Pepper Lunch. It’s one of those restaurants I’ve been meaning to go to, but have never really had the time to actually head on over. It’s basic premise is that it’s a restaurant where you do your own cooking: you get a super-heated platter filled with a generous helping of rice and your choice of meat, poultry, and seafood, just drizzle on your condiments of choice, toss everything together, remove the protective ribbon, then bon appetit.
Interesting notion, yes? So interesting, in fact, that when faced with another evening tossing a coin between a KFC meal and another sarnie from Oliver’s Super Sandwiches, I finally declared fast food palate fatigue and marched straight into PL.
I was sorely tempted to try the beef rice because it looked so good and tender. However, when the unagi rice (P 395.00) on the menu caught my eye, I just had to have it. I want my eel – and I want it now! And given how you could get twice as much eel for an additional P 100.00, I couldn’t say no. 🙂
Since classic unagi kabayaki is marinated in a sweetish soy sauce, this was no time to use PL’s amakuchi (honeyed soy sauce). I wanted a bit of a spicy contrast to the already sweet eel and the generous topping of sweetcorn, so I gave my plate a good drizzle of karakuchi (garlic-infused soy sauce) and a light sprinkling of fresh-ground black pepper.
The resulting mix was very good: the sticky-sweet eel with its smoky aftertaste was gorgeous against the plain rice. The corn added a bit of crunch to the texture and I really loved the sharpness of the karakuchi because it kept the taste of the eel from getting a bit too rich.
An additional P 45.00 gets you a small helping of Caesar salad. I don’t usually order side dishes whenever I eat eel, but this generous serve of mixed greens helped balance the flavors of the meal. PL’s dressing, incidentally, had a lovely tang with just the right touch of anchovy.
If you think that one trip to PL is enough for me, I’m afraid it isn’t. Next time, I want to try their salmon rice!