Choosing Amber had its risks, biggest of all was the location. The nearest branch to us is the one in Tomas Morato, and it was difficult to gauge the time - will there be heavy traffic, will there be public utility vehicles on the road, will the food last 'til midnight without getting stale. It was a risk we took, and we were grateful that Amber still accepts orders for delivery / pick-up even on New Year's eve. We opted to pick it up because aside from these food, we still had to buy round fruits, and we wanted to all in one go.
It was months ago when I last went to Tomas Morato, when I attended the grand opening of Book and Borders Cafe. That day, I got to see Amber's branch across the cafe, so I knew where to pick up our orders. Unfortunately, when we alight the jeepney, the branch was closed and we were told that a new branch opened four blocks away. We had no choice but to walk, but we were surprised that it was more than four blocks away. Hahaha. No worries, we did like the workout and we were greeted with warm, friendly faces, so all was fine.
We got home as early as we predicted, and since we had to refrigerate the food in time for midnight (it was only 2pm), we took pictures first, thinking that when we reheat the pansit and the lumpia, it won't look as good as this anymore.
What we served for Media Noche -
At 22 pesos a piece, it sure looked small, but we love the thick cut meat pieces. The only negative thing we could say is that it felt as if it wasn't 100% smoked - like it was boiled first, or that it was grilled on gas grill. It lacked that charcoal smell and smoke flavor.
The very first time I dined at Amber, my sister and I tried their single serving of Spaghetti and Pansit Bihon (or was it Canton, I forgot). Checking the menu, I also wanted to try their Lumpiang Shanghai, but we didn't order it because the noodles were already enough for us. When I phoned in our order, my sister didn't list this one (though I requested for it) because it was not listed on their Delivery Menu. Good thing, the person at the Amber's call center suggested this dish, and learning it was only 8 pesos each (minimum of 5 pieces per order), I placed an order for 10 pieces.
It was very crunchy (I had one as soon as we got home). The filling was a little difficult to explain - it sure felt as if it had more finely grated vegetable (couldn't tell if it was singkamas or water chestnuts or potato or unripe papaya), but it sure tasted really good! I think I already found my favorite Lumpiang Shanghai ever!
My sister loves Amber's Pansit Malabon... me, not so much. It was delicious, don't get me wrong, but I personally prefer the oily kind of Pansit Malabon. Regardless of how it was prepared, Pansit Malabon (or sometimes Pansit Palabok) is considered as one of my favorite foods, so I was very satisfied with this dish.
Aside from Pansit Malabon, Amber is known for their Pichi-Pichi, which is also a family favorite. It was lightly sweetened, it was smooth, the cheese they used wasn't so salty, and it didn't have the "visible" lye flavor I hated in native delicacies like this one and in Kutsinta. We usually order their Cheese Pichi-Pichi, and wanted to try their Coconut Pichi-Pichi, but we feared it might get stale even before we eat it. Maybe next time we will go for that.
Now this was something my mom ordered from our next door neighbor. Last Christmas, this neighbor of ours delivered a tub of Leche Flan, saying another one of our neighbors ordered from her and asked to deliver it as their Christmas gift. We loved it - it was creamy and silky smooth, and it wasn't overly sweet, so mom ordered five tubs for New Year. Before I took the picture, mom already gave two tubs away, and another one was given to our relative.
They say Media Noche has to include one whole fish. We usually go for steamed fish, and we were too lazy to grill, so we just fried a big piece of tilapia. The seaweeds were given by Aunt Mary (straight from Bolinao, Pangasinan), and was the perfect partner for the fish. I love this kind of seaweeds - bigger, and has a kick of spice. Very flavorful.
With the food preparation out of our to-do list, we were able to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and early night time just relaxing and catching up on TV shows missed. I guess this will now be our yearly tradition.
2015 is not really that great of a year for me as far as blogging is concerned, but I am optimistic, 2016 will be a better year. Thank you for reading my posts.