Sunday, February 04, 2007

An Afternoon at Charley's.

A bunch of foodies, a road trip to Batangas, and the promise of a sumptuous meal. That was how the day was going to be like. And it turned out to be much better than that. The weather was perfect – nice and sunny, and there was still the lingering cold in the air. Not nippy, but balmy.

The ahensiya carpool was rearing its competitive head (feeling Amazing Race). We were the only ones who didn’t get lost en route to Malvar, which was the municipality where Charley’s was at. Hehe.

Driving up to the house...

... and greeted by a few horses on the lawn. (Di man lang aso.)

While waiting for everyone else to arrive, we had a short tour of the premises, which found us at the horses' stables. Who would have thought that horsey breaths smell ten times worse than my pug's laway?

Hee, hee. Kundi ka lang cute...

Retreating back to the house, we started the course with a light tomato-potato soup garnished with basil.The starter was a steamed seafood custard that was just so tasty, Gino and I shared another serving later during the meal. We were served two entrées - a pan-seared mahi mahi with tomato farcie; and the Batangas beef stewed in rosemary and wine which we had with rice pilaf.

For the piece de resistance, we had Crêpe Suzette, which Popit, our resident chef, prepared in front of us. Cold glasses of lemon grass iced tea made a refreshing accompaniment to the meal, and it reminded me of trips to Thailand.

A nice, hearty table to hold hungry guests.

Mmmm. Steamed seafood custard.

A delight to eat. Pan-seared mahi mahi and tomato farcie.

Savoury. 'Angas beef stewed in rosemary and wine.

Tarragon tea. Aids digestion.

The secret to the Crêpe Suzette? Gran Matador Brandy.

Shazam! Always fun to watch the flames.

The baby is
not the next meal.

We had a tour of the estate after our long meal, which was also a good thing because we needed to walk off all the food we ate. A trip to the stables (again), guest houses, the viewing decks, as well as the herb garden (yes, they were all good herb) were just some of the places we were shown.

Charley, gracious hostess.

Driving to the south was definitely a welcome change. More than the call of food, there was something about leaving Manila for the greens of Batangas. Before we left, there were already talks of the next foodie trip to some places in Luzon. Can't wait.

Interested in booking your own trip to Charley's? Call 0917-8931938 or 813-6658 for reservations. To get there, take the South Luzon Expressway to Exit 50 (Batangas). Take the route until you reach the Star Tollway. Exit at Bulihan/Malvar. This is where it gets tricky. Make a left immediately after exiting the tollway to Malvar. At the end, take a right (Ayala) and continue on until you see Balete Drive (also known as Gov. F. Leviste Highway).


Socky said...

Love the pics, especially the one with the two horses! I'm sure you have more. And yes, there's another foodie trip coming up and we'll see you there.

christine said...

Hi Eileen, I've been waiting for your pictures! :) They're beautiful, as expected of couse. It was nice to meet you and Gino and look forward to seeing you in Pampanga! :)

orange.pixie said...

Hi Socky, the photo of the two horses was taken by Gino while we were coasting along the driveway.

Really excited for Pampanga, Christine. I was told that it was going to be a whole day affair. Should be really fun. :-)

Our Awesome Planet said...

Hey Eileen!

nice pics you have there! see you and Gino soon for the Pampanga trip!

joey said...

Ah! The food photos! :) Great pics Eileen! Glad to have met you and Gino and looking forward to our next foodie trip :)

orange.pixie said...

Thanks, Joey. I'm borrowing a different set of lens from a friend to take more photogenic food shots for the next trip. :-)

tutubi said...

nice pics you have here and the food so mouth-watering :)