First sign of a great (not just good place): garlic bread with a full clove of roasted garlic! It came with olive oil with a bit of balsamic vinegar and cheese.
Chelsea has a pretty good selection of pastas. I tried Chelsea’s Own Roasted Clam and Sundried Tomato Vongole. Among the ones I’ve tried, this is probably my least favorite. The clams weren’t as fresh as I hope and you really need the lemon to wash some of the overpowering seafood-y taste to it.
Grandma’s Sausage and Meatball Rigatoni is pretty good, though. I’m generally not a fan of fat pastas, but this may make me re-think that. It is a bit heavy especially with those two huge balls1.
But the Oven-Roasted Seafood and Tomato Cream Pesto is easily the best among those I’ve tried. It came with fish, mussels, clams, squid rings, etc. but it’s the tomato sauce I really couldn’t get enough of. Better than the meatball rigatoni. The linguine was perfectly al dente.
I wasn’t aiming for an Italian meal of sorts, but we did try their All-Meat Pizza. I know what you’re think: “500 bucks for a 10″ pizza?” Yeah, it is relatively expensive. Don’t get me wrong. It’s really good, but it’s still expensive. I guess I did have a softer spot for this when I read some of the ingredients in the menu. Chorizo Iberico. Tenderloin beef. Garlic Roasted Mushrooms. Caramelized Onions. Aside from the fact that half of these toppings aren’t meat, they used more expensive ingredients than the normal pizza joints and you can taste the difference in the pizza. The pomodoro sauce is as good as the pasta, but the ingredients really make the pizza. If it made me eat mushrooms, then they did their part well.
They had a set of “Big Plates,” which are entrees good enough to share.
My favorite has to be the Crisp Citrus-Rosemary Roasted Pork Belly. I usually wouldn’t order a dish that has such a veggie-sounding name or even a 500-peso lechon kawali, but I did my homework here. You would probably see or hear about their crispy pork belly in any review of Chelsea. I have to say that it did not disappoint. It’s crispy, fatty, and not too oily. And really, how can you not love crispy pork belly? It’s served with chili cranberry apricot chutney (which I didn’t see), mashed potatoes (can’t get enough of them), and roasted garlic baby asparagus. Gotta love the rosemary olive jus with the pork!
I was keen on getting the Southern-Style Cornflake and Oatmeal Crusted Fried Chicken in a Basket but I came away disappointed. Presentation-wise, it’s always caught my attention, but I don’t know. The chicken was pretty dry, the fries soggy, and the skin just wasn’t my favorite thing in the world.
Do get the Classic Beer Battered Fish and Chips, though. It’s one of the best in the Metro. It comes with an aoili and tartar sauce, and the must-have malted vinegar. It’s two huge pieces of fish, fried perfectly. What’s not to love?
There’s my customary Strawberry Iced Tea or Peach Iced Tea, which is expensive, but something I’d order again. I know I’m cheap but:
- It’s fucking awesome,
- Fresh ingredients are worth a bit more IMHO2, and
- It’s pretty fucking awesome.
I prefer the strawberry over the peach version, but you can’t go wrong with either.
And while I’m not a big dessert person, my sister is. We ordered the Banana Crunch Cream Pie, but we got this for free with a Citibank or Metrobank promo or something like that. Be sure to ask staff there. Totally worth it because it cost us nothing. The dessert was good, but still too sweet for me. But the quality of the ingredients still stands out.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the meal. It’s rare that I would pay that much for a meal but there’s very few things better than quality ingredients. Service was great3, except for those fugly uniforms. Reminds me of the Swiss Guards in Vatican. I know they’re part of some gimmick and they’re probably famous for it, but really looks like a theater costume reject. So kudos to the staff who
have to dare wear them!