Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Pre-Chinese New Year Pig Out@El Cerdo


This outing last Sunday was a much anticipated pigging out session for my brother and I. And what better place to pig out than at a restaurant where oink oinks is the star of the show.


Ever since the first time we visited El Cerdo, we have fallen in love with it. This is where pork lovers can come to enjoy the swineful delights to their hearts content. We went there early, arriving at 12:00pm. I did not make reservations because the last time we were there, we did not have any problems getting a table. It was the same this time except that the server took a while to decide where to sit us. 

Like before, this fellow greeted us at the door, all dolled up in Chinese New Year getup.


El Cerdo means The Pig in Spanish and inside you will see many piggy decorations.





Now on Sundays, you can opt for the brunch which I think is good value for money if you are a big eater and/or drinker.


But we did not come for the brunch because we wanted ribs and Paella. The brunch is a small spread but filled with variety. I think it is pretty good but that will have to wait for another day.




Once we were seated (our seat was opposite the toilet but it was alright as the toilet was well concealed with drapes. But still, I think in future I better make reservations to get better seating) I got busy inspecting the menu. We were given only one menu and I had to pass it to my brother after I was done.

The Menu Cover.
Poetic with the piggy.

It was not difficult to make our choices as our focus was trained on the ribs and paella. We settled for the Green Salsa Baby Back Ribs and Paella Mixta. And water. El Cerdo does not serve good old plain water and the server brought us a bottle of mineral water to share. After our orders were taken, another server approached me with something that looked like a bracelet (my brother called it a handcuff). I did not quite understand as he spoke with a heavy accent. Then it became clear that the "bracelet" was actually some kind of hanger to hang my handbag hah..hah... Now I know...

I need to buy a new handbag.
While waiting, I got up to snap pics of the piggy decorations.

Piggy mobile. I'd like this in my house.


The food took some time to arrive. In the menu, there is a note to tell patrons to allow the kitchen 30-40 minutes for the paella to be served. Meanwhile, we started off with bread and butter.

The bread is refillable.

The ribs arrived first, served on a board. There were 8 pieces of ribs, apple salad, fried potatoes and salsa. I think I could easily polish this off all by myself but we shared on account of the paella.


The meat was tender and juicy. Really tasty but I did not quite appreciate the green salsa. It was rather salty and I believe there were capers in there. I should have snapped a photo of the menu for reference of the ingredients.


The apple salad was quite good. I think it was apple slices mixed with mayonnaise. It went well with the pork.


And the potatoes? Totally scrumptious. It was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside and full of salty buttery goodness. My brother said it tasted like cookies. hah..hah...


The green salsa was left pretty much untouched. It did not quite suit our tastebuds. Besides, the ribs were already so good on their own. After we were done, our paella was still not ready. I believe it was more than 40 minutes since we placed our orders but we were not complaining. We had lots to talk about and it was after all a lazy Sunday for us. 

Wet wipes to clean our hands after attacking the ribs.
The restaurant was not at full capacity yet with only a handful of tables taken. I noted that a private room was occupied as our table was just outside that room. We saw the servers going in with platters of exotic looking dishes. And finally our Paella Mixta arrived.


The paella portions are meant for two persons and I would say that it was ample even by our standards hah..hah... I proceeded to dig in, forgetting about the lemon. Our server approached and offered to assist. He squeezed the lemon juice into the wooden spoon and used a fork to catch the seeds as he poured the juice over the rice. Then he told me to mix the rice to evenly distribute the lemon juice.


And wow! The lemon juice made a difference. It brought out the full flavors of the paella. Our tongues were popping and I can only describe the paella as magnificent! My brother, who has been to Spain, remarked that the paella tasted just like the one he had there.



I've really got to cook paella at home though I am doubtful if I could re-create what I tasted at El Cerdo. Hey, RealGunners, if you are reading this and if you have the time, go to El Cerdo and eat the paella. It is a good way of spending your angpow money! 


While digging our way through the paella pan, we noted that the bottom was burnt. Very burnt. Is it supposed to be that way? But hey, the burnt bits tasted pretty good. But if my partner were here, he would tell me that it is heaty and can cause sore throat. 

Kerak nasi Sepanyol.
The server came over when he saw my brother digging away and offered to help scrape the bits off. I took the opportunity to ask him if the paella was meant to be burnt like that. Oh yes, he said. In fact some of his Spanish customers will request for the paella to be more burnt. Interesting. But at those prices, I really would not want the paella to be burnt too much :)


I guess it is pretty much like claypot rice where some people just love the burnt rice at the bottom of the pot. I am not really a fan of burnt rice but I can guarantee you that if I cook paella on the stove, you don't have to specially request for the burnt part - it will burn hah..hah...

After we were done cleaning the paella pan, the natural progression would be dessert. We quickly decided on the Andreas Special "A Dream in Chocolate", one each. The server however suggested that we have a half portion each of that and the Werner's Special. A half and half. We were not sure how that would pan out but we agreed.

On the left is the Werner's Special and on the right
is the Andreas Special "A Dream in Chocolate".
And so it arrived, one of each. We were expecting two of each (pigs!) and the server said that he thought that would be too much (he is very naive, doesn't know our capacity). Oh well. Anyway, he gave us a tip on how to enjoy this dessert. Start from the bottom and work upwards. 


The Andreas Special "A Dream in Chocolate" is truly a dream in chocolate. I am sorry I don't know what is in those layers but I tasted bananas. It was very good, I dug deep in and was transported to heaven. Then my brother and I exchanged desserts.


The Werner's Special was equally good, more on a sourish note. If I remember correctly the topping is a strawberry mousse with fresh strawberry slices underneath. I loved this one a lot too and I am glad that the server suggested one of each dessert. It is hard for me to choose which one I like best. But never fear! I forsee myself and my brother visiting El Cerdo a few more times and so it will be a full serving of one dessert at each visit. Oh yes, we won't split our desserts again!


I picked up the tab and it is money well spent. It was a wonderful meal and we promised ourselves that we will be back! In fact on our drive home, my brother and I were still twitching from the paella :D



Oh yes, today is the eve of Chinese New Year! To those of you having your reunion dinner tonight, I hope you have a lovely time with your families. And if you see chocolate cake on the table, go ahead and have a slice (or two). Because I said so. This is the time to celebrate and enjoy yourselves. Whatever the consequences, worry about it later hah..hah....

I would like to wish everyone GONG XI FA CAI! May you be blessed with Love, Happiness, Good Health, Wealth and Good Luck in the coming year!

40 comments:

  1. Heard of this place, many have blogged about it. KIV, MUST check it out if I get the chance to hop over. But over RM200!!! *faints* Ummmm...you take me there, belanja me, can? Hehehehehe!!!!

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  2. Happy New Year Phong Hong! :)

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  3. I know this place.. My friend posted in FB before, and I remember something about breaking the plates after the meal for good luck.. You didn't break any plates ahh? Only ribs and rice? Not enough for me, I could finish the everything by myself, haha.. Oh yes today is cny eve.. Gong Hei Fatt Choy twin Phong Hong :)

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    1. Gong Xi Fa Cai, Louiz! Yeah, my twin :D Oh yes, the breaking plate I experienced it twice. I think that happens only when you order the roasted suckling pig. Second time was during Chinese New Year some years back. My partner potong stim lah, he said for us Chinese it is bad luck to break plates hah..hah... So my sis-in-law did the breaking.

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  4. Happy Lunar New Year to you and your family...

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  5. Hi Phong Hong,
    Yeah ! Eve of CNY and I'm busy preparing & cooking reunion dinner.
    Gong Xi Fa Cai to you & family too !

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    1. Gong Xi Fa Cai, Karen! Your home cooked reunion dinner must have been awesome!

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  6. Oh yes, paella is basically Spanish version of claypot rice, needs that bit of burnt base! And it seems like mine looks like the real deal (just looks only I think) XD

    This one need to wait for the next trip back after CNY, I don't think I can squeeze the time to do it this time :/

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    1. Your paella definitely looks good. In fact it looks better than this one! Sure, on your next trip try to go to El Cerdo and then confirm if your paella taste like the real deal :D

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  7. Phong Hong, this is a very interesting place. I would love to try the pork rib and also the hmmm ah paella rice...but its too expensive for a pensioner like me...heheheee.

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    1. Nancy, can save some of your pension money for a once in a blue moon splurge hee..hee... Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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  8. Hi PH! Dropping by to wish you and your loved ones a very happy and prosperous year! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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    1. Hey, Alvin! Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and your family!

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  9. Hi Phong Hong, good post but honestly I wouldn't enjoy the pork dishes after looking at the El Cerdo in the restaurant. I don't know why, but it happens to me with chicken, duck or those living creatures. KEONG HEE HUAT CHYE to you and have a good holiday. My CNY holiday will start next week when I'm back to my own 'nest', hehehe!

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    1. Hi Kimmy! I guess when we look at images of the living animals (especially when they are cute), it is hard to imagine them being killed for our dining table. But that thought did not cross my mind then till you mentioned it.

      Keong Hee Huat Chye to you and your family too! I guess it is more fun back at your own nest hee..hee..

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  10. they have a huge selection of Spanish sausages! Anyway, the pealla is what I would also chose being there, looks very good and made at home never tastes enough fine as the ones served by professionals

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    1. Ola, I love the Spanish sausages and meats. Paella is really good but so expensive to eat out!

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  11. Oh I see you're pigging out...hahaha!! As the Chinese say (I think)...to eat is "Fook"....so eat away.....but I think I need 4 people to eat all that! XD. Nice pics of those cute little piggies (by the way) but not cute enough for me to not eat them....wakakaka!

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    1. Kris, I pig out any chance I get hee..hee... Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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  12. gong xi fa cai! i hv not eaten paella before but when you mentioned the burnt bits, it reminds me of our local nga poh kai fan( claypot rice)! many people also like the burnt bits of the nga poh ka fan! just came back from reunion dinner, no cooking at home today! Have a wonderful chinese new year and a prosperous one!!

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    1. Gong Xi Fa Cai, Lena! Have a wonderful time with your family and I wish all of you good health, happiness and wealth!

      I actually don't like the burnt bits though it does taste nice. It's a good excuse lah if I am the one cooking hee...hee..

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  13. Hey PH, this place is very cute!! I am sure my friend will love these piggies all around the place... and of course the food looks really tempting la!

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    1. Hi Claire! If you come to KL, your can try this restaurant!

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  14. Hi PH, just to drop by here to wish you and your family a Happy Lunar New Year, good healthy and Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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    1. Thank you, Sonia! I also wish you and your family Gong Xi Fa Cai and wish all of you good health, wealth and happiness!!

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  15. Gong Xi Fa Cai to you! I ate here a few times too, love the Iberico ribs and Werner's special dessert. We had the Paella Con Mariscos and although it was tasty, my spouse said the paella he ate in Madrid was very much better! So I guess I have to go to Madrid to taste the real deal.

    Good to see you and your brother enjoyed your food.

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    1. Gong Xi FaCai, Mun! My next mission is to eat the Iberico ribs! Well, I guess it must surely be better in Spain and I hope to make a trip there someday too!

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  16. Would love to check out the restaurant too! Love your blog banner, dear. Here's wishing you a Happy CNY! xoxo

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  17. Phong Hong, Gong Xi Fa Cai, I wish you and your family a happy & prosperous year :)

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    1. DG, Gong Xi Fa Cai! Me too wish you and your family a very happy and prosperous new year!

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  18. LOL... the piggies are so cute and the food are great! Happy new year!

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    1. Yes, the piggies are cute but we eat them. LOL!

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  19. Hi Phong Hong,

    Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and your family! This is a wonderful feast for your CNY eve... Eating out is good... Less fuss and stress to cook and feed a large family.

    Zoe

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    1. Hi Zoe! This pigging out was even before CNY eve hah..hah... We really couldn't wait to celebrate LOL!

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  20. That's good memories flooding back now. I always loved to get invited to eat at this pricey Elcerdo which serves really delicious food but I often felt guilty after the meals for over eating and the plate smashing rituals! All your photos looked so yummy and nice! How come the chef didn't ask you to smash plates? Maybe they have abandoned this silly wasteful rituals.

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    1. I think the plate smashing is still on but only when you order the roasted suckling pig. I remember that the plate was used to cut the pig and the smashed to bits!

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