Happy birthday to me: Dinner at The Breslin

You’ve spent time in Europe so i know you’ve heard the jokes about British cuisine: about how bad, bland and boring it supposedly is (I have to admit I don’t remember much of the meals during my visit there several years back — well, except for the fish and chips we got near the London Eye and my very first terrine ever — but that may be because of the whirlwind of a tour we did and not the food itself). But things have been heating up for the Brits in recent years with the emergence of exciting new chefs and so-called gastropubs.


We in New York are lucky enough to benefit from these developments. There are several British gastropubs here now, including The Breslin, which is where my awesome friend E took me to celebrate my recent birthday. We both did our research, meaning we had scoured the menu and picked our favorites the night before. But even semi-prepared, it took us forever to make our choices and we eventually sought guidance from our server.


We chose a couple of appetizers: 1 scotch egg and a chicken liver parfait. Like the egg surprise we were served at Kalayaan (the freshman dorm at the University of the Philippines, for those who might not be familiar), this scotch egg was covered in meat, lightly breaded and deep fried. But that’s where the similarities end. Inside was a soft-boiled egg, instead of the rubbery white and chalky yolk to which we were subjected.


The chicken liver parfait with madeira jelly on top is just heaven in a ramekin — so smooth, so creamy and so light. We ran out of toast pretty quickly and ended up using the french fries with our burgers to scrape every bit of it from its container.


We also tried out the fried sweetbreads with ‘nduja (a spreadable pork sausage), beluga lentils and castelvetrano olives. Do you know what sweetbreads are? The thymus, pancreatic and other glands. Basically, it’s offal with a more delicious sounding name. You and I as are most Capampangans, are no stranger to offal (hello, dinuguan). And cooked this way, I could eat it all day long. the sweetbreads are, well, almost sweet — creamy, even — and the lentils provided a nice, savory contrast.


E and i both ordered the lamb burger for the main course and it was oh so good — gamy, meaty and juicy (served medium-rare) with the thin slices of feta cheese and raw red onions giving it a whole different layer of flavor. I didn’t finish mine that night, but even reheated the next day it was still delicious. the fries served with it deserve special mention. They are thrice-cooked: boiled, then fried twice. the result: golden strips with a crispy shell and an almost creamy inside.


You’d think after everything we already enjoyed that we’d be too full for dessert. Well, we were kinda full but we had room for a spiced parsnip panna cotta with a pear sorbet and candied ginger. i loved everything i had at this restaurant and will definitely go back. There are a lot more items on the menu to try. So a huge thanks to E for this wonderful treat!




2 Comments Add yours

  1. Betis Boy says:

    wow, that did look like an appropriate birthday dinner 🙂 ala yang “anggo” itang lamb, the aftertaste that just won't go away? the sweetbread dish sounds really good as you described it. (i think we eat more of that part in the “kilayin” more than the “tidtad”). and yes, educate me, what are parsnips?


  2. Guagua Girl says:

    parsnips are labanos, HA HA HA! i didn't know that until quite recently really. there was absolutely no “ango” with the lamb; it was almost similar to beef, except milder, maybe. but it was definitely meaty and juicy!


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