Today my family and I had a week-late lunch celebration for my brother Manolo’s birthday. We went to the Last Chukker, an Italian restaurant located in Manila Polo Club.
The Last Chukker uses a wood-fired brick oven to bake their pizza (and other starchy delights such as their sliced bread), and since I was feeling pretty chilly I made sure to sit with my back to the oven.
Because we were a large party, the group was split between two tables, “children” and “adults”. All the cousins sat at one table while the grown ups were placed at the table beside us.
To start with, many of us decided to order a variety of fruit shakes while waiting for our appetizers. The first appetizer came in the form of slices of toasted bread and several pieces of slightly spicy chistorra (a type of Spanish saussage) – delicious!
After reviewing the menu us cousins decided to order personal main courses, and just share the pizza between ourselves. My mom had the Last Chukker’s Pollo al Mattone placed on each table – a half chicken cooked “under a brick” in the wood-fired oven. The oil left in the pot was delicious when drizzled on the potatoes, and the chicken was perfectly tasty on its own! Appearing on the other table was the Chipirones ala Plancha - grilled skewered baby squid drizzled with olive oil and garlic!
For my main course I decided to split the 250g Steak al Burro (grilled U.S. Angus rib-eye with sage butter) with my mom, and eat an entire Milano pizza (mozzarella, bell peppers, and salami) by myself. It was an ambitious meal, and I am grateful to all my cousins who helped themselves to a slice.
The rest of our table ended up looking like a buffet once all the dishes started piling up, and I believe we were all glad to see the final pizza NOT arrive on the table (or appear on the receipt, thankfully). In order of appearance: Nico’s Calzone, Javier’s Penne con Salsiccie, Kuya Anton’s Salpicao with garlic rice, and last but not the least…Kuya Anton and Marga’s Quattro Stagioni!
The “grown-up” table had some delicious-looking dishes as well, from a “Voldemort” pizza (because according to my dad it is “the-pizza-that-is-not-named”) to an entire order of rack of lamb!
An Estella meal is never complete without a variety of desserts, and us cousins stayed true by ordering one dessert each (with the exceptions of Manolo and Javier). In order of appearance: Matthew and Kuya Anton ordered a Vanilla ice cream sandwich each (chocolate sandwich of Nico not pictured), Marga and I ordered the delicious Apple-Cinammon Tart a la mode, and Kimmy ordered the “amazing” Pizza Mango with vanilla ice cream.
And of course, the meal would be incomplete without the usual picture taking inside and in front of the restaurant!
Overall, it was a wonderfully filling meal, and I would gladly go back to try the other dishes on the menu – particularly one of the pasta dishes! I will end this blog with the picture of Javier’s table art (made from pieces of scrunched up paper napkins)…