The willing victims of the ‘lumpiang ubod’

When I asked what they could serve for a gathering in the office this afternoon, Nico of the Silliman Cafeteria, without batting an eyelash,  suggested: “lumpiang ubod”! Of course, I knew what it was; but that for an afternoon snack got my intestines tangled up. Nico was adamant though. “Lumpiang ubod it is then.” No wonder the reaction. We later learned it was their first time to master making it. And they’ve not sold it to anyone yet. So there, the willing victims we were of the “lumpiang ubod”.

The Caf’s “lumpiang ubod” can very well match Cafe Laguna’s version. It can even beat it. I thought theirs was better as the crepe had a firmer yet fine texture. If only they can improve on the sauce.

As with any office gathering, no one starts eating until I have taken a photo of the food on the table. It’s not mandatory; it has become a habit. So when the food arrived in the office this afternoon, they knew already that they needed to convince themselves that, indeed, patience is a virtue. I grabbed a piece of the “lumpiang ubod”, dissected it, poured sauce over…then snapped. Voila!

What to me sets this dish apart is its delicate wrap. The crepe was fine; it didn’t have smudges or a rough surface. That was a good indication of proper handling of the mixture of flour, eggs and butter, careful not to let it rise to avoid the bubbles — what gives pancakes and dessert crepes that “planetary” finish. What was inside it was also well-seasoned; the sugar evened out the salty taste from the soy sauce. The diced “ubod” (palm heart) was mixed with ground pork and finely chopped onions and garlic. The sauteed mixture held up together that when I picked the “lumpiang ubod” from the plate with my hand, it didn’t feel loose and sparse.

The only thing that the Caf needs to perfect is the sauce. While some colleagues thought it needed to be stickier, I thought the consistency was just right. What was a bit lacking was that sweet-garlicky hint that adds depth to every bite of the “lumpiang ubod”.

The “lumpiang ubod” costs Php 20 each. Minimum order: 20 pieces.

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