Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

Magnum White King
19
comments

Food Photo Thursday: Snails

posted by in Filipino

Playing up on the shock value here, but click on through and let me tell you about this dish. Get ready for it, because it’s a tease.

Note: Every Thursday, post a food photo: it can be of what you’re eating, what you want to eat, etc. It can be shot with any device, from a mobile phone, tablet, to a regular camera – point & shoot or SLR. It’s all up to you but it must be YOUR photo, no ripping off of somebody else’s work. And please include a short description. We want to know what it is and where to eat it too, if possible.

Chefs Sau del Rosario and Jam Melchor were one of the purveyors at my Christmas Gift List event last year but they didn’t serve this dish. If they had, they might’ve had people swooning to the floor. But it’s on the menu at Villa Café, their showcase of heirloom recipes from Pampanga, from which they both hail.

A rather harmless name it is, Garlic Susu with Lemongrass (P275) and the decidedly benign description, Coriander Butter, Puff Pastry. A handwritten font with an arrow pointing at the item name reads as “extically good!” I’m unsure if I read it wrong, it could be “ecstatically good!” but the font is so stylized as to render it indecipherable.

No matter, for it arrives in a large, deep bowl. It’s rather enigmatic this dish, veiled by a protective cover of puff pastry. I pierce it with a spoon and no, none of the characteristic steam escaping through. What could this be? The receptacle is large for the amount it presents, and the bits of black at the bottom are initially off-putting. They seem to scintillate in the overhead lights, the yellow glow of the bulbs further emphasizing the black bits’ butter- olive oil outlines. These are the susu (suh-SOO): say it quickly, staccato-like. Snails, or if I’d like to be fancy about it, local escargot. Now that I know what it is, there’s no turning back.

I take a spoonful and BOOM! It’s several things simultaneously. Every chew puts up gentle resistance surrendering a gush of oil seasoned with garlic and pimiento. Somewhere on the sides of my tongue, I feel sensations of spice then saltiness, alternating like the beats of a heart – my heart! – pulsing with excitement. Tough-tender, the susu spreads out and is spooned up, a dish that initially underwhelms but when pried, offers an all-out assault that leaves me wanting more. A titillating treasury of textures and tastes, and oh what a tease this dish is.

Rip it open and be rewarded.

~~
Villa Café
7427 Glory Building, Yakal St., San Antonio Village, Makati
0917 434.3143
02 478.2659
villacafe11@gmail.com
Open Monday to Sunday
Facebook page

19 Responses to “Food Photo Thursday: Snails”

  • The best congee I’ve ever had.
    Law Fu Kee
    Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

    [img]http://dessertcomesfirst.com/useruploads/LawFuKee02.jpg[/img]

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Love congee. Thanks for sharing this, Richard.

    –lori

    [Reply]

    Richard Co Reply:

    You should definitely check the place out when you go to HK.

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Next time I go to HK, you can bet that you’ll hear from me for recos.

    –lori

  • my favorite 15-peso discovery last Tuesday: freshly baked hopia with salted egg from Echague Bakery, Quiapo. It’s flaky, salty-sweet and goes well with tea…
    [img]http://dessertcomesfirst.com/useruploads/hopiawsaltyegg.jpg[/img]

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Wow, one of the few P15 foods you can still buy. It *does* look lovely.
    –lori

    [Reply]

  • Latest Project: Home-Baked Olive Sourdough

    The twist: naturally-leavened (no commercial yeast used/added). Underwent two-day fermentation in my kitchen.

    Leavening provided by my three-year old Starter originally made from crushed grapes ( I’ve fondly named it “Jack”).
    Ghetto steam-baked in my home oven.

    Result: Crunchy, explosive crust; the brininess of the Nicoise olives complimenting the tang of the moist, chewy crumb. Went well with Tomato Soup (hit with a touch of cream).
    [img]http://dessertcomesfirst.com/useruploads/OliveSrdhgb4Baking.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://dessertcomesfirst.com/useruploads/GhettoSteamBaking.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://dessertcomesfirst.com/useruploads/OliveSourdough.jpg[/img]

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Rainie-
    True artisan bread! Gosh, what I wouldn’t do to try that. I don’t think Jack would survive our Manila climes though.

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • Because of your photo, i got reminded of the escargot I ate at Little Snail in Darling Harbour Sydney.
    [img]http://dessertcomesfirst.com/useruploads/Escargot.jpg[/img]

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    What an incredible photo! They must’ve been good.

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • I cooked this for dinner the other night–Guanciale (smoked pork jowls) over saffron rice. Soooo yummy!

    [Reply]

  • my pic didn’t load the first time

    [Reply]

  • [Reply]

  • Still hungover from a recent trip to the West Coast where steak and salmon are aplenty! In photo, a nice serving of Montana Wagyu with mashed potatoes and blue cheese. Heaven! :)

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Maro and Thel:
    Am not sure if it’s me but I can’t see your photos. :-( Will check.

    –lori

    [Reply]

  • I recognized the dish from the moment I saw the photo! I, too, enjoy this, as well as several other dishes at Villa. Did you try their Crispy Pata Kare-Kare? The pata is PERFECTLY cooked and the sauce is addictive!

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Katrina-
    Will try the Kare-Kare next time. Bin and I had already ordered 5 dishes.

    –lori

    [Reply]

    Katrina Reply:

    The Kare-Kare is, for me, one of their top dishes. I’m not normally a big fan of that dish, because I don’t like tripe, nor most of the vegetables in it. But this is basically a boneless Crispy Pata served on a rich, flavorful peanut sauce — which I make sure to ask for extra of!

    [Reply]

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