Food Trip: Pancake House Serves Junior Masterchef Dishes

Hubby and I went out for lunch at my go-to food place: Pancake House. I haven’t been to this place in ages, and I was curious about the Junior Masterchef Pinoy Edition dishes, which are exclusively being served at Pancake House. 
After browsing through the menu, we decided on the tofu eggplant salad and baby back ribs. Heck, the pictures were so enticing we couldn’t resist. Other dishes which looked and sounded interesting are the cabbage lumpia in coconut breading and the fish burger with brown rice pilaf. There’s also this dish called Ampalayasilog – but, I wouldn’t dare eat ampalaya. Just not my type. 
First up, the tofu and eggplant salad. Now, for those of you who don’t know, I love eggplants. I swear, I can eat tortang talong everyday, if not for the fact that there is almost zero nutritional value in eggplants. So it was a no brainer that I had to try this dish…
Tofu and Eggplant salad
 …which I found extremely disappointing. The sauce was good; sweet, salty and the unexpected bitterness of the mustard adds a jolt to the tastebuds. Now, if only the eggplants were grilled to the core – as it was, they were served almost half-cooked and I had a hard time prying it loose from its skin. Had it been grilled perfectly, the smoky taste of the eggplant would have been a nice foil to the sweet/bitter sauce. Oh well. Better luck next time I guess (or maybe I should try this dish in another branch. FYI – I ate at the Bonifacio High Street branch).
On to the next dish then – baby back ribs with potato salad and corn on the cob.

 

I’m quite torn in the middle with this one. I loved the warm bacon potato salad which was heavenly! Seriously, the creamy potato melts in your mouth and the bacon was soo crispy and salty. Perfect. I wouldn’t talk much about the corn – just to say it was so-so. As for the star of the dish – it was okay. The sauce was good (what is up with the sauces? They’re all good but the main ingredient of the dishes are not) and if you drench the ribs in enough sauce, it’ll taste good too. But if you run out of it, too bad. The meat is quite bland for my taste, sort of like it was just boiled and glazed with sauce. And the pork skin was so hard I couldn’t even bite through it. Was it not supposed to be crispy? Anyway, I can forgive the ribs if only for the really good potato salad and the sauce.
Hubby summed up our dining experience: 70% for the tofu eggplant concoction and 80% for the ribs. Would I come back? Of course. Heck, this is Pancake House, which has long been my comfort place where I get comfort food (I don’t really know why and how it ended up thus, but perhaps it’s the proximity; my former office was right across a branch and I live in a place with three branches within a ten-minute radius). But I will probably settle back into my trusted favorites.
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