Last Friday it was my turn to be feted a send-off lunch by my colleagues in the office. I knew that that staff union was organizing a send-off in the last hour of the work-day and I was trying to avoid that. I’m not very good with good-byes and big groups of people. Our group of four, however, was something I could handle.
I had no clear idea on what to eat; all I knew was that I wanted something different from our previous lunch. Mr Rockefeller’s outdoor seating was eye-catching, with its huge upholstered chairs. So we decided to have lunch at Mr. Rockefeller. Coming in, I was reminded of restaurants and bars I’d seen through Hollywood films. The interiors, with its wood and leather decor, spoke ‘all-boys’ club’. The lighting was subdued, bordering on a pale darkness. A pretty waitress took our orders and I was amazed when, after a somewhat lengthy Q&A plus our own comments and questions on the food, she repeated our orders without taking any notes. With that memory, that waitress will go places!
For starters we ordered a house special: Oysters Rockefeller and Caesar Salad. The servings were generous; I had a second serving of the salad. I’m not a big fan of oysters; I like mussels more. We ordered oysters because that’s their signature dish and I’m glad we ordered it. The oyster, in spite of being lathered by two layers of topping, remained succulent. It was a perfect way to begin our meal.
I didn’t try the Country-style Chicken because I was busy with the other dishes. The serving comprised 3 large pieces of battered and fried chicken, gravy plus sides of mixed greens and fries. The fries were cut thick, and were deliciously crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Just by looking at my friends’ plates, I could see that the chicken was juicy as well.
From the name alone, I was already attracted to order Gambas and Risotto. Who could resist spicy prawn thrown in with creamy mushroom risotto? This was my favorite dish of the lunch. This despite the fact that the prawns were, I think, overcooked by a few seconds. They were a little tough actually but the flavor was the best. It was spicy and sweet from the roasted bell peppers. The mushroom risotto was flawless: creamy and earthy and the grains didn’t dissolve into a sticky goo. I loved it.
We ordered the Garlic Pasta almost as an afterthought; because we were worried that the servings might not suffice. Of course, our lovely waitress already told us that their servings were American-sized but we still had misgivings. If we weren’t full from the other dishes, we would’ve been able to finish eating this because it was so good. The simple sauce was tasty and I couldn’t really tell what went into it. The menu, in fact, stated it was a secret sauce. We ended up having half of this dish packed for another colleague who didn’t make it to our lunch date.
Over-all, it was a pleasurable dining experience at Mr. Rockefeller. The interior and ambiance of the place, though decidedly American, was cheerful and welcoming. This is also probably due to the staff, who were both efficient without being curt and knowledgeable without making us look ignorant. Will I dine again at Mr. Rockefeller? I definitely will because there are still other dishes that I want to try. Oh, I almost forgot: Mr. Rockefeller’s menu boasts of a wide selection of steaks. They swear by them but none of us were into steaks so we didn’t order any. However, if you’re into steaks, you might want to give them a try.
And finally, thanks to the ladies who took me to lunch! Thanks for the friendship; let’s see each other again soon!