I had very fond memories of Padi’s Point. Back in the College of Law, friends and I often drove up to Antipolo just to view the sunset over bottles of beer and some cheap finger foods (usually peanuts). More often than not, we landed at the “stilts” — nipa huts along the edge of Sumulong Highway — where beer was cheap and ambulant vendors of still-hot roasted peanuts and kasuy were not shooed away by the establishment’s owners.
During times when we had more money than usual, we’d go to Vieux Chalet or Padi’s Point. Perhaps, the few times were were at Padi’s Point, we only had beer and peanuts. Or, they had a different cook back then. See, I don’t remember eating badly-cooked food at Padi’s Point. Like I said, I had very fond memories of the place — until a few weeks ago. On July 9th, to be exact.
We were coming home from the mall and were trying to decide if we should have dinner out or cook when we got home. Padi’s Point was along the way and I suggested the place to my husband and kids. In all the six years we have been living in Antipolo, we have never eaten a meal at Padi’s Point.
When the onion rings were served, my first impression was that they were overly plump. Perhaps, they were the commercial stuff available in supermarkets. Perhaps not and the cook used a batter than was thicker than usual. At any rate, I have long ago learned not to judge food by its appearance so I kept an open mind. The first bite wasn’t bad. The second wasn’t too good. The third was disastrous.
I hope you can see the raw flour in the onion ring’s batter in the photo above. If you want a more detailed view, see the photo below.
I was hoping it was a fluke. We had ordered three other dishes and I was really hoping that it only the onion rings were bad.
My younger daughter, Alex, couldn’t eat the chicken. At first, I thought it must be her newly-installed braces. But after I tried the chicken, I realized that there was no connection with the braces. The chicken was simply too tough and too dry — an obvious case of over frying.
That’s supposed to be chicken sisig in the photo above. How it even remotely resembled sisig, in flavor and in appearance, I could not imagine. The taste was inexplicable. The best description I can provide is food coloring plus a little salt. And those chunks of chicken breast were as dry as dry could be — like they had been pre-boiled, chopped, then left in the fridge to dry out until some poor sops like us made the mistake of ordering chicken sisig.
Still, I was waiting for a miracle — a reason to justify why I recommended Padi’s Point to my family because, at that point, I felt very, very uncomfortable and embarrassed. Good thing it was my turn to pay for dinner out. Had it been my husband’s turn and he was expected to pay for the crap we had eaten so far, I would never hear the end of it. So, I was still hoping for a miracle. And I thought that miracle had come when the grilled liempo (pork belly) was served.
Okay, it was the best among the lot. You’d still need a very sharp knife to cut the pork into very small pieces though. Otherwise, you’d need to chew each bite a hundred times to tear the meat sufficiently to swallow. Try washing it down with water and you’re likely to choke. Anak ng tokwa, ang tigas!
The funny thing is that the place is full on Friday and Saturday evenings. Drive along Sumulong at those times and the parking area around Padi’s Point is packed. So, perhaps, for serious beer drinkers, the quality of the pulutan (finger food) does not really matter. Perhaps, for those too drunk, everything tastes the same. But then again, perhaps not.
There are a lot of inuman along Sumulong Highway where the food is just great. Niagara Hills, for one. In Marikina, there are watering holes that are famous for their pulutan. In Hapag Kainan, I neglected to drink my beer because I was too focused on the sisig. In short, I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that it’s okay to serve customers with less than good food because they came for the beer and the view anyway.
Whatever. One thing’s for sure — never again will I recommend Padi’s Point except to my worst enemies. And I sure hope that the owners have since fired the cook.