After doing a little bit of research on Chef Rex, I've learned that he's also worked in the kitchens of Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck...chefs I like, but have only tasted either their food in a bottle or can.
I've always been curious how pop-up restos and degustations go. We have degustations here in Manila as well, but costs two arms and a leg (OK, probably two legs). I'll eventually try them out. I just thought that I'd check out the one that Christine is featuring since she's already "screened" him for me. Kapampangan roots, worked with world-renowned chefs, Php1,500/person for at least an 8-course meal...do I need any more convincing??? Plus, she mentioned that the chef isn't always in the country. So, might as well try to catch him while he's here.
Armed with A, T, my mom, and uncle, we made our way to Angeles. Banh Mi Vietnamese Eatery is a humble place with a filipino-industrial look. I wouldn't think that a celebrated chef would be seen here. Then again, that already made me appreciate him more.
We met Christine there along with familiar faces whom I've met over time as well as new ones. As we waited for the others to arrive, Chef Rex stepped out to check on us. Honestly, he'd pass off a schoolmate in college that I used to eat fishballs with. He's that unassuming!
When we're all complete, food started coming out...starting with the kamias lemonade that I didn't want to touch at first because I'm not a fan of kamias. Eventually, I figured that I came all the way to Angeles to eat something different that I should keep my hesitations aside. It was actually a pleasant surprise. I could taste the kamias, but it's not overpowering the lemonade taste.
Next that came out was the L.A. Mexican street corn. I don't think I could ever think of using mayonnaise in my corn, but this one wouldn't make me think that it had mayonnaise at all on it, let alone slobbered in it. The parmesan, for me, played an important role in masking that mayonnaisy feel on the corn. I'm a fan of this one!
Going to the goat cheese crostini, I eat bone marrow, but mostly involves sucking it in a soup dish. Though not everyone is into eating bone marrow, this is one way to try it out without being grossed out by it or not feeling the texture of bone marrow as the mango chimichuri helps in easing out the feel and taste of it on the palate.
The whole experience reminded me of Remy the rat in Ratatouille. Remember that scene wherein Remy was feeding his brother Emile? No? Let me refresh your memory:
Rex SupperClub is literally worth the trip and I have Christine to thank for giving me (and this time, with my family) another food adventure!
If you'd like to arrange for a degustation schedule, for at least a group of 10 (I think) as it's a by-appointment-only setup, you may reach Christine Nunag at firstname.lastname@example.org.