Friday, September 11, 2009

Fish & Co. Is Psychic, and Their New Just for Me Menu is Proof!

I've had my eye on Fish & Co. for quite some time now. Ever since my sister’s grade school graduation, the time I first ate there, I've been meaning to go back. I fell in love with their fish and chips and puff pizzas, and crave for them from time to time. The problem is, I'm a bit of a cheapskate. Fish & Co.’s well-known for their generous servings which, fairly enough, make eating there a little more costly than I'd like. It’s great to share and all, but sometimes, I just want something smaller. My wallet shares the same sentiment.

And so I resigned to the fact that I'd probably only get to eat at Fish & Co. on special occasions and large gatherings. Dining there, then, would only be a rare and wonderful thing.

One evening, however, everything changed. I was chatting with Lauren when I received the most intriguing proposal:

*DISCLAIMER: Not all details in the following conversation may be accurate. Never mind that I archive all my messages.*

Lauren: bibblez
Lauren: are you busy?
Me: Not really, why?
Lauren: wanna go with me to an event on Thursday night?
[several minutes pass]
Lauren: are joo there?
Me: Sorry, had to wrestle a bear. Man, my rippling pectoral muscles are sore. Anyway, what is this event you speak of?
Lauren: Some dinner thing at Fish & Co. in Shangri-La
Me: I'm there!

The night of the event came soon after. Lauren wanted to window shop for a bit, since we hardly ever hung out at malls. At around 7:10pm, Lauren brought up not wanting to be late for the event. I asked her at what time the event started. “7pm,” she said. Oops.

We made it to the restaurant, but all other tables were filled, and so we were ushered to a table all our own. After a bit of talking and chowing down on chips, we soon learned the purpose of the event: Fish & Co. was debuting their new “Just for Me” menu, a selection of dishes with single-person servings. I heard the hymns of angels. It’s like Fish & Co. read my mind and decided to give me exactly what I needed to become a regular customer. What's more, they let us sample each of the five dishes in the Just for Me menu. Suffice to say, I was an extremely happy skinny fatass-at-heart.

The first dish served was the Bangus a la Pobre, served with seafood rice. I adore garlic, and the dish had oodles of the stuff. The bangus was well-cooked, filleted and fried in batter, and was just big enough to make a single person very full. I'm not used to having my a la pobre sauce that chunky, and it seemed a little too tangy for my tastes. The seafood rice provided balance for the sauce, though, and I ended up enjoying the dish.

That's a whole lotta garlic!

Next was, in my opinion, the star of the evening. If my taste buds were alive, they’d be staging a musical in honor of Fish & Co.’s Barbecued Chicken Fillet. The meat was so tender, we were using butter knives to cut it. And the sauce – the SAUCE! It was to die for. It was smoky, yet sweet, with just the right tinge of alcohol. I first thought that the seafood rice was a curious pairing with the chicken, but it turned out to be an even better match than java.

I think chickens should just naturally evolve into this, their superior form.

The awesome-bomb that was the chicken was followed by another excellent dish, the Cream Dory Fillet Napoletana. This was a much more modest dish, and it served to balance out the intensity of the chicken’s flavour. The dory was battered, fried, and topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. The fillet was then rested atop buttered noodles. I was sceptical of the pairing at first, but found that the heaviness of the noodles contrasted pretty well with the light and fluffy dory. While this ended up being one of the dishes I ate most of, I think it could’ve been better with more marinara sauce.

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...

Next up was the Beef and Eggplant Curry. I absolutely love curry, but this particular dish fell a bit short on my expectations. The sauce itself was very good – it was creamy and flavourful, and very hot without being painfully so. My problem with the dish was that there was too little sauce; I like my curry smothered in the stuff. Also, the beef was the only meat we had trouble cutting that evening.

More of the awesome sauce, please!

The last dish served was the Fried Salmon Belly with Mushroom Rice. It’s funny – when I was much younger, I used to love eating fish belly. But then I realized that I found it pretty gross, and probably only ate it because I was copying my mom. While I'm not a fan of salmon belly, I have eaten enough of it to know that this particular entree was well-cooked. The mushroom rice, on the other hand, was excellent.

I don't like it, but it's good for what it is.

Remember how I said that Lauren and I were late for the event? That was a blessing in awesome clothing. We were left with an entire table to ourselves, and so we had all five dishes split between the two of us! There was so much food at the table, Lauren just felt compelled to take this picture of my fatassery:

I was pregnant with a food baby at this point.

All in all, Fish & Co.’s Just for Me menu is something to look forward to. I'm definitely going to go back for the chicken and the dory, and I think I'll give the curry another try. If you want to try any of these dishes, do yourself a favor and become a Fish & Co. fan on Facebook first. Each fan that brings two or more friends to any Fish & Co. branch gets a free Just for Me meal! That’s a pretty good incentive to get your buddies hooked on Fish & Co., in my opinion at least.

You can find Fish & Co. at the Shangri-La mall, Alabang Town Center, Greenbelt 3, SM Mall of Asia, and Trinoma Mall. You can also check out Lauren's take on the Just for Me menu here.

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