Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pugon Roasters and A Foodie's Musing on Being Frugal

   One thing had been “distracting” me, this past few days is frugal, nourishing living. As many of you may know sending kids to private school gives out depressing values in the budgeting scale.  In our case we have four, yes, two kids in grade school, one in high-school and a second year college.   This means that I have to make sure I stay within our dining out budget.

   I find that some people into being frugal are very focused on themselves in a sort of “self-preserving” sort of way. I see that it could also be tempting for me to fall into that tendency because Bhogs  and I really need to have more money to even “make it” through four years of college of our son.  So while we are trying to figure out how to make this financially work, it is going to be tempting at times to pour all of our resources into them. That means less of eating out or expensive coffee breaks.  And what about savings, a retirement fund, or college fund for the three other younger kids? Good grief, we won’t even have any savings for renovating our house now!

   There are so many needs, and I have such limited resources. But yet I know that my responsibility is to just do the best I can with the resources I have.
   Meanwhile, I have been largely successful in staying within my budget this month despite having to fit in several school needs of every four kids.  I am happy with the progress that I am making in being wise with my resources, and am eager to be even wiser, so that I can in turn  give more to others.

   Speaking of being frugal, how about letting you in on a secret.  I was able to give this place out a try.  I'm sure you know how pricey it may be to eat in the business district of Makati.  I'm talking about Ayala Triangle.  My last visit at the area was when we had a business proposal from Ayala about introducing a job fair to the public.

   Early June, before we went to Dumaguete, I got to meet a friend who just came from Cambodia and was truly excited to try out Chef Laudico's Pugon Roasters.  It was the same area where the defunct BFAST was.

   It can also be safe to say that some of the menu from the previous resto, which was also owned by Chef Laudico, were reinvented to suit the better needs of the greater working class of Makati.
   As I was waiting for a friend for a meeting, I ordered Pancit Lukban for a shocking fee of P 69.00.  I mean where can you find an unbeatable price with a serving like this (would actually be fit for two already for a snack) in Makati? Except of course if you are settling for standing while eating at Jollyjeeps along the streets of Ayala.  Pancit Lukban is a version of the hab hab noodles like in Buddy's.  I like it for it's not so salty, yet being saucy isn't at all that bad.  Also, the veggies are still crispy.  Making sure they are cooked fresh and without scrimping on ingredients.
   Then came the lunch fare, and my business meeting with a friend and on our table was laid Pugon Roast Chicken.  Their signature roasted 1/4 chicken for only P 99.00.  This, together with Angus Roast Beef, Pork Liempo Roast and Baked Bangus Belly are roasted in charcoal, fire-brick oven served with rice.   Look at how  it majestically stood above a steamy rice.  Their chicken were marinated in their original recipe so it's not like any grilled or inasal commercial chicken.  Anato oil is very distinct, giving it the difference.  The chicken was quite big for me, so I had it cut to be shared.  I noticed that unlike other grilled chicken, its inside was cooked thoroughly. I also need to mention that it was moist and tender.  I'ts already served with atchara.
   Yes, those are caramelized onions and tomatoes, right there on top of the bangus belly.  Imagine how a simple bangus can be presented in that manner, a notch away from being gourmet.  That is, by the way,  their Baked Bangus Belly ( P 129.00).  The boneless bangus was made special with suateed onions and tomatoes.
   I have been missing BFast's Tapangus, so when I saw that there is roast beef on the menu, I got star-strucked.    According to the chef, their angus beef is the same that they use in Guevarra's, so that is why you can be assured of its quality.   The Angus Roast Beef was  slow-roasted  Angus beef belly served with a separate gravy and atchara or pickled papaya. For P 169.00, that is really a steal.
We also got to try the newest addition to their menu, The Crispy Bangus.  I love boneless bangus specially when fried in this way, crispy on the outside yet soft and tender on the inside.   
    You may care to try the stir-fried vegetables while you are at it here.  Their super sides, are only P 19 for a half order (above is just half order which is actually good as ulam already) and a full order is P 29.
    Please make way for this, my favorite, a spin off of Baked Mac and classic Filipino beef dish, Kaldereta. The sound of Kaldereta Mac calling me when I saw it on the poster was not amiss.  Even though we are all full in our tummy, we still had to try it, else I won't be able to sleep on that night.  The Kaldereta meat were shredded to bits, and everything in it was used as sauce for the Macaroni, topped with lots of cheddar cheese then baked.  I love it to bits.  I like cheese on my Kaldereta, and having it with pasta may seem odd, but heck it worked pretty perfect.  Thank God for this, and for a price of P 89, what else could you ask for a meryenda.
    Please, have desserts there. The choices are few but well chosen by the owners, they themselves have one or two of these when chanced to visit Pugon.   So we had, first, Turon Ice cream, Carabao's milk Ice cream topped with sweetened saba bananas and laced with caramel syrup.
    Next, the soft-textured carabao ice cream with ube macapuno is a stunning Filipino favorite.   Who never liked ube ice cream back then during children's party, when chocolate ice cream is not yet the staple flavor. Magnolia used to have this Macapuno flavored ice cream back in those years, so if you seem to be craving or looking for that, why not have this instead.  You either eat them all together or eat them one by one, ube first, then the macapuno and the ice cream.
   Another winner element in the menu is Halo- Halo Sundae for only P79.  It's literally everything sweet on the menu including their ice cream mixed together in a tall glass.

   If that does not impress you yet, how about a glass of Macapuno Pandan (P 79).  Their milky shaved ice topped with Sweetened Macapuno Pandan Jelly and Carabao's milk ice cream.   The best way to beat the heat when in Ayala's business hub. 
   Don't forget to check out the glass display case showcasing Chef Jackie Laudico's patisserie.  This is what my friend had for dessert, sort of a Banoffie pie, sorry just wasn't able to get the name of this.

   So, you see, we can still be frugal while giving to others, meeting the needs of the family and yet we can also enjoy eating out without hitting the family's budget.

Chef Lau's Pugon Roasters
Address:  Ayala Triangle Walkways, Makati
Contact Numbers: +639178923278 or 6216100
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chef-Laus-Pugon-Roasters/108332152696705

1 comment:

I would love to hear your thoughts on my post, care for a comment?