I know how funny that sounds, but let me tell you why it's Pepper Lunch and not Pepper Dinner. Turns out, for most people in the world, ESPECIALLY the Japanese, mornings and afternoons are the busiest time of the day where you dedicate a big chunk of your day to hard work. So Pepper Lunch usually serves those people who are really active in daylight (but they still try to cater to you, vamps and insomniacs, no worries). The founder, Kuniho Ichinose-san, started Pepper Lunch in Tokyo, Japan in the year I was born, 1994. Since then, it's come a long way, both geographically and achievement-wise. They have restaurants and hawkers all over Asia, even reaching as far as Australia and the mighty US of A.
Who do I know all these things? Am I a crazed Pepper Lunch fan? I'd love to say so but actually, these are the kinds of things you pick up when you meet the marketing people of an establishment. It's that and free food.
The Marketing Staff and the Franchise Owner of Pepper Lunch in Centrio Mall invited us over to their 'warming up' party. Various forms of media were present to try out some of the menu. And in all truth, I was kind of expecting Mrs. Cecil Van Staten of Chuvaness.com (the Philippines' master franchiser's wifey) to pop out from the kitchen but she couldn't make it. But! Our night simply refused to be dulled down! After a brief trivia portion, the staff informed us about promos and the food, all of which I will be talking to you (so patience, my dears!)
Pepper Lunch: What is it?
Pepper Lunch is a fast-steak concept restaurant that originated from the Land of the Rising Sun. Their beef are imported straight from New Zealand (I didn't even know they had many cows in New Zealand) so it's of great quality, and various checks are made to ensure that they're as fresh as they can be. Prices can be a little expensive for some but let me guarantee you, they're totally worth the price!
The best seller for the Pepper Rice category is obviously the Beef Pepper Rice (one of the first three dishes on the original menu, along with), Teriyaki Beef Pepper Rice and Salmon Pepper Rice. For the Premium Steak category, my order, Shimofuri (marbled) Pepper Steak. The Teppan Pasta category boasts of Chicken Aglio Olio, while lovers of Curry Rice and Double Hamburg Steak in the Sizzling Curry Rice category keep coming back for more. Salmon & Chicken in the Combo category rises up to every occasion while Teriyaki Double Salmon, Teriyaki Chicken with Egg and Teriyaki Beef with Egg of the Japanese Classics take Japanese-lovers home.
Don't worry, this isn't the average price, this is actually one of the higher costing items on the menu (well, what do you expect? Premium steak!) Shimofuri is actually the Japanese term for 'Marbled' which is Meat-talk for mixed lean and fat, for all you people who don't speak Meat. I am a big fan of meat but I'd never tried it this way. On my sizzling plate sits beautiful Marbled steak with mung bean sprouts and sweet corn kernels. The waiter advised me to turn the bits of meat quickly so as to not burn one side. I then tossed my rice in and mixed them all together and added some Honey Brown, LIKE A BOSS. This is exactly why I love my dining experience at Pepper Lunch: I feel like a chef (that's one fantasy fulfilled). The flavors dance around my mouth, I can't help it! My explanation can't even make the dish proud, you should just try it and see (or taste) for yourself!
The first time I tried Pepper Rice, I couldn't rid myself of the thought for three days (I'm being honest here). It's one of the very few food that I constantly think about, attempting to return to that feeling when it was still in my mouth. Think i'm being overdramatic? Try for yourself and tell me you didn't get even slightly emotional! I tried their Salmon Pepper rice as well, very beautiful flavors as well.
My do I have good news for the students! December 21 - January 21, Pepper Lunch Centrio is cutting us some slack by giving us a discount on the Beef Pepper Rice. Instead of Php198, students can purchase it at Php150! Just show your ID! Also, they're doing monthly promos for everybody. I'll do my best to keep you updated, Stay tuned by subscribing to my mailing list on the sidebar or following me on my social media accounts (twitter & instagram).
A big warm hug to the people of Pepper Lunch Philippines and a big shout out to my blogger friends: Ms. Irene for the connection, James for some of the pics in this post, Kuya Tom, Kuya Ninonins, Kuya Vic, Kuya Ed, Kuya Mike, Kuya Rob, Ate Venus, Mommy Em, Ate Jacques and the wonderful people from Gold Star Daily Sir Anthony, Ms. Amanda and Ms. Margaux.