncle Cheffy can still make it sourer but it was just right for me. Very Filipino. I remember Larry saying that he doesn't believe "fusion" is the way to go if we really want to put Filipino cuisine on the world map. He believes in pure Filipino flavors. I agree.

Uncle Cheffy | Awesome in Manila

The Nilaga was my favorite! For the first time in a while that I've eaten nilaga, hindi ako naghanap ng patis. The sauce was rich and I loved it even without rice.

Uncle Cheffy | Awesome in Manila

I can't quite put my finger on it, but the Corned Beef Salpicao had a weird aftertaste. It wasn't the heat or the spice or, on my end, refusing to pair it with rice eh. We really just can't tell what it was. Suffice to say, it wasn't the best thing in our table—perhaps, the only big miss in a table full of hits.

OK, Uncle Cheffy, you've made a corned beef convert out of me. Thank you, Uncle Cheffy team, for being such gracious and generous hosts! To Aldous, as well, for sending the invite, and the girls at my table for making it a fun evening.


Everything in this review will be available in all branches of Uncle Cheffy starting Monday, April 13. Larry said we can also look forward to corned beef dishes specially made for Kuse's menu in the near future.


Uncle Cheffy / Kuse
Veniece Piazza, McKinley Hill,
Taguig City

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4 comments

  1. Hey Dani! It was great meeting you in this event! Nagtita comment rin? Hahahaha! Yummy photos! Kagutom!!! Anyway, hope we can catch one another some other time dahil bitin yung chikahan and we are practically neighbors! Happy Friday!

    ReplyDelete
  2. From one tita to another! Haha. Yes, please! Ang dami kong gusto i-try na food dito sa Legaspi Village that's not in Little Tokyo! :) Happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  3. These corned beef menu items of Uncle Cheffy are oddly interesting.

    www.intransitph.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, they are! Who knew you could do so much with corned beef?

    ReplyDelete

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