Pepper Lunch

Sizzle your way to a great meal in this DIY steak restaurant.

Over at one corner of Power Plant Mall’s concourse level, there has been more buzz and people at a vibrant restaurant that never runs out of customers during both day and night. That mouthwatering smell of grilled meat consumes passers-by, making them stop to look at a long line of hungry customers awaiting to order their food. The brightly-lit and cheery restaurant swiftly serves up a fill of lunch or dinner, or anything in between, and attends to the next in line with all smiles. Just another restaurant? Not quite. This one offers you something fresh and enticing: always have your meal your way. At Pepper Lunch, you are the Chef.


Sizzle It Your Way

“It’s really simple,” Jeroen Van Straten of Pepper Lunch explains, “even if you don’t know how to cook, it is very easy.” Jeroen is the man responsible for bringing in the Pepper Lunch phenomenon to the Philippines. He accommodated me one afternoon to talk about the Pepper Lunch concept.

” style=”float:left;margin-right:10px;”>Pepper Lunch started in Japan during the mid-nineties, and offers the Do-It-Yourself steaks concept to its customers. The outlets in Japan, Jeroen shares, do not feel much of a family casual dining place as it is more of an ‘eat-and-go’ establishment, where people actually are already waiting in line to use your seat once you are through. Here in the Philippines, however, it is part of our regular routine to dine in leisurely and use the eating times to bond with friends and family. Pepper Lunch has become that happy place to meet up with people and chitchat over meals.

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Pepper Lunch
What’s hot and sizzling over at Power Plant? Jeroen Van Straten shares what Pepper Lunch is all about.

The Customer is Always Chef

So how does one cook over at Pepper Lunch? “Just turn it over, mix it with our special butter,” Jeroen says, “and if you don’t know how to cook, our staff will help you.”

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How To: Sizzle It The Pepper Lunch Way
Let ClickTheCity take you to the Pepper Lunch D.I.Y. experience!

As a first-timer over at Pepper Lunch, Jeroen was nice enough to help me prepare my sizzling dish, the Beef Pepper Rice (P198 ala carte, P235 with drink). As soon as the kitchen brought out my order, the place immediately smelled of its savory, meaty goodness, and I can hear the crackling and sizzling on the plate that made me all the more excited to try out my food.

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The butter’s flavor and aroma was just simply marvelous when it combined with the rice and beef of my dish. I asked Jeroen what special secret ingredients they have concocted for the butter. What I got was a shrug and a laugh, and him saying that they didn’t really know either. Guess I just have to keep on ordering at Pepper Lunch to get myself that special buttery fix every now and then.

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I got to try out what Marian ordered as well, her Salmon Pepper Rice (P275 ala carte, P315 with drink) came to our table bursting with aroma. The salmon is served just right with its soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture. This would be the dish I’ll order on my next visit! Another must-try would be the Curry Beef Pepper Rice (P218 ala carte, P258 with drink), which my friend Mark loves, and which is also a personal favorite of Jeroen.

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“The salads are selling really well,” Jeroen shares. The Shake! Shake! Salad (P99 each, comes in Sesame Chicken, Seaweed and Spicy Tuna) is placed into a plastic cup with a lid, and it is shaken by the customer before consuming, instead of tossing them with a fork and knife on a plate. They make great starters before a sizzling meal, the serving size just enough for an appetizer. What is interesting about the salads is that Pepper Lunch adds noodles along the mix of greens.

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Pepper Lunch offers sweet endings to pair with your sizzling meals in their Kuromitsu Soft Ice Cream (P30), Vanilla Crepe Cake (P120), Matcha Cheesecake (P140) and Molten Milk Chocolate Cake (P120). We got to try out the chocolate cake which was sinfully oozing warm and gooey choco goodness from the inside. An added delight would be to get the cake ala mode, taking a spoonful of the cake with another spoonful of vanilla ice cream. If you’re a fan of dual-temperature desserts, this one should be ordered.

The desserts at Pepper Lunch seem to have gained a good number of fans and has certainly impressed Pepper Lunch Japan. “Japan is already interested in serving them themsevles, as well,” Jeroen says.

So if sizzling hot meals is your thing, or perhaps you want to play chef with your food, Pepper Lunch is definitely something you must check out. I recommend to go over there earlier than your intended lunch or dinner hours, as believe me, they are always packed at those times! Just head on to the concourse level of Power Plant and follow your nose, which will lead you to that big bright place where you can sizzle it your way.

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