Chef me out-A A +A
Friday, June 29, 2012
WHO would have thought that in the mountain barangay of Bacayan lay a quaint diner called Chef Me Out?
The diner is a welcome treat in a highly residential area.
Owner Bambi Pua-Abelgas said the customers of Chef Me Out often thank her for opening the lone restaurant in the area.
Many homeowners who come home from work and are too tired to cook drop by the nearest carenderia or barbecue station to have dinner.
But since April 23, subdivision dwellers of Talamban, Bacayan and Pit-os have gorged themselves on ribs, chicken, sausage and grilled food at Chef Me Out located at Hillside Terraces in Barangay Bacayan, Cebu City.
The diner has kept its operation within the family with Bambi as the manager and person in charge of beverages. The kitchen is manned by her husband, Christian Virgil Abelgas, and nephew, Kevin Adrian Pua.
The chefs Christian and Kevin—graduated from culinary school in 2010.
The pastry chef was also their classmate, Kevin’s mother, Janice Anne Pua.
What the three learned in school, they applied in Chef Me Out, which started as a catering service in August 2011. The catering service offered Filipino-Asian fusion cuisine.
But Bambi, Christian, Janice and Kevin had too much talent to be contained in catering services that did not have bookings daily. Lucky for Bacayan, the Puas live nearby and they opted to open the cozy little diner. The catering service continues.
Christian and Kevin toured other restaurants that served ribs and noted that most recipes were “too sweet,” so they decided that for their recipe, the ribs should have a “balanced taste.”
“You can actually taste the different spices in our ribs,” said Christian. The ribs and the other grilled meat in the menu are served with a tomato and garlic paté, which
Christian shared, should be eaten like a “chaser” to a bite of the main entrée.
Kevin also shared the secret to another bestseller, the wings of death, “the different
kinds of spices ordered from the United States and Mexico.”
Diners order wings of death equally for the taste and the challenge —one who successfully eats the entire plate of five super spicy chicken wings can take home a T-shirt, and his or her photo will be posted on the restaurant’s wall of fame.
The wings of death are so hot the dish is actually aflame fresh from the kitchen.
Christian and Kevin also concocted their own sausage composed pork meat and the all important spices.
Other main entrées in the menu are callos, chicken in a basket and grilled pork belly
that comes with unlimited rice.
Of course, the meal should be complemented with a drink. Kamias drink, anyone?
If you are not sure what kamias is, does Averrhoa Bilimbi ring a bell? How about iba? But don’t get turned off because you’ll be surprised by how good it tastes at only P40 per glass. It tastes like real iba minus the sourness.
A meal will not be complete without the desserts.
Janice takes the helm and when asked what makes her desserts blueberry cheesecake, chocolate cake, crème brûlée and pineapple upside down cake, better than the others, she said, “My personal touch.”
Indeed, blueberry cheesecake, with Janice’s personal touch, melts in the mouth and the chocolate cake is not deadly sweet because she used Belgian dark chocolates for the icing.
While crème brûlée is not a staple in most restaurants, this little diner has that Cameron Diaz symbolism (only My Best Friend’s Wedding fans will relate).
From the entrée to the drink to the desserts, Chef Me Out deserves to be in the urban center so that more people will experience its exquisite food, unique drinks and delectable cakes.
To this, Bambi said, “We do want to go to IT Park or Ayala... maybe a year from now.”
Bacayan residents should just cross their fingers that it will be an expansion rather than a transfer.
The diner is open from Tuesday to Saturday at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then later at 4 to 8 p.m.
By the way, did I mention that the diner is a wifi zone?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 30, 2012.