Looking for a good dining place for a day trip in Olongapo, I stumbled upon Ben’s Kitchen. The Coffee Shop came up in Alain’s search, but it is not in the vicinity of Harbor Point. Xtremely Xpresso Cafe also came up on the search, but we were to have lunch, and I don’t think I really wanted to have lunch in a cafe. Luckily, I found out that Ben’s Kitchen is also by the people behind XX.
But I think even if I did not find Ben’s Kitchen on the Internet, we’d still go for this cozy restaurant located at the Riverwalk of Harbor Point. They would surely catch us with their inviting blue couches. We’d fall for cozy couches anytime.
After admiring the very clean, very neat interior, we checked out the menu. Alain’s pre-meditated order was the Xtremely Xpresso’s Famous Ribs and bottomless iced tea. I settled for the Coca-Cola Roast Pork and a glass of frozen iced tea. “Settled” because it’s one of those safe, less-than-200-bucks orders and I wanted to compare their version of frozen tea with that one I fell in love with when we went to Bacolod. And I have to admit that A.C. Rumpa, which I should really, really write about sometime soon, taught me that good food need not be expensive, that’s why.
But we’ve had that kind of complimentary chi-cha at Pretty Stacy’s before. And we liked Stacy’s sweet assortment of popcorn, pretzels and mallows. But then, again, perhaps they’re not going for the sweet kind of ambiance. We enjoyed munching on it, nonetheless.
I like the coziness of the place. It’s perfect for spending a lazy weekend with friends and family. We wondered if it’s much prettier at night.
I found these signs on the wall pretty interesting, too.
And then our orders arrived. Alain’s pick, the Xtremely Xpresso’s Famous Ribs, says “Don’t you dare compare!” Well, I did, with that of AC Rumpa’s. Clap-clap for the presentation, talo ang Rumpa dun. Price? Same, at P190. Serving amount? Rumpa gets the points. Taste? Rumpa wins, hands-down. But then I only got a couple of bites. It’s tasty, though. I think Alain enjoyed it.
My choice (influenced by Ate Waitstaff when I asked what’s their other best-seller), Coca Cola Roast Pork dared saying “I betcha haven’t tried this/?!!” Well, I have tried my Nanay’s roasted pork marinated in Sprite or 7-Up when she was still alive. That’s pretty much the same, sort of. And I loved that more than this dish that I had. If they are aiming to bring out the flavor of the pork by marinating it in cola , then they failed. If they are aiming to mask the Coke flavor and keeping the meat tender, then they got it right. It’s a little bland for my taste, sorry. Specially because I was downing it with a very, very sweet frozen iced tea (not good for me). I waited for the ice to melt, but it was still too sweet.
And Alain agreed we’ve been served with better rice than what they had… at home. Sana dinaan man lang sa presentation like Stacy’s heart-shaped rice. But seriously, rice is a staple Pinoy food. Serve it good, please.
Ben’s Kitchen sort of failed my food expectation at some point, but it was the perfect place to have lunch and catch up with a dear friend. And it’s only apt that we dine at Ben’ Kitchen before watching The Best JLC-SG Movie Ever!!! 🙂