Thursday, July 14, 2011

O' Sonho- Wishing I Was Somewhere Else

Once had dinner at the Portuguese restaurant, Osonho, in Eastwood.
I don't know much about Portugal, except that it's in the Iberian Peninsula and that Ferdinand Magellan, the explorer who stumbled upon the Philippines was originally from there but sailed the world to discover lands for Spain.

I had always wished to go to Spain for a culinary tour but it never crossed my mind to go to Portugal. As I don't have an idea of the cuisine of this country south of Spain, eating at O'Sonho would give me a preview of the culinary treats that await me, if my dreams do come true.

The restaurant promises Portuguese fusion cuisine. The word "fusion" should have been my cue to book a table at the next door "Kitchen Cookbook". Restaurants that brag about 'fusion' cuisine usually end up with experimental meals that leave the taste buds unfulfilled. But I am getting ahead of myself.

As a meat eater, I had expected, that due to its proximity to Spain, the meat dishes would not only be an excellent source of protein but also a source of gustatory joy.

For tira gosto (appetizer), I had the sizzling Chourico Sisig. the  hot and crispy meat almost jumping out of the hot metal plate. 
Part pork bits and part sausage (also made of pork bits), it was swimming in bubbling oil and had a good amount of chopped onions and red chili on top. It was disappointingly bland, though. Only the seasoning and the calamansi (native Calamondin) could be tasted aside from the heat of the chili.

Dinner was the enticingly described Todos Paella De Carne, an all-meat Paella with a "heavenly mix of bacon, beef, chicken, lamb and chourico-carefully spiced and specially cooked to satisfy the most demanding meat craving."

I was reminded that the wait for the Paella was  30 minutes. And wait I did,  sipping  the refreshing Peppermint Iced Tea.
I guess, the wait just heightened my expectation. After all the menu did say "Allow 30 minutes for paella perfection." 
It looked perfect. The saffron colored rice topped with an assortment meats was plated in a paellera, a flat round pan with two handles. Traditionally, the Paella would be eaten straight from the pan. But since I was trying to look urbanized, I ate the dish on a plate. With a knife and fork.
The meat portions were generous but the spices were not. The lamb was a little tough and the bacon lacked the saltiness common in preserved meats. 
I did not get to finish the Paella because the serving was good for three persons. The unfinished portion, I took home in a doggy bag, along with sad memories of dining in a restaurant that was full of promise. I guess, Portugal will have to wait, until another restaurant redeems it in my eyes and taste buds.

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