Chuck’s Grub

I love fish and chips, so I was intrigued when I saw signs for Chuck’s Grub in Trinoma’s Food Choices.

Chuck's Grub

We only got to try it out a few weeks ago, however, and our first visit was wildly unsuccessful. There were two women ahead of me in the line, and both of them had coupons for a large amount of fish and chips. The girl who was cooking the food seemed to be moving underwater, which was why the woman in front of me whispered that she had been in line for 20 minutes, all her friends are done with their meals, and she hadn’t even had a chance to place her order. It turns out that the fish and chips that were being prepared belonged to a different first customer, and that the first girl in line hadn’t even managed to place her order yet.

Two weeks later, Tj and I went back and the place was blessedly line-free. Tj and I ordered–what else?–fish and chips: he had the two-piece cream dory (Php130) with tartar sauce and I had the two-piece halibut (Php250) with vinegar; the halibut is said to come from Greenland. Other available fish include snapper and cobbler.

It only took a very short while for our food to be served, which was good because I was starving. What we were served weren’t exactly thrilling, however.

Chuck's Grub, fish and chips

The fish pieces were cooked well and the batter tasted nice. However, they were tiny–three-inch squares, if I’m not mistaken. The fries didn’t taste as fresh as they should have, and the tartar sauce was watery. The lemon that came with our food was a thin slice and not an easy-to-handle, squeezable wedge. The presentation of the food was interesting and maybe Tj and I are just clumsy, but we found it hard to eat from the container. It would not have been a bad idea to serve it like this:

Had these fish and chips while hanging out near the Tower of London

I wanted to like Chuck’s Grub, I really did. But given the prices, the serving size, and the quality of the food we had that day, it was hard to feel remotely pleased with what we ate. All in all, not a very good meal. Still, I’m hoping it’s just birthing pains for the Trinoma branch and that things will improve in the future.

Cream dory with pineapple, mango, and tomato salsa

I fixed myself up a nice lunch yesterday using my one remaining cream dory fillet, so it’s time for me to get myself a whole new bag again. I usually get the pack of cream dory by Cold Storage Seafood, which contains four huge slabs of fish for less than P200 or $4.65, though I may considering getting smaller fillets next time. I normally bathe it in breading with herbs and fry it till golden, but this time, I pan-seared it (if that’s the right term), drizzled it with olive oil, and topped it with a salsa I made out of pineapple, mango, tomato, and a sprinkling of basil.

Cream dory with pineapple, mango, and tomato salsa
Cream dory with pineapple, mango, and tomato salsa

I topped the fish with parsley and ate it with brown rice. Would’ve been nicer to have it with peas, though.

European John Dory on FoodistaEuropean John Dory

Salmon for lunch

Generally, I find buying salmon frustrating, since I usually stumble upon salmon that still has some bones in. Fortunately, Cherry Foodarama sells boneless salmon fillets (two per bag, P197), and voila, lunch: pan-seared salmon in lemon and butter, crinkle carrots (they came frozen in a bag), corn, and barley. Most people use barley in soups and salads, but I think it makes a nice, fiber-rich alternative to rice.