Suddenly it feels like Christmas…
Christmas brings so many good memories to me. When I was younger, our Christmas eve would be joyfully spent with relatives – my aunt, uncle and cousin would come home from the U.S. weeks before the celebration and we would be reunited after a long time. We would go to church together, have our Noche Buena, exchange gifts, stories, and laughters.
As the years go by, we would have an addition to the family – our first and only niece to join us and spread more joy with her antics and bubbly personality. We love her to bits! I also got married last 2013 so my husband joined us and humored us with his comic nature. But as time went by we also became fewer and fewer. My sister is now living in Singapore, my cousin in Dubai and just recently our only male cousin flew to the U.K. to work.
This Christmas is going to be different. As we grow older, we grow fewer but hopefully bigger (in terms of number). What I remember about Christmas before was my lola’s biko (rice cake), and her specialty, menudo, and champorado. We know it’s Christmas when Mama cooks menudo and it hasn’t lost it shine! It’s as good as when I first had it. I know that mama has a secret ingredient and she has passed this on to us.
But more than that we are just glad to enjoy the company of one another and the food that is served tells us, “Hey. Everybody’s home, it’s Christmas”.
Last September we were glad to have witnessed the launching of Chef Laudico’s Yuletide Menu at Guevarra’s. We are very thankful to husband and wife bloggers, Mr. Ralph and Ms. Michelle Huertas.
It was our first time here and since this was our first, I would remember it this way. 🙂
We already had the holiday feel just by the outdoor.
Upon entering it felt as if I was transported back to the olden days but with a festive feel.
The Nutcracker reminded me of Christmas day wherein we would wake up to watch Christmas cartoons and movies and The Nutcracker Prince movie was one of them. I still vividly remember how the rat villain would scare my younger self.
The program opened with some games and Chefs Rolando (known as the rockstar chef) and Jac Laudico welcomed us officially. They also had a cooking demo to recreate one of the dishes in their yuletide menu.
Later we were serenaded by the Children’s Joy Foundation and it was great to know that as we dine during the Christmas season at Guevarra’s, a portion of the proceeds would be donated to the center that houses disadvantaged children. It was a great opportunity to reach out to the children and at the same time we get to dine with family.
Soon it was time to have our fill of their buffet spread!
Before I go to their yuletide menu, I’d like to rave about their Angus Beef…
…and their Angus Tapa. The beef was very tender and it was so flavorful! I had seconds of their Angus Tapa. Their pusit and ribs were also cooked perfectly it was soft and tender and the meat pulled off the ribs easily.
The Bagnet was also crispy. I’m really not much of a bagnet-eater but this one made me get more.
Others on the spread was Sinampalukang Manok, Spicy Balamban. They also had different sauces to go with their meat dishes. More on their staples in another entry.
For Guevarra’s Yuletide Menu
I focus first on their Embutido Lasagna Roll.
I love Lasagna! I remember during Christmas in Fairview, my Tita Cora (our church mate) would drop by our house to give us her homemade lasagna. I am very thankful to the kind heart of Tita Cora. This Embutido Lasagna Roll reminded me of those times. I would hog it all to myself and savor the generous cheese in the lasagna dish. The Embutido Lasagna Roll had generous cheese and tomato serving and it was a treat to my tastebuds.
The Beef Morcon was also a treat as it had Bacon, Spanish chorizo and hard boiled eggs. It had a melt in your mouth feel and it brought me back to the days when my mom first introduced me to this dish and we would heat it in our oven toaster.
The Christmas macaroni salad was a mixture of macaroni, gelatin cubes, raisins and dressing. Mama would make macaroni salad as well and it was a treat at it had saltiness and sweets.
Their Christmas Chicken Liver Parfait was flavorful and rich with an infusion of moscato. Jason loved this!
Their Fish Mayonesa was eye candy and pleasurable to our palates! It was baked whole fish with Tartar dressing topped with red and green bell pepper and carrots. It looked so delicious in it’s Christmas attire but it was a costume with purpose – it added an interesting flavor and spice to the fish.
The Roast Turkey with cornmeal stuffing paired with cranberry sauce and gravy had a great combination to it. This would be great for the balikbayans from the U.S. as they would still have a feel of a western tradition and favorite.
The Christmas Paella = Papi and my foster family in Spain. It had morsels of liempo, chicken and chorizo which put a twist to this popular Spanish dish. Christmas came early last year as we visited them in Murcia, Spain. Related article here (Traveling to Spain to Apec Week)
Papi of course cooked his specialty, Paella. Guevarra’s Christmas Paella made me revisit those days – it was as if my family in Spain were right here with us. Where we stuffed ourselves with Papi’s specialty and I would scrape off the bottom of the pan for that crispy, more flavorful part of the paella. Where there would be no serving spoons but we would just dig in the huge paella pan using our own spoons.
For the sweets!
The Classic Christmas pudding was baked bread cut ups with a generous spread of glazed fruit preserves. Jason is a fan of this type but I would usually pass on this.
The buffet wouldn’t be complete without the traditional Bibingka which a classic Filipino favorite.
Though there was Halo-halo, ice cream and many other sweets, I loved this Puto Bumbong served in these spoons! It was just difficult to remove it from the leaf but still it was served so attractively and it really delivered. I instantly thought how my mom and I would enjoy eating this with the muscovado sugar.
Guevarra’s Yuletide Menu indeed transported me back through time where my family and I would just enjoy the season, the reunion, and the merriment. Where we would still be the kids eagerly waiting for the presents to being the adults eager to be a blessing and be the one to give the presents.
This year, Christmas isn’t the same. The food we will be having will be reminiscent of those days. But the most important thing in Christmas is that we remember that Christ was born. Though we will now be few, we rejoice because we have HIM! And because we have Christ in our hearts, we have hope that someday we would be together forever. That we need not be separated with our families and loved ones again as we will be eternally joyful spending eternity with Him and them.
This I look forward to. 🙂
Guevarra’s is located at 387 P. Guevarra cor. Argonnes St. Addition Hills, San Juan and Buffet rates are as follows:
Weekday Lunch (Monday to Friday) – P399 + 12% VAT
Weekday Dinner (Monday to Thursday) – P499 + 12% VAT
Weekday Maagang Salu-Salo (Monday to Thursday) – P449 + 12% VAT
Weekend Maagang Salu-Salo (Friday Dinner to Sunday Dinner & Holidays) – P 549 + 12% VAT
Weekend Lunch and Dinner (Friday Dinner to Sunday Dinner) – P599 + 12% VAT
Lunch is from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Maagang Salu-Salo 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM while dinner is from 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM.
For Inquiries and reservations you may contact: 705 1811; 705 1874; 0917 311 2222. Follow them on Facebook: Guevarra’s ; Instagram: @Guevarras_ ; Twitter: @Guevarras_ .