One of my most vivid childhood memories is going to Sta. Cruz Church for mass every Sunday, lunch at Savory near the church (I think), then Fort Santiago in the afternoon.
Somewhere along the way, this ritual stopped and it has been more than ten years since my last Savory experience. Truth be told, I forgot how the food tastes like.
While doing our usual grocery at SM City, Mamu saw a Savory in front of SM Hypermart, she told me “Let’s have lunch here.”
As soon as we sat down I saw a black and white photograph of an old Savory hanging in the wall. I think this was their first branch. I stared at it long enough to realize that this is exactly how the Savory where we used to go looked like. I asked Mamu, “Dyan ba tao kumakain dati?” She smiled and said “You still remember?”
The rice and chicken arrived first. The chicken, supposedly their specialty looked a little simple, too simple in fact that I wondered why Mamu, who isn't so fond of chicken insisted that we have this.
It was way after lunch and I was famished by this time so I gobbled up a few spoons full of rice first. I took a piece of chicken and as soon as I bite into it I was transported back to my childhood days. It tasted so familiar, from the crispy skin to the tender meat and that particular taste that only Savory Chicken has. Memories of our Sunday lunch came flooding in. I told Mamu between mouthfuls, "I remember this chicken and it still tastes great!"
Then the shrimp arrived. It was a letdown and quite different from what Mamu and I expected. Mamu said there was too much batter that she hardly tasted the shrimp. Dipped in the sweet and sour sauce it tasted better and goes well with the fried rice. I enjoyed it better at home, when the puff isn't as crispy and a little limp (yeah, it was too much food for two people that we had to bring our tira home).
All in all it was a good lunch that sent me spinning down memory lane. I would definitely come back for the chicken. I’m not sure though if they use MSG but both Mamu and I were down with migraine that night.