Chef Laudico’s Feast Redefines Feasting
When a restaurant gets named after its chef, you’d think it better be good. After all, his reputation is now hitched on the success of the restaurant itself. Such is the case of Pampanga’s new foodie hangout, Chef Laudico’s Feast.
But wait — Chef Laudico’s Feast has a trick up its sleeve! It is owned and managed by the power couple of Chef Laudico and Chef Jackie. With both recognized names in the culinary field, one gets the impression that the newly-opened gastronomic haven in SM Clark should be very good.
And it doesn’t disappoint.
We often make the distinction between “real” lutong bahay-type food and fast food. I don’t mean to speak ill of your favorite afritada from Aling Miling, but even our preferred savory dishes from our favorite carinderia can be tainted with some “unreal” ingredients — MSG sprinkles, instant sauces, etc. If you think that’s the norm, Chef Laudico proves otherwise. He claims that each and every food item is prepared from scratch — no broth cubes, no instant ingredients. Chef Jackie claims this was largely influenced by her Iloilo upbringing, which taught her never to use shortcuts.
This results in an authentic, hearty flavor that completely gives new meaning to the word “feast” here, feasting isn’t all about getting as much as you can eat. It also means tasting the real taste and quality of the food. No more bland or so-so fares just to fill the void. Oh sweet, sweet world — miracles do happen.
There’s more than a hundred dishes to choose from in this feast, and it’s difficult to single out just one. I think I managed to do so, after a few trips around the beautifully-presented tables. I found myself spending an unknown amount of time in the roast section, particularly in front of the Angus Beef serving dish. The meat was cooked to perfection and it was a real treat coming back for more. I just hope no one kept count.
The sushi was also something special, as it involved some Filipino twist. It’s also done right before your eyes, in the dedicated sushi counter.
Speaking of counters, that was about my only gripe in this place. You see, some of the tables were so high that it wasdifficult for someone my height to reach a few of the selections. I am a five-footer, and it was a real arm workout to get to the higher counters. Maybe they wanted me to shed a few of the calories I was taking in?
A social mission
The Buffet Table
Really, that’s not something anyone can say easily about any food establishment. Chef Laudico’s Feast strives to make a social impact by employing locals in its crew. Most of the ingredients are also sourced from various parts of the Philippines, thus allowing it to give back to the community.
There is also a dedication to local artists — the walls are decorated with their pictures, and even upcoming ones are given notice. And the Filipino pride climbs all the way to the ceiling, which is inspired by the banderitas-laden atmosphere of fiestas.
Banderitas found in fiestas in the Philippines became the design inspiration for the ceiling
At its very core, Chef Laudico’s Feast is a food haven with a lot of heart. If you’re looking for a good time with your friends, in front of a plate of good food, drop by SM Clark and pay this place a visit.