had a blast yesterday eating out at UP. carlo and i met up with jopay my wardrobe mistress over at her place behind the university hotel. before that we decided to eat lunch at khas food house, persian food specialty resto.
back when i was at the height of my involvement with the church, we (the upcym) frequented khas and i had my hearty fill of either keema with squid (sweet-spicy ground beef with squid) or beef garlic (sauteed spicy beef with garlic and shredded cabbage over rice). on occasion i would order ox-brain with ground beef, llong dan mong (sinigang style spicy soup with seafood), zetheska (pita bread wrapped ground beef with curry) or “that-is-not-what-you-think” (which delivers the unexpected, but with great results). as a student my budget for lunch would only allow me a p50 meal with a glass of water. if we got too lazy to go to rodics for my indulgence of baconsi (special order super crispy bacon with 2-3 cups of rice), we headed for khas.
so yesterday we invaded khas and despite a few additions (like clear plastic rainproofing and tiled tables with lazy susans), the place practically stayed the same, from the cartolina marker-lettered menu wrapped in clear plastic, the flies in the area, the “off-the-menu” chalk board down to the wonderful waitresses and cook. it’s been years since i greeted the waitresses a cheery “good afternoon, beautiful” in bisaya, and this time was no exception.
impressed by the new full-color menu with photographs, we first called for samosas (stuffed pastry of baked potatoes, curry and other spices, served with a garlic dip) for appetizer. i then proceeded to order the classic keema with squid. carlo ordered the jambalaya (surprisingly a huge serving of spicy rice with veggies, squid and chicken, served with pureed tomatoes and spices, a serving of curry paste, token slice of cucumber and tomato, and a bowl of minty soup). i then had a nice glass of carrot shake, carlo got the fresh yoghurt chiller.
the jambalaya was a real revelation for us both, with carlo sweating like mad because of all the chili. the keema used to be served with chopped chili. now they prepare it with ground sili and made it so much better. i dont think ive really experienced khas until now. i feel like ive missed out on the greater food experience they had to offer mainly due to my previous student budget limitation. there are other wonderful items on the menu i havent explored. that means i have to come back for more!
it took us a while to recover from the heady encounter. good thing we ordered the blended ice drinks as not only did they cool down our tongues, but both the carrot and yoghurt neutralized the spice in our tastebuds. i stopped to ask myself why i dont sweat when eating chili compared to carlo. me thinks there is more to my almost persian looks than i know. hehe
i had to text some of my upcym barkada that i had trekked back to one of our eating places in UP, and that i missed their company as well. before carlo and i left we posed to have our pictures taken with the long-time waitress and cook of khas. as always, with any place it’s not only the food that makes the resto but also its people. this nostalgic journey did not disappoint, and has only opened more opportunities to seek and enjoy a more colorful, spicy life with food and people. cheers!