Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chi's Brick Oven Kitchen

Hubby and I were driving around BF one night looking for a decent (and new) place to have dinner. The brick oven sign caught out attention. Pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven has always been favored over their counterparts cooked with electricity. Hubby was beyond himself with excitement.

The décor is rustic and Italian-y. The big wood-fired oven dominates one end of the restaurant. We were the first ones to dine there that night.

Their menu is quite interesting. There’s one entry that I wanted to try called the Puchon (short for Pugon Lechon). Pugon, is a Tagalog word for firewood. Anyway, the cholesterol addict in me wanted so very badly to try it but we’ve had too much pork already and decided to maybe try it another time.

I settled for the Cheddar Clam Chowder. The soup is served in a mini bread bowl and topped with cheddar cheese. I was very dismayed when it arrived. It looked more like a sandwich spread than a soup. Can you tell by the picture? I asked for some olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip the bread in after I finished the soup. Ay, they don’t have any balsamic vinegar. Huh? (I’ll tell you why shortly).

Hubby and I decided to share a pasta and a pizza dish. Since we felt that we were in an Italian Resto, might as well try their Italian dishes. The oven was in full force to cook dishes for hubby and me, the whole place was smothered with smoke coming from the oven. The exhaust system was either not working or that the chimney on that fancy oven was just for show. I don’t know. I’m not an engineer nor a chef to know the inner workings of a pugon oven. (On the other hand, the pugon pandesal shop around the corner doesn’t seem to have the same problem)

First up, the Rigatoni in 3 Cheese Sauce. It’s rigatoni pasta, tossed in their special tomato meat sauce (there was meat in it?), topped with mozzarella, cheddar and queso de bola and then baked in that famed oven. Honestly, I’m just a suburban housewife (now employee again) who just loves to cook, buy I can do this dish better in my teeny tiny stovetop. The sauce is way too sweet and there was hardly any cheese in it.

The pizza didn’t fare any better. It tasted way too flat. Maybe because… you guessed it, there was hardly any cheese in it!

Chef Chi was there and sent out a complimentary Balut Pizza to the guests (Total of 2 tables that night, is that a sign?). Look at hubby munching on it. We decided to share just a slice. I got the yolk part, hubby the chick part. I know eeewww, right? It was surprisingly…..flat tasting.

Anyway, chef Chi asked us how the food was and we were honest with him (but were were nice ha!). I was particularly not happy about the pasta and told him that it was too sweet. He informed me that there are not an Italian restaurant but a Filipino restaurant. (Could have fooled me with the décor, the wood-fired oven and the menu, but hey, he’s the chef). That’s why the taste is geared towards the Filipino palette daw.

I’m Filipino, if I wanted a sweet Filipino style pasta......I’ll eat at Jollibee instead.

Yun lang.


ericbau said...

Classic case of mis-packaging.

P said...

Rama and I had a pizza lunch last sunday. We made everything -even the dough- from scratch. Not just us, but with neighbor/friends. It was great, everyone can personalize their own pizza. Rama liked working the dough with the rolling pin. And pulling pizza dough is not as easy as it looks! In a nearby park here, in the summer, they keep a wood-fired oven burning, so you can actually make your own pizza! Can't wait.

Leica said...


That sounds fun! I've never tried making pizza dough from scratch, I'm way to impatient to wait for the dough to rise :-) I even saw a recipe that refrigerates the dough overnight prior to tossing it. Yikes, Shakey's is a much faster alternative. He he he :-)

I'm sure a wood fired oven would cook better pizzas....provided there's enough sauce, cheese and toppings!