When Wicked Is Both Good And Sinful

Jazz, Neoli and I agreed to meet Sunday after lunch at McDonald’s Philcoa. The destination: late lunch at Wicked Kitchen in Maginhawa then drop off the children’s books for the Yolanda Book Drive at Haduraw Pizza. The sweltering heat of the afternoon sun could not sway us from the lure of gastronomic delights. We know our priorities.

Image source: pinayads.com

Image source: pinayads.com

From Philcoa, we took a tricycle to Maginhawa and would have easily missed Wicked since the resto was situated on the third floor of a mostly restaurant-occupied building. At the ground floor is Breakfast Table, a breakfast all day shop with a gorgeous blue door. We kind of promised, before we headed to Wicked, to sample their food some other time.

Neoli and I in front of Breakfast Table Photo by Jazz Braganza

Neoli and I in front of Breakfast Table
Photo by Jazz Braganza

Wicked lies unassumingly at the third floor beside a spa. No fancy store signs. The interior borders on minimalist with black and red as the motif, black and red walls with a few unpainted concrete ones. Wicked loves mason jars. They hang them as lamps and use them for cocktails. Mason jars are pretty.

lamps

If you’re snarky, this wall will remind you to tone it down a bit with its positivity.

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Same thing with the bathroom wall.

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Anyway, going back to the food, we ordered rice bowls because we were famished but we shared only one dessert. Sorry to disappoint those who were expecting this to be a thorough review, we didn’t order a variety of dishes. We didn’t go there planning to write a review but rather, to satisfy our tummies. As I said, priorities set. Besides, we were kind of hoping we could still have pizza and beer at Handuraw after.

Crunchy Bagoong Rice

Crunchy Bagoong Rice

I ordered Crunchy Bagoong Rice (P152.00), their bestseller. I was surprised that the food was not stir fried. Instead, it was boiled rice topped with bagoong (shrimp paste), which was just the right amount of salty, green mango sticks and crunchy liempo bits. The green mangoes and bagoong is a classic combo. I’m not fond of pork but the liempo wasn’t bad either. It would have been better if the bagoong was spicy to enhance the flavors. But no worries, they have hot sauce you can douse your food with.

Spicy Mongolian Rice

Spicy Mongolian Rice

Jazz ordered Mongolian Rice (P175), which is rice topped with chicken, squid and fresh vegetables tossed in Mongolian sauce. It tasted good, just like the usual Mongolian food in other restos. Hah! Again, this tastes better with hot sauce.

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I thought Neoli had Kimchi Rice because that’s what I remember from his bowl, the kimchi. But when I checked the menu while I was writing this, there was no Kimchi rice. They have Bulgogi rice, which was the only Korean food on the menu so maybe it was what he ordered. I didn’t get to taste his food because he said he has colds and I could get infected. Or he could just be not in the mood to share.

Wrath: Mango crepe with vanilla and spicy Nutella

Wrath: Mango crepe with vanilla and spicy Nutella

We capped the meal with one of the deadly sins: Wrath. Yes, they named their desserts after the seven deadly sins because, yeah, they’re supposedly sinfully good. Well, we only had wrath and it was good. Wrath is a mango crepe with vanilla ice cream and spicy nutella. The tragedy is that Nutella loses its spiciness in the midst of the ice cream and the crepe. But here’s what we discovered, a very important learning we will carry on in life: you can put hot sauce on vanilla ice cream and then voila, vanilla transforms into an explosion in your mouth. You may try it, too, with other ice cream flavors.

The ghosts of Neoli and a server roam the resto.

The ghosts of Neoli and a server roam the resto.

Overall, food was filling and worth the price. The staff are attentive and ever so helpful. Or it could also be that at 3 in the afternoon on a sleepy Sunday, we were the only patrons so they didn’t have much choice but to be there at our beck and call.

Judgement is nothing too special but place is really nice. Definitely coming back to try other dishes and sample the other sins. By the way, don’t forget to check out their bathroom even if you don’t need to go. They have wickedly sweet messages there for you.

Guaranteed to make you instantly feel better!

Guaranteed to make you instantly feel better!

Easter Sunday And All Things Celebratory

Photo source: coolwindsresidences.com

Photo source: coolwindsresidences.com

My Mom was a devout catholic and raised us to observe the lenten tradition. Easter Sunday is widely celebrated in the whole christendom and I remember my Mom waking us up at dawn and dragging us to church for the “sugat” (in Waray) or “salubong” in Tagalog. The event includes Virgin Mary meeting/reuniting with the resurrected Christ with young girls in white singing hymns and throwing flowers to the parishioners. When I was in fifth and sixth grade, I became one of those girls. I remember being so excited to wear a white dress and carry my little basket of flowers like a three-year old flower girl in a wedding.

Just like many catholics (or Christians, for that matter). the whole meaning of Easter was lost on me. To me, Easter marks the end of lent, meaning we can eat meat again and that it was the culmination of the weeklong prayer vigils, stations of the cross, novenas and processions.Surely, those are more than enough reasons for a celebration. The resurrection of Christ is still a mystery to me as is his death and its significance. They keep saying we are celebrating the living God, the ever loving God, the one who loves us unconditionally and has given up His life so that we may be saved.

I want to celebrate Easter the way I did when I was 10 and was wearing a white dress and carrying a basket of flowers. But I can’t. I’m way past innocence and has mourned the church I grew up in. Why is the church who preaches about love condemns the gays? Why wouldn’t it allow women to have choices regarding their own health and well being? Why is it covering up its own transgressions? How can they continue protecting the priests and other church officials who have molested children? How can the church be so wealthy when they preach about being humble and meek and renouncing worldly possessions?

Photo source: gstatic.com

Photo source: gstatic.com

Easter is a new beginning. New beginnings give us hope. Hope is the light that guides us in the darkness that we live in. When everything else is gray and cold, we can hold on to that hope. We can hope that one day things will change for the better. We can hope that one day we would be closer to equality. But until then, we have to do our share and stop bigotry, condemn abuses and respect women and their choices. And when that day comes, I’d probably wear a white dress and carry a basket of flowers.

Happy Easter, everyone!