Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Weekend Discovery in QC



Recently, Matt and I had to undergo a three-day marriage seminar called Discovery Weekend. It reminded me of my childhood and teenage years at an all-girls Catholic school, where we- in between sucking at Math, talking funny and eating fishballs- had a few days of spiritual retreat once a year. This usually entails a lot of praying, listening to talks and battling each other over who could cry harder about our family problems. This time around, the main agenda is preparing couples not only for their upcoming wedding, but also for the lifetime of “good times and bad”.


I think Matt and I did pretty well throughout the weekend. We did manage not to strangle each other or break up, and we were also able to have good, constructive talks regarding sensitive topics we used to avoid. Actually, I did realize a lot of things about our relationship, most of them positive. Aside from our small victories as a couple, we also met a bunch of smart, funny people that I think we could have strong friendships with. And those who know us well are aware of our propensity for making new friends.


If there was a downside to that entire weekend, though, it would have to be the food. I know, it IS a retreat and I have been to enough to know that retreat house food is probably as close as I will ever get to prison food. We do appreciate their efforts of keeping us well-fed (they even provided Adventist Matt his own chicken or fish dish when they are serving the rest of us pork), but, having been away from a school cafeteria for quite some time now, I have gotten used to much tastier fare.


That is why, the minute we left the retreat house that rainy Sunday afternoon, we had nothing else on our mind but food. Nothing with rice in it, please, and- for Matt- definitely no tilapia, probably for the next two years.


We were already in the Quezon City area so we decided to grab a bite at a restaurant unique to that vicinity. Matt was famished, which made him totally agreeable when I suggested we try something new. I had several options lined-up in my head, but decided on Katre- a Mediterranean fusion restaurant- at Tomas Morato.


We arrived early so we were the first ones there. The waiter showed us to our table on the second floor, which was modern and simply decorated. There was a separate bar area and another room for special functions.


To start- after much deliberation- we had the Hearts of Romaine and the Mediterranean-spiced Beef Quesadilla. The former was actually a deconstructed Caesar salad, wherein you dip crisp lettuce leaves in a creamy, garlicky dressing- a good, light and refreshing starter.



The beef quesadilla was also a winner in our book. Both of us being Mexican food lovers, we thoroughly enjoyed the tasty cheese and beef filling, as well as the accoutrements that came with the dish. Aside from the traditional Mexican condiments like salsa, sour cream and Jalapeno slices, there were also some Mediterranean touches, such as the hummus and drops of pesto. Simply genius, if you ask me.



For the main course, Matt followed the waiter’s recommendation and ordered the Roast Chicken with Pasta. We were a bit skeptical about this dish since- just by reading it on the menu- it had zero “sex appeal”. Luckily, the server knew what he was talking about and Matt ended up enjoying this dish, despite the fact that he almost never orders pasta for dinner. It was simple, but rich and comforting in its familiarity.



I was craving for something beefy and got the Top-Blade with Mushrooms, Broccoli and accompanied by Mashed Potatoes and Horseradish. I was amazed at the tenderness of the meat, and the sauce was nicely-aromatic and robust. I also love horseradish with my steak, so I enjoyed that feature. I also noticed that they delicately placed the horseradish just above the mashed potato, careful not to integrate it for those who have an aversion to the spicy condiment.


If only I could have had a good glass of wine with that meal, it would have been a truly above-average dining experience. They only offered this supermarket variety Californian wine as their house wine, which- although not disgusting- was just not complimentary to the dishes. Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against affordable, easily-accessible wine. Love them, actually. In fact, there are quite a few South African, Australian, even Spanish, wines that are "cheap" and are pretty good. Hopefully they could give a little bit more attention to their wine list, and I’m pretty sure their more discerning diners would be happy.


It was a nice way to end the long, emotionally draining and, at the same time, spiritually uplifting weekend. Matt- quite the finicky eater- was happy with our new find in Quezon City and has vowed to return. Which brings me to the conclusion that: “A well-fed Matt is a happy Matt”. Apparently, I did not have to attend a seminar to learn that.



Katre Mediterranean Restaurant
Dr. Lazcano St. (near Tomas Morato Ave.)
Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City
Tel. no. (632) 3734705

10 comments:

gourmandtales said...

nice of you to stumble into one of the my fave restos in the qc area, aside from tasre of LA, Zuchinnis and UNO

Chinkee said...

Hi gourmandtales! Yup, it was nice to find a good resto in QC. Not that there are not a lot... I'm sure there are quite a number, but I'm just not aware of them. Will surely visit Katre again.:-)

Chinkee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miguel said...

ok I have to venture into the QC area some day...I'm too comfortable already in Alabang hehehe....

Chinkee said...

Hey Miguel! Yeah, I know what you mean. It even takes some effort for me to go more than ten blocks for a meal. Hehe. I'm rarely in QC, but at least I already have a go-to place when I'm there.:-)

Noel said...

The very rare times I've in QC the past 10 years were work-related, so I'm rushing either back to the office in Makati or southward home.

When thoughts stray towards QC, though, they always revolve around the sisig and burong hipon in Trellis...'ika nga,walang katapat!

N

Chinkee said...

Hi Noel! Yup, Trellis is classic. I remember the first time I ate there when I was in college and looking for a good, hearty meal in between breaks. That was where I had my first taste of sisig and since then, I've been hooked on the stuff. Mmmm... Pig's face.:-)

Anonymous said...

Katre is one of my fave restaurants in QC. They've been around for quite some time now and have not changed their menu. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but the food has always been good...

Brian said...

Hi chinks. Seeing pictures of some of the food makes me want to try them ASAP. I'll tell Therese about it. I'll keep this in mind. We ran out na of restos to visit. hehehe...

Chinkee said...

Hi Brian! Its actually the first time I got good feedback for my pictures. Could it be my photography skills are improving? Hehe. Malamang gutom ka lang talaga...:-)

Thanks for dropping by! See you and the wifey soon:-)