Upright Tiger, Blatant Dragon and the Blue Elephant

Twenty nine years ago, martial arts master and young healer Tang Chu Yan came home sporting a tight perm on the eve of his wedding to the fiery Lady Eve. An antidote for that sorcery was quickly found and a massacre was averted. Fast forward to the present, having risen from the ashes of hair-miliation and raised a brood of three young healers, Chu(Chow) Yan(Yun) (No-Longer-)Fat commemorated that day and his love for the Dragon of the South with a banquet at The Island’s sky, um, lounge, The Blue Elephant.

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We started with a Garden Salad and Asian Chowder. Fresh, cut local tomatoes and cucumbers with a few onion rings, about four swipes on a grater of carrots, a pinch of sautéed garlic, some roasted cashews and three Mandarin orange pieces on a bed of lettuce swimming in the plain dressing made for a blah but otherwise substantial salad. The Asian Chowder made for a hearty soup with a heavy cream base and sizable chunks of squid, fish and shrimp.

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Squid is always a challenge to flavor but the Calamari came coated in light, seasoned-just-right batter. The Breaded Fish Fillet shared the same crisp coating which yielded to sea-sweet, chunks of Cream Dory.

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Interestingly, this Thai restaurant offered a Bulgogi, a Korean dish, with the twist of glass noodles instead of rice. Well-marinated strips of grilled beef hugged glass noodles, bean sprouts, julienned carrots and spring onions in a soy and sesame oil sauce, topped with strips of a lightly scrambled egg. Separate orders of Pad Thai brought us back to Siam.

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The main meat came heralded by the waiter as the “Blue Elephant Ribs” which made Gran Regina verify if it was really elephant. It was pork, as baby back ribs go, but she still couldn’t have any because the Book of Leviticus told her not to. The slab of rib was well-seasoned and well-coated with a piquant sauce much like the classic rib sauce, Pique.

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Crispy Pata was, well, crispy but was terribly wanting in meat portions compared to the offerings of local standard bearers Alejandro’s, Cafe Laguna and Chika-an. Pinoy favorites Grilled Squid and Fried Chicken rounded out the orders.

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The PussyKat had a Green Mango Iced Tea — green mango pieces ice-blended into an iced tea premix, which had enough tartness to cut through all the grease. They didn’t have Thai Iced Tea available then so I had a Frozen Iced Tea. The use of a blender apparently warranted a price difference from regular Iced Tea.

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We finished off with pots of Mango Float. The naturally sweet slices of Cebu Mangoes stood out from the cream and Graham crumbing. Someone started ordering Margaritas and the versions of the Cursed Curls story poured along with those.

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Twenty nine years ago, martial arts master and young healer Tang Chu Yan came home sporting a tight perm on the eve of his wedding to the fiery Lady Eve. Twenty nine years after that, the story of Chu Yan Tang and Lady Eve – Dragon of the South, continues. *an er hu wails a soft instrumental and Coco Lee appears to perform A Love Before Time . . . in Mandarin*

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