Thursday, December 23, 2010

Celebrating Aunt Jo's Birthday

Congo Grille - SM Fairview
Cor. Regalado Avenue and Quirino Highway
Greater Lagro, Quezon City
+63 (02)9308874 / +63 (02)9351485
22 April 2010

Congo Grill - SM Fairview

Last April, Aunt Jo and her granddaughter Grace stayed in our place for more than a week because Auntie wanted to have some vacation. Her granddaughter just graduated from elementary, and since she was the valedictorian of her class, her mom (cousin Ailene) sort of begged Aunt to take Grace with her as some sort of a gift. They didn't really plan to stay that long, but because I had to attend two Enchanted Kingdom events that month (I took Grace with me on one event), they waited for me to finish all the things I needed to do, so I could travel back with them in Bolinao (Pangasinan).

Aunt celebrated her birthday here in our house, and even if I cooked spaghetti for lunch, mom asked me to take them with me at the mall so we could all eat dinner together. Time and time again, I have already told that whenever the family is celebrating life events, we often times do it in Congo Grill, and this was no other day.

Congo Grill SM Fairview

We got there quite early so there weren't that much guests, but I guess with the expansion of the mall and with so many different and new restaurants opening, mall goers were divided already. Personally, I sometimes like it when restaurants didn't have much guests - it would mean prompt service and quiet atmosphere. The only thing I didn't like was that the staff of the restaurant were flocking in one corner giggling and sharing stories. I knew there wasn't anything to do, but at least they could have just went into the kitchen or the staff area where guests couldn't see them.


One thing that made me smile was seeing these little barrels of crayons. With guests having to wait for 15 or more minutes before their foods are served, these crayons are a lifesaver, especially to parents who have children that tend to get bored rather easily. Unfortunately, tables didn't have paper placemats so we can't borrow the crayons. Well, maybe paper would be provided upon borrowing the crayons, we didn't know because we didn't really ask. Haha.

We have eaten here quite a number of times, so we decided to go something different. They had different meal packages because it was the Graduation season, but the delicious food sets were for 10 people, and those for 5 people weren't impressive. Giving back the staff the special menu in exchange of the regular one, we had:

Canton Sotanghon Guisado

Canton Sotanghon Guisado (p175). Birthdays meant noodles, so we ordered this. It was saucy, but quite salty for my taste. Each of us just gave it a taste, and most of the dish we took home so mom could "fix" it for breakfast the next day.

Sinigang na Baboy

Sinigang na Baboy (p190). Normally, the family would go for Creamy Seafood Soup, but mom wanted to have soup and viand in one. It wasn't photographed well, but it tasted good. By tasting the soup you'd know they used the powdered Sinigang Mix, but it had the good blend of sour and salty. I also liked that they trimmed most of the fat. I do eat pork fat (hehe), but seeing fatty pork on some dishes do turn me off. This one certainly didn't turn me off.

Crispy Spicy Squid Heads

Crispy Spicy Squid Heads (p195). Ah, the ever favorite Congo Grille food. For us, a food trip here will never be complete if we don't have this. No need to elaborate more on the taste, it was basically like that of calamari, but we just love it so much!

Congo Fried Chicken

Congo Fried Chicken (p220). A little something for Grace in case she didn't like the other dishes. Fried Chicken is something everybody loves (I guess), so this we can never go wrong. Nothing really special about this chicken, it was just okay with me.


Bottomless Lemonade. I am a person who would always go for the bottomless lemonade if it's on the menu. Brother had the bottomless iced tea, mom, Aunt Jo and niece Grace had a glass of regular iced tea.

Aunt Jo's Birthday

Mom secretly went to talk to the staff informing it was Aunt's birthday, and good thing Aunt is already a Senior Citizen, so getting an ID was easy (I guess they needed it to verify the birthday). Sometime in the middle of our dinner, the staff gathered and made a surprise song number. My Aunt was so poker face the whole time the staff were singing, but as they handed her the cake (a slice of mango float cake with a small candle), she just smiled then laughed. I guess mom's family members weren't that expressive, so even if Aunt didn't really say that much, we knew she appreciated the gesture.

*** Jenn ***

PS - You can also check my travel blog, Where My Feet Took Me for a different food trip in the same Congo Grill branch. It featured the other family favorite, the beef kare-kare.

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Jenn, the Foodie

I come from a family who loves cooking and eating. I never had any formal training in cooking and that I taught myself how to cook based on the handed down recipes, but I could say that I can cook good food. In 2008, I started documenting my food trips for my travel blog, and since I have quite enough to start a food blog, might as well put all those food trips in one location. Thus, a food blog is born - thanks to the new Friendster Blogs. However, due to several problems, I was left with no choice but to pack bags again and move here instead. Here's the permanent address, promise! Enough talk, let the food trippin' begin! {Know More About Me}