How do people celebrate? Go dancing? Go singing, bursting out in songs of joy? Bring out the champagne? Set off the fireworks? Hmmm... yeah, I guess all those are ways for people to celebrate... not very common ways, unless it's a major event (referring to the last 2 methods!).
Generally, when we Malaysians have something to celebrate, we usually do something simpler, more satisfying, more binding, more enjoyable... we eat. Yeah, we love our food. We find all sorts of reasons to go out and eat with our friends and families, more so when there's something to celebrate.
Recently, there was cause for celebration at work and a group of us, led by my boss, no less, headed out to Changkat Bukit Bintang for some "Nose to Tail Eating". Now when you can eat something from nose to tail, you can be sure it's serious.
*Warning: Super Tak Halal photos coming up*
Look, we just don't argue about that "Nose to Tail Eating" promise - not when you are greeted by this at the doorway... of El Cerdo ...
I was told a crane was needed to lift & place this monster at that very strategic spot right in front of the restaurant.
"El Cerdo" in Spanish is "The Pig" and pigs we certainly got! They are everywhere!
My boss was the first to arrive and he was famished. Fortunately, service was fast and within minutes we had all these on our table... The fresh bread was so good that someone at our table (to be politically correct, I cannot name this person) couldn't stop eating it until Mr Werner himself had to come over and cautioned him to keep some tummy space for more El Cerdo to come!
I simply adore Serrano Ham... more so when they're served with cold sweet rock melon slices! Somehow smoked saltish ham and sweet juicy melons make a perfect marriage; yin-yang at its best!
El Cerdo often serves special items which are not on their regular menu. Their service crew will recommend these and explain what they actually are. I honestly can't remember the name of this next dish - suffice to say it comprised some bacon rolls encased in batter & fried, served with onion rings... very addictive!
The next porcine plate was also not from their regular menu. According to the charming service attendant, this was their special that day - pork belly that had been slow-roasted for "a very long time" and the skin grilled to a crackling...
The only complaint we had with this dish was that it was too small a serving! Especially when we only had a small piece of the crackling skin to savour!
Ahh well, fret not - we were told. We were waiting eagerly for the next dish and the minutes seemed to tick by so slowly... the restaurant had, by this time, filled up and there was hardly an empty table left!
Note: Please make reservations before coming, lest you be turned away.
And then... the man himself - Mr Werner served us with this...
... and showed us precisely how to carve a German Pork Knuckle. See how every piece was cut with surgical-like precision and so neatly served...
Sides of potato dumplings, sauerkraut, mustard & beer sauce and apple mousse... we were in pig heaven!
That monstrous German Pork Knuckle really knocked our socks off. It was enough to satiate our impatient porcine cravings, which minutes ago, had us almost salivating in anticipation. After chewing on & enjoying every bit of the succulent tendons, meat and skin, we were ready for our desserts.
I don't know about you but I haven't come across anything as decadent as this (not lately, anyway)...
... Melted Centre Chocolate Cake (need I elaborate??) served with Pistachio Icecream...
We're truly a greedy bunch - one dessert is never enough.
Errhmmm... what was that?!
Gosh, I think that was Andreas Special: "A dream in chocolate"? Yes, that must be it. You see, I'm having a slight challenge here because I didn't order that and I also didn't pay for the meal, so errhmm... I don't have the bill either, for reference ;-)
But... I can definitely remember this next dessert, because it was my favourite!
Rum & Raisin Pancake.
OK, I know the photo doesn't do it justice - it's a darn difficult piece to shoot. And I'm not usually a pancake person.... but this version here was, well.... tongue-blowing! Literally. The rum in the raisins in the icecream was so "pure & pungent", it practically shook my boss up who's a total teetotaller! Well, according to Mr Werner, they make their own icecream inhouse... so no wonder lah! You definitely won't get that kinda truly-rummed raisins in store-bought icecream, trust me.
I definitely would go back - and the Pancake that I'm going to order is ONLY for myself - no sharing please! And I also will go back for the suckling pig, which we didn't order this time... it's so fun smashing the plate that cuts the pig, haha!
It was a wonderful and satisfying meal, shared among great colleagues and the promise went round that night that we'll definitely go back to El Cerdo for the next celebration, regardless.
43 & 45 Changkat Bukit Bintang
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2145 0511 (in case you can't see the piggy bag above, hehe!)
Fax: 03-2145 1375