It is through driving across towns to discover new restaurants that Bhogs and I add adventure to our somehow drab way of life. It is our way of accommodating that much coveted work-life balance.
Every time my husband needs to go out-of-town for his work, he would ask me if I could go with him, I would only say yes, if there is a new restaurant nearby or along the way. Case in point, during his visit to their company's client based in Tarlac, I said yes to his invitation. I hardly know any good restaurant in Tarlac but I know we will be passing by Pampanga.
When I asked him if we could pass by Angeles City to find a good restaurant to eat, of course he couldn't afford to say no, else he would be going there again next time without a muse.
I've been eyeing on Chef Sau del Rosario's Cafe Fleur ever since it made it's first Instagram post. Anyone who is or thinks of themselves as foodies should have known and have heard that Pampanga is top on "The List" for foodie destinations and a big marketing campaign is not needed to hoist up Angeles' flag in that arena.
One thing I didn't know though is that one of my favorite Filipino chef, Chef Sau, comes from this province. How could I have not guessed, that's probably one of the major reason why he got into the business of food and dining, he's passion could have come from his parents' or even ancestors' passion for food and Pampanga culinary.
Cafe Fleur is a restaurant which he established in a two-storey heritage house in Pampanga. It is right across Imerex Plaza Hotel.
Being seated at the far-end of the corner, one can see the whole room and also feel like being in the outside with the room being opened up with glass windows.
I'm loving all the architectural elements of the house as well as the interior, from the vintage tiles to the random wall paintings which I'm sure has some sentimental meanings to Chef Sau.
Since we came about 2 to 3 in the afternoon, a late-late lunch and early for meryenda, we had their best-seller, Crispy Pork Belly Macadamia Kare-Kare (P285) over some cups of rice.
"It's not your ordinary Kare-Kare," my husband exclaimed, but I know it would not only fill our tummy it would tickle our taste buds more.
First of, it a crispy rendition of pork belly, as it was cooked bagnet-style, then the sauce says it all...thick amalgamation of peanut and macadamia sauce in annato oil and heightened with the strong fusion of truffle oil.
We have bottles of truffle oil at home but I never imagined having it in my usual Filipino dishes, and surprisingly it worked in this dish. What's more surprising is that my husband loved it, despite his dislike for the strong scent of truffle. It is served, btw, with bagoong, but it's nothing special compared to the sauce of this Kare-Kare.
I guess it's safe to say that this is the winner, the best Kare-Kare (fusion or not) that we have ever eaten. Ahhh, now I'm craving for this.
I regretted we ever shared with one order, so I made sure I finish it to a clean, if it's a crime to lick the bottom of the plate, I could have done it and I was sorry not to order extra sauce, cause you can actually can, according to the wait-staff.
I'm that inlove to that dish!
Of course, we have to get another best-seller, Salted Egg Bibingka Cheesecake (P125/slice).
It's actually a cheesecake only flavored after Pampanga's favorite Christmas delicacy, bibingka (or rice cake cooked in traditional charcoal oven.
It's also a love at first bite!
It's the perfect texture of a baked cheesecake, not too hard and not too smooth either, just right thickness and the salted egg on top worked as well.
We had our dessert with their Vietnamese coffee, it's the only brewed coffee they have so we settled for it and we were glad we did.
CAFÉ FLEUR BY CHEF SAU
Address: L-463B Miranda St.
Brgy Sto. Rosario, 2000 Angeles City
Contact Numbers: 045-304-1301
Tuesdays to Sundays: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm