The Village Chef

Written By clapalisoc on Tuesday, 18 November 2014 | 11:55

It was a pleasant Sunday afternoon and we were heading back to Manila. As soon as we entered NLEX, the traffic was so bad. Good thing we were invited to stop by San Fernando in Pampanga. It took us 2hrs. to get to San Fernando exit. When we finally paid the toll, it was such a relief. We can only hope then that the traffic has subsided once we set our path back to the road that will lead us to Manila.

My Aunt invited us to dinner that day. Even without knowing where it will be, we said yes! How can you say no to free food? Yeah? It was a long drive from San Fernando to where we were heading. We passed by unfamiliar places, got the rain pouring, more turns, until we got into this quiet street with no sign what so ever of establishments. Then this residential looking place emerged with a single light on the gate, enough for you to see the signage. When you take a peek, you'll be greeted by a lush garden and then a homey dining area right after. It's as if you just got home - the interiors, the  set-up, the warm incandescent lighting. Dining is al fresco with a lovely scent of the herb garden and flowers blooming. 

The Village Chef serves French-Italian Cuisine so you'd expect some freshly baked bread served with herbed olive oil with balsamic vinegar to start with. My Aunt, being a regular here, already made some advance orders. Their family already knew what to get. Looking at their menu, they have quite a list of offerings. From salads and appetizers, pizza, pasta, entrée and of course, dessert.

We had the following ---

Arugula Salad for 195Php
Arugula Salad to start the feast! A medley of fresh Arugula and crisp lettuce, these feast-y greens were dressed with honey balsamic vinaigrette, tossed in with some apple chunks, grapes, pecan and white cheese. The strong flavor of the balsamic vinegar and the sweet  end note of the honey it was mixed with made this salad extra special. I also liked the crunch given off by the apples. I am a fan of leafy salads with vinaigrette as the dressing so imagine how delighted I was with this. 

Quatro Formaggi con Arugula for 380Php
Then we also got their best selling pizza - Quatro Formaggi Con Arugula. Yes! Arugula again! I guess that's what you get when you have your own herb garden. But I'm not complaining. I like Arugula and I liked this pizza so much! You'll get mozzarella, gruyere, parmesan and native buffalo cheese in a thin crust pizza with an ample base of red sauce with herbs. The goodness didn't end there. The pizza was topped with some fresh Arugula and more of the buffalo cheese. The crunch given off by the crust was just right but the blend of the cheeses gave this pizza a characteristic sharp and salty taste. I've tried a lot of four cheese pizza in my life and I can say that this is the best Quatro Formaggi that I have tasted, yet.  

Pizza  Alla Quesadilla
Onto the next pizza - Pizza alla Quesadilla. Not your usual pizza flavor - imagine a good Quesadilla in pizza form...urgh! So good! With their signature thin crust pizza and tomato sauce base, here you'll get Mexican spiced chicken chunks, jalapeno, olives, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. It's served with an aioli sauce that made the Quesadilla experience better. 

Aglio Oglio with Grilled Salmon Fillet for 230Php
As I scanned their menu, one pasta dish caught my attention - Pasta Aglio Oglio with Grilled Salmon Fillet. Surprisingly, that was also what the hubby wanted! But then again, he needed to back off since I do not want us ordering the same thing at the same time. 

This dish was beautifully plated. Guess my picture didn't give justice to the lovely plating. But as good as it looked, it wasn't something that I liked much. Al dente pasta tossed in olive oil with peppers, olives, rosemary and cherry tomatoes. It had this bitter after taste. On the other hand, the Salmon fillet that it was served with was something that I liked. It was soft and flavorful, with just the right amount of salt and pepper. I loved that it was grilled perfectly - well done outside but tender and still a little pinkish inside. 

Pasta Alla Carbonara for 240Php
Hubby got another pasta for himself - Carbonara. This version came in with grilled chicken. It was creamy, with bits of bacon, Portobello mushrooms and nutmeg spice. I would prefer this pasta dish with a little more saltiness. Maybe some Parmesan cheese? Anyhow, the grilled chicken it came with was so good! Tender and flavorful, I liked that the marinade made it's way to the meat.

Special Soufflé for 130Php
Then there was dessert! My daughter wanted some ice cream but unfortunately, they didn't have any. She opted for the next best thing - chocolate. We got the Special Soufflé. Fluffy and light coco-taro based custard, a molten center, cocoa powder and some sweet milk goodness that's meant to be poured all over this great creation. It wasn't too sweet but it sure was bursting with chocolaty goodness! So good, I can have this everyday.

My Aunt also ordered their best selling pasta - Spaghetti Al' Arrabiata (220Php) which I wasn't able to try. But according to hubby, it was good. Tomatoes, mushrooms, fresh basil in red sauce, the dish came in with tasty chicken kebab. Must try this one if we get the chance to go back.

Oh what a lovely dining experience at The Village Chef. As we were eating, I can hear crickets humming. Brings back childhood memories of quiet dinner times in the province. The service was great as well. The servers were friendly and made sure that all of our requests were attended to. Then we even got two complimentary desserts! A Soufflé and Creme Brulee which I wasn't able to try.

I already asked hubby to take me back here. I wanted to try more of their dishes and probably see more of the picturesque place, buy some herbs and just enjoy this hidden gem. And oh, did you notice their prices? Really affordable considering the quality of ingredients used!

Truly, The Village Chef is a perfect place for an intimate and exclusive dinner date with your special someone or your family. It's also a great venue for parties. You have to take note though that the place is only open from Friday to Sunday, 6PM to 11PM. But then again, it's all worth the drive.

---The Village Chef : 406 Broadway Street, Marisol Subdivision, Angeles City

About clapalisoc

I am a workaholic mom who is also trying to be the best wife ever. I am a self proclaimed food lover, a frustrated cook and pastry master. I have a thing for books and scrap booking fills up my free time. Blogging? It's something I do once in a while when I can squeeze in some "me time" in this super busy life.


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