Exotic Dishes abound

Monday, September 21, 2009

Location shoots for me are a chance for me not only to experience a new place, even if it's local or international. In last week's shoot, I had a chance to not only travel but experience a different kind of meal.

Exotik restaurant at Caliraya is known to serve exotic dishes, exotic meaning not your regular poultry, meat, or fish. But it's like you'll never guess until you eat it. For me, this was something new for me, since the most exotic thing I ever ate was uhm, well... isaw.

For a very basic start-up, I had fresh buko, served from the shell, with a spoon to pry the meat. I was told to put ice inside for a refreshing treat, since it was quite a hot day.
First dish that was served to us, which was a regular favorite, Crispy Pata. Since a horrid experience made me shun away from crispy pata, I skipped this, but my colleagues who still eat crispy pata adored this, diet begone and all.

Second dish looked like ordinary tapa.

Turns out, it was tapa, but not ordinary beef tapa, but Tapang Usa, or deer tapa. Funny, the concept was quite quasi-cannibalistic for me though (Bambi eating... err... a Bambi?) but I had to think deer, deer, deer. It was good though. The meat was softer than the tapa I usually have for breakfast, and a bit sweet. I went for seconds and thirds, and it really went well with the pinakbet.

This dish-happened to be Exotik Restaurant's bestseller -Ginataang Pating - shark meat this time. I'm really intrigued too, since I never had shark meat before, and shark's fin soup doesnt count. The coconut cream and ginger flavor masked the rather "fishy" shark meat taste but I like how it had little bones on the shark, or is that because it was deboned well (my comparative anatomy is quite rusty at this point to decipher the shark and bony fish's skeletal system comparison). It's basically the same like eating fish meat, with larger chunks. It's not tough at all, but not as melt-in-the-mouth as dory. It was good nevertheless, and this I enjoy with plain rice and Sinampalukang Manok soup on the side.

Other meat served in the restaurant are manta ray, duck, and eel, but we didn't have to try this too. I'm quite interested on the manta ray though, as I never thought of it as meal.

Aside from the food the restaurant is also a menagerie of birds and exotic animals. I saw a huge albino python that really caught my eye.

Beautiful, isn't she? Humongous too.

The hornbill is another character, I can't believe I'm seeing one eye to eye a creature I usually see on TV documentaries. It's so cute, it actually posed for the camera. :P Before I grew attached to it (having to tend to birds at home), I had to leave for the next location with the crew.
This restaurant is an adventure in itself, sight and taste. Plus I like the open-air atmosphere as well. Staff are friendly and they are there to answer your query, especially if you're new to exotic flair.