I arrived terribly late at The Scrapyard to a rather raucous welcome. Some old faces and instant friends. I nestled on an ottoman while a plate was shoved up front. I told the waiter I’ll have whatever everyone else was having to drink and I was poured a glass of house white.
Gone are the days where “roasted highland legumes”, kropek, chili wings and other finger food were the only options at watering holes. Bar chow leveled up. Partying is hard work. Nourish. Replenish. Suck on Pochero marrow and sip Sinigang while bobbing your head to a beat.
I missed out on the nachos and was looking at Pork Sinigang, Shrimp Sinigang, Pochero and Sizzling Pochero gone cold. Not wanting to impose, I declined the offer for reheating. With a lineup of ten dishes, I was just going to have a bite here and there, anyway.
The Pork and Shrimp Sinigang (separate) had the very subtle tang of a guava base, a mild version of the arresting savory-sour taste of the classic tamarind-based stew, the flavor seeping into the meats while not overwhelming the veg components. A piping hot bowl would be a perfect refresher for when one has had one too many shots.
The Pochero, a beef bone marrow stew, reminded me of Sunday family dinners where the morning’s market trip sat boiling for hours on a stove to produce a rich stew and beef you can shred with a fork. I’d fight over the bones with my cousins to score ambrosia: the marrow. Luckily, all that was left intact by my peers for me to enjoy. The salty-sweet creaminess of the marrow made love to my tongue. The meat was not unlike my family’s slow stewed. Gramps would have loved it. Surprisingly still good in its cold state, the Sizzling version kept its soft, look-ma-no-knife texture, smothered in a rich, tasty gravy. Nobody touched the marrow there, too. *evil laugh, scoop, slurp
Gambas came next served in convenient cocktail spoons with Mushroom and Cheese Bruschettas. Be warned that the chili sauce coating the generous spoonful of shrimp ranked high on the Scoville Scale than your usual on this one. The proteins in the cheese do temper the heat when you bite into the Bruschetta, hence the pairing
The slider trio was right up my alley. I christened them The Three Stooges: Curly, the Classic –100% premium, lean beef with onions and a tomato; Larry, the Cheeseburger–the classic plus cheese and Moe, the Bacon Cheeseburger–the classic, cheese and a bacon strip. The Cable Car and Scrapyard both being buddies to, er, Buddies Burgers, this holy trinity doesn’t distance itself from the ridiculously glorious quad patty behemoths of the latter. Just made easier to stuff down your gullet. The accompanying thick-cut fries had skins on, drizzled with herbs and owing a welcome grittiness to rock salt.
Most Fish and Chips on The Island are more aptly Flour and Chips. What was served thankfully had a light, crisp batter on delicately seasoned Cream Dory fingers. The tartar sauce made the fish sing.
A collective groan of protest greeted the waiter’s announcement for the Beef Salpicao. Too much, too much. We were met with Baked Oysters and the Streetfood Platter for a rebuttal.
The Beef Salpicao was served in chunks smaller than the usual menudo cuts possibly for scooping with the side of Garlic Butter Bread Sticks. That proved a tad challenging. Maybe pita chips would do a better job. I love garlic but while the meat was sautéed to a garlicky perfection, the chef was a little too generous with the salt. I digress on account that the tongue numbed by a Furro Loco would need more of a gustatory punch.
The Baked Oysters were done a point of just-about-cooked with the cheese still remaining soft and the whole thing easily scooped out with a spoon. A round of innuendo expectedly came up.
The Streetfood Platter came up last with an assortment of sidewalk favorites: Ngohiong, Fishballs, Steamed Siomai and Fried Siomai.
The carb-nivorous majority dropped hints at a demand with a rice versus cornmeal versus brown rice health discussion. Enter the old favorite Cable Car Rice. A great stir-fry of rice and meats topped with an omelet. Yes, Kristine. There’s your “brown” rice. Hahaha.
Between these solids, our hostess, not wanting anyone to leave sober, bathed her guests with selections from the open bar from the house reds and whites, poisons of choice and debuting still unnamed cocktails for their summer specials. Incidentally, the Cable Car and Scrapyard is running the Beer Promo from Sunday to Thursday on all local beers. Solo at P50 a pop or with a group for P250 per bucket with a complimentary Crispy Sisig or Baked Oysters. They didn’t leave out Fridays and Saturdays, of course. “Nomihodai” All-You-Can-Drink premium liquors for P500 from 9PM-11PM. Johnny, Jack and the Captain are on the list plus selected cocktails and all local beers.
See you at the Cable Car and the Scrapyard Lounge!