The newspaper headlines. Global recession. Inflation. Times like the present calls for some relief. Now more than ever, we ought to get comfort where we can find it. If it’s spa for the body and music for the weary soul, then it’s comfort food for the weary spirit. So when we heard of PenPen, we took a chance on the Saturday traffic and went to Timog for a late lunch for a serving of comfort food. The place has received some media mileage owing to the fact that it is owned by the wife and son of veteran actor, Pen Medina (hence the name, PenPen), but we want to find out if the comfort food lives up to the publicity.
Lagal[og] said: It’s fairly easy to find Pen Pen even though it’s tucked along the side street of Scout Castor in Timog Avenue, Quezon City. The place is little more than a hole in the wall and seats about 24-30 diners, the interiors non-descript and no frills.
Ironwulf said: Talk about no frills. While the color of the interiors and dining space is okay, I found it too bare. Or are they in the midst or re-decorating since there are empty glass frames hanging on the wall.
Lagal[og] said: We asked for the house specialty the minute we sat down and were told to go for the Crispy Liempo (Deep-fried Pork Belly). Boy, I can’t take my hands off it the minute it arrived. The pork pieces were sliced very thinly like bacon and fried to a crisp. Paired with vinegar/garlic/chili sauce, it is suitable as a viand and pulutan (paired with beer).
Ironwulf said: I think we had two orders of Crispy Liempo! It may sound corny but crispy-liscious fits the bill. Complete the crispy flavor with a dip in a spicy vinegar sauce. The Special Beef Tapa piqued my curiosity so we ordered it as well. It came with a reqular looking tapa topped with white cheese. I thought the tapa itself was just ordinary, the slight saltiness and creaminess of the white cheese made it different from the other tapas.
Lagal[og] said: We also tried the Chicken Kiev, bite-size chicken pieces deep-fried and served with a buttery sauce. The flavor of the sauce is robust and the dish is very tasty. It went well with the rest of our orders like the Tinapa Flake Pasta (Pasta with Smoked Fish Flakes) which is smothered with tomato sauce and lavishly-garnished with tinapa flakes which add a twist to an otherwise regular pasta dish.
Ironwulf said: I enjoyed the rich buttery sauce of the Chicken Kiev. I also thought it was sliced neatly and just right. Like the Crispy Liempo and Tapa, it goes well with their Aligue Rice or Tomato Kebab Rice. The Tinapa Flakes Pasta is a nice Filipino twist for a pasta but it’s a little short on flavor for me but otherwise its good, but could be more flavorful.
Lagal[og] said: There were some misses, like the relatively tame Pecadillo (Clear Macaroni Soup with Pork Bits and Diced Potatoes) but overall, PenPen doesn’t disappoint. If it’s comfort food you want, you’ve come to the right place.
Ironwulf said: PenPen de Sarap Pen is all about true comfort food. It’s nothing fancy but you get your sumptuous fill of pinoy food with some nice twist.
105-C Scout Castor, South Triangle,
Tomas Morato, Quezon City
Tel. No. 411.4157