So this is what I’ve had this weekend alone (not including meals which don’t deserve a shout out):
Five Cheese Macaroni with Garlic Mozzarella Toast
Cheese Fondue with Croutons and Veggies
Rainbow Roll and Dragon Roll
NS7 aka Braised Beef with Mushroom Wanton Noodle Soup
Salmon with pesto and pine nuts
Italian Sausage with Sauerkraut and Red Peppercorns
Pasta Carbonara
AND (!!!)
The ominous Eggs Benedict
For clarification purposes: NO I did not eat all of the above, except for the Macaroni, Carbonara, Eggs Ben.. ok fine, I almost ate all of them. There are a couple of dishes missing from the list… because the illusion of a cheap date might get tarnished.
Save for the sushi rolls (Cuisine) and the beef wanton noodle soup (Next Door), the other items are all from my favorite go to restaurant:
Chelsea Market & Cafe
I found myself eating at Chelsea twice this weekend; Friday night with Rona & Nicola, and Sunday brunch with la famiglia. At 3am I sms mom: Let’s eat at Chelsea! Inebriety allows you to forget where you ate 24 hours ago. My ultimate record was thrice in a single week! For that very reason, the manager’s cell is on my speed dial and (woohoo) only I can get a reservation after 8pm as well as on weekends.

A Raintree Group resto, Chelsea offers large portions, hearty dishes, and lingering flavors. The Egglings have made an appearance on their market shelf so I’ve gotten quite chummy with the staff. Sherwin, the manager, makes sure everything is A-ok all the time.

The interior is very easy in the eyes. Beige and light tones give the feeling of airiness that outdoor cafes usually offer. The market section boasts of an interesting mix of food items as well as sauces and condiments. Their bread is to die for. Oh, and free wifi. WIFI!

Once you are seated, the effervescent servers in all back and knee-high boots bring out a plate of freshly baked herby focaccia with a side of roasted whole garlic drizzled in olive oil. That, in itself, fills up your tummy.

My personal libation of choice is their Strawberry Lemonade, freshly squeezed lemons with mascerated strawberries. When I am feeling a little alcoholic (which is a lot lately), I ask for a shot of vodka to go with it. Sometimes two. Hey don’t berate me! Their drinks come in tall carafes so the vodka disappears immediately.

Chelsea’s soup list is the ultimate flavor trip.
  • The Truffled Pea soup with Mushroom Ravioli is bright green and creamy, dribbled with nosey truffle oil and like a Kinder Egg; for the surprise, a giant porcini mushroom ravioli hiding in the bottom!
  • I also enjoy the Butternut Squash soup with Goat Cheese, a hearty yellow-orange concoction with bits of goat cheese that adds a tangy kick to the richness of the squash.
  • My friend Yasmin thoughly enjoyed their Spinach soup because it is thick and chunky sans the usual cream. When you eat it there is a good possibility some green will appear in your smile.
  • Earlier today, I had the Onion soup with Gruyere Cheese on French Bread slice. I’m not sure if that’s how it is written on the menu, but I’m quite sure I’ll find out when I dine there very very soon.
Now there are many items on the menu that are worthy of mention, but let me zone in on the two items that are very very close to my heart and even more emphatic to my tummy (it groans).
 #1 is no surprise: Eggs Benedict!
Now, from previous post about the ubiquitous egg dish, it has been said that Eggs Benedict should stay traditional. Yet there’s something about Chelsea’s version which makes it the only exception and makes me coming back for more.

First off, instead of the english muffin, fluffy multigrain bread sandwiches the poached eggs, country ham and hollandaise. The integrity of the bread makes it ideal to sop up the gooey yolk which is almost always (sorry nic) cooked to runny perfection. The other slice is usually on my doggy bag because it is amazing toasted with some jam and butter the next day.

It is garnished with some asparagus spears, which I munch on separately before I start the real deal. Apparently asparagus is high in the uric acid scale and I, for some freak reason, have exceptionally high uric acid at my very young age. But it’s green and it’s a vegetable. And I like it, damnit, so I’m going to keep munching! It also comes with yummy crispy fries and a little salsa rossa salad which is delicious in its own right.

For some reason, even if it’s a far cry from the real Benny, I can’t get my mind off Chelsea’s take on the breakfast dish. Mom has hypothesized it’s the hollandaise sauce, or cheese-andaise. Whatever it is, I don’t want to know coz it won’t matter. I love you Chelsea, for making the radical worthy to be called the original.

And #2 – Pasta Carbonara
Please be patient with my posts, but it seems that I like anything involving an egg. More specifically, anything with a runny egg yolk. Screw cholesterol, eggs are one of nature’s perfect inventions.

What sets this carbonara dish apart from the rest? Oh how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…I have attempted very many times to recreate this dish straight from the Chelsea secret recipe book, and I’m very close to discovering the secret ingredient ala Iron Chef.

It must be said that richness need not always come from cream. This Carbonara is every noodle rich, creamy and taste-plosive (sorry, it’s that unbelievable I have to make up adjectives), yet I am 99.999% positive that cream is not a part of the usual suspects. It’s just a mastered orchestration of bacon, pasta, cheese and egg that renders, curds, and creams at the right instance.

And the yolk. The seared yolk tops the mound of cooked pasta. When broken with your fork, it drizzles down to seal the deal for this meal. I know. That was baduy.

The desserts at Chelsea are just fantabulous, but my dessert post is going to come this week… and I was just meaning to write about the egg dishes. If you don’t order dessert, they give you Choc-Nut with your bill to momentarily blind you from the emptiness your wallet will feel afterwards. It’s ok, Choc-Nut ends your night on a sweet note!

One time I wanted sooooo bad for Chelsea’s carbonara but had nobody to go with :( , so I decided to make some myself. I’m pretty sure there is only one missing ingredient til I can replicate that haunting flavor of rendered bacon in the comforts of my lipstick red kitchen:

(Jimmy Choo likes it too)
Good thing I’ll be out for most of the week so I can go on a cleansing diet. Sure.

ToT

To try the goodies at Chelsea Market & Cafe, call +632 909 7011. It is located at Serendra in Fort Global City. If you name drop me, you might get a smile… or an extra Choc-Nut. Who knows.