Food

Something For Everyone at Uncle Cheffy

I recently had my birthday dinner with my family at Uncle Cheffy in Megamall (read post here) but even before that, I have been to Uncle Cheffy about two or three times. It’s one of those restaurants that I keep coming back to because of their superb food and value for money. If you’ve never been here, you might be thinking that this is an expensive 5-star restaurant because of its ambiance and exceptional array of international dishes, but you’ll be surprised to know that none of their dishes cost more than a thousand pesos! 

 
I was invited to a blogger event at the Venice Piazza branch of Uncle Cheffy in McKinley where we got to chat with the man behind Uncle Cheffy, Mr. Larry Cortez (who I almost addressed as “Uncle Cheffy”). He wanted all of us to try his creations, so he threw us copious amounts of Uncle Cheffy’s bestselling food.


The private area of Uncle Cheffy, McKinley branch


Quirky cork art

 


A selection of wines

We started off the feast with nice plates of greens.

Lovely Jenny Salad
(PHP 230)
Green apple and arugula salad with marinated salmon in creamy French dressing

Who is Jenny and how is he related to Uncle Cheffy? Well, Jenny is actually Larry’s wife. I’ve heard of men naming their cars or their guitars after a woman they love, but to name a salad after your wife? Now that’s a whole new level of romantic! And since this particular salad was named after Larry’s wife, then I thought, “it must be good!” The Lovely Jenny salad has an arresting taste. The sauce has a strong and striking flavor. The combination of salmon and green apples were a bit odd, but it worked quite well. The apples were very crunchy and juicy, and the salmon, well, I might be a little biased here because I am just crazy about salmon, but this one tasted fresh and meaty. The nuts, though they were tiny, stood out somehow, making their presence felt.

 

Uncle Cheffy Salad
(PHP 395)
Crispy pork belly, asparagus, potato and mesclun in dijonaise dressing

If you’re going to eat a massive meal, might as well offset it and lessen the guilt by ordering salad first. But if you just can’t wait to get started with the good bad stuff, then get the Uncle Cheffy Salad. It’s got fatty pork belly, but hey, it’s still salad, so nobody can judge you! The pork belly tastes like bagnet (crispy fried pork belly) and lechon (roasted suckling pig). The fat is tender and has a soft, delicious taste lingers in your mouth, although the skin is a little tough and was a bit of a struggle to chew. This salad is also very filling not only because of the pork but also because of the thick potato strips. This salad is quite heavy so it might even lead you to eat less later… so it actually is guiltless after all! Now I don’t feel so bad after eating it.


Grilled Prawns and Pomelo Salad
(PHP 495)
In roasted sesame vinaigrette

It’s beautiful to look at, isn’t it? Unfortunately, that was all I was able to do: look! This salad was gone too soon before I could even try it. It must be really good!

Mango Banana Smoothie
I don’t know if this is indicated on the menu, but I was told that we can customize our smoothies and juices at Uncle Cheffy. If you get two flavors, the price will be based on the more expensive flavor. I got the mango and banana combo and it was yummy!
 
After the salads, we had our fill of Uncle Cheffy’s famous brick-oven panizzas.

 

 

A panizza is almost the same as a pizza in that they are both made of pizza crust, toppings, and cheese, but the difference is that panizzas are thin-crust pizza strips that are rolled by hand. Unlike pizza where you just grab a slice and stuff it in your mouth, there is actually some “art” involved in panizza-eating. Each panizza dish is served with side garnishes such as alfalfa sprouts, fresh lettuce leaves, and tomato and onion salsa. The best way to eat panizza is to top it with these ingredients and then roll it up like a sushi. This lets you enjoy the myriad of flavors all at the same time in every single bite.
 
All of Uncle Cheffy’s panizzas are made with cheddar, mozzarella, and gruyere cheese. With panizza (or pizza), it’s really all about the cheese! If it’s cheesy, that’s already a bonus!


All Meat Barbecued Panizza
(Medium – PHP 235 / Family – PHP 450)
Beef teriyaki, pork, chicken barbeque, onion, chili flakes, basil and 3 cheese

The marriage of luscious cheese and smoky meat bits will surely be a hit with meat lovers! I know now why this is one of Uncle Cheffy’s bestselling panizza flavors.

 

Uncle Cheffy Favorites Panizza
(Medium – PHP 200 / Family – PHP 395)
Oven Dried Tomatoes, Mushroom Garlic, Anchovy, Chili Flakes, Basil, and 3 Cheese

I’m not really into anchovies but they actually gave this flavor a distinct taste. The tomatoes and mushroom garlic were also tasty. Everyone loved the Uncle Cheffy Favorites panizza, and it vanished from the table in no time! Out of the 3 flavors that were served, this was the one I liked best.

 

East Meets West Panizza
(Medium – PHP 250 / Family – PHP 495)
Parma ham, salami, kesong puti, salted eggs, tomatoes, mango, and 3 cheese

Here’s my review of this flavor: http://leapyearlola.blogspot.com/2014/03/birthday-blowout-by-uncle-cheffy.html

Memphis BBQ U.S. Beef Ribs
(500 grams – PHP 350 / 1,000 grams – PHP 695)

This photo was actually taken from when I ate at Uncle Cheffy for my birthday. I failed to take a photo of it at the blogger event. I think I was too excited to eat it! Read my review of this dish here.

Seafood Tom Yang Gang
(PHP 410)
With prawns, clams, mussel, salmon, snapper

Italian food? Uncle Cheffy’s got it! Thai food? You can find that here too! (I bet for a moment there, you thought you were on the wrong page). Their take on the popular Thai dish Tom Yum is pretty good. It’s brimming with ingredients, including crunchy vegetables, juicy prawns, and soft pieces of pork. Unlike the usual Tom Yum dishes, this one has a very mild spice so it’s very tolerable. I, however, like my Tom Yum spicy, so if you’re like me, you can always ask for extra chili. Their Seafood Tom Yang Gang reminded me of sinigang (Filipino soup or stew with a sour flavor, usually with tamarind) because it’s more sour than spicy.

 

Asian Fried Rice
(PHP 120 / PHP 220 – Sharing)

Another Asian dish, I would say that the Asian Fried Rice is nice comfort food. It’s a rice dish made with tomatoes, eggs, pork slices, and rice which is probably cooked in oyster sauce and/or soy sauce. It’s certainly not as memorable as the panizza, but it’s still good. It does look like something I can easily whip up at home, though! It’s good to pair this with one of Uncle Cheffy’s main courses.


Tiuey Noodles
(PHP 295)
Asian fried noodles with beef, asparagus, and cilantro

Tiuey??? Is that even a real word? I don’t think so. I tried looking it up but got no results. And then I figured, “Ohhh! Maybe it’s just a variation for the word ‘chewy’!” Okay, I get it now! (slaps forehead) I can’t argue with that. These really were chewy noodles, and very thick, too. Hence, you can get full with this dish quickly. The sauce tasted somewhat like peanut sauce, and was liberally spread over the noodles. If you’re craving for a different kind of pasta, Uncle Cheffy’s Asian chewy noodles might be what you’re looking for.

 

Roasted Chicken Maurino
(500 grams – PHP 250 / 1,000 grams – PHP 495)

The sauce of this chicken is a fusion of sweet and salty. I’ve heard those who were eating it say that it tastes like chicken humba. I have no idea what chicken humba is so I Googled it and found out that it’s a dish similar to adoboGood to know. 

 

Cream Dory Muniere
(500 grams – PHP 295 / 1,000 grams – PHP 595)

There are dishes that taste okay but are forgettable, and then there are dishes that, despite their simplicity, leave a lasting impression on you. The Cream Dory Muniere is one of those dishes that made me think, “how can something so simple be so remarkable?” I buy packs of cream dory at the supermarket and just fry or steam it whenever I’m too lazy to make something elaborate at home. After trying the Cream Dory Muniere, I felt so unimaginative as I thought, “All I needed to do was give the ordinary cream dory a little twist by adding turmeric sauce to it?! How come I never even thought about doing that? And I thought I was creative!” This, for me, is one of the best dishes in Uncle Cheffy because of the exotic curry sauce and the satiny texture of the cream dory.


New England Pot Roast Beef
(PHP 495 – For Sharing)
With root vegetables, carrots, and string beans

By the time the Pot Roast Beef was served, I was already too full to eat another bite of food. But I really wanted to sample everything (that made me sound so gluttonous!) so I said to myself, “Okay, I’ll just have one teensy slice of the Pot Roast Beef.” After I had a bite of the soft and delicious melt-in-your-mouth pork, though, I knew that one teensy slice just wasn’t enough. I wanted more! I wish I hadn’t eaten so much earlier!


Garlic Studded Pork Belly Lechon
(PHP 95 per 100 grams)

Look at that huge slab of lechon! No doubt, that thing contributed to the rise of my cholesterol levels, but it was worth it. The lechon is made with home made liver paté, which tasted a little sweet. It was also served with delicious baby potatoes.


Chocolate Roulade
(PHP 150)
Stuffed with mango yogurt

Chef Larry served us so much food that by the end of the night, I felt like I ate a whole house! But of course, as the saying goes, “there is always room for dessert.” For our first dessert, we had the Chocolate Roulade, which made me feel like I was eating a big brownie with light cream and fruits. The mango is really sweet and ripe and the chocolate cake is fudgy but not too sweet.


Cheffy Cheesecake
(PHP 150)

Everybody loves blueberry cheesecake! Uncle Cheffy’s cheesecake has a creamy but light texture. Like the Chocolate Roulade, it’s also not too sickeningly sweet. I also liked that Uncle Cheffy is generous with the blueberry sauce. I just wish it had a thicker graham crust!


Chocolate Parfait on Pandan Crepe
(PHP 125)

I’ve never seen pandan crepe before, so this — plus its green color — was striking to me. The fluffy chocolate mousse inside the crepe was a nice complement to the rich vanilla ice cream. 

 

I must have gained 10 pounds from that visit in Uncle Cheffy, plus another 5 pounds from when I ate there for my birthday, but it’s all good. Their delectable and reasonably priced food will always lure me, whether I go there to celebrate special occasions, or just when I feel like treating myself to a gratifying meal with a classy ambiance without having to spend a fortune. It’s also the perfect place to dine with anyone and everyone — friends, family, and my hot date (i.e., my boyfriend). There’s something for everyone at Uncle Cheffy, and just like me, it will always make you want to come back.

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