SEFALI RESTO and "ORIENTALISM"
November 5, 2008 after twelve hours of travel and 12 hours of enrollment, my friends settled at a local resto of KRUS NA LIGAS. I thought, "huh? KNL = fine- dinning meal?" It was my first time to visit the KNL resto and with much expectations, as if i was heading into Manila Hotel.
A jeepney ride at 6 pm took us into the shadowland of U.P. Passing thru FA road, we headed towards the luminous Barangay KNL. As always, local people and informal settlers, dashed through the streets, walking to and fro. Plunging into the crowd enveloped ones existence into nothing. One has no identity, faceless and featureless. You only know that you exist because it is self-referentially acknowledged.
It is highly unusual that Sefali is just a little walk from the jeepney. I have paraded these streets since i was first year in college and haven't spotted a decent restaurant. Nevertheless, we found it. I found it.
As soon i entered, i felt the creative energy, a jolt like a wave from the sea. Flashed before my eyes are decorations that unique and compliments the darkness and hazy night at KNL. The drappings on the wall, the dangling, continuous crystal beeds of blinds that transparently covers the window, the exotic masked, a unique set of chairs and tables and a plain fish pond converses as if it was aware of its aethetic usuabilty. The place breathes life from the wonderful decor, most were African inspired. There were also framed newspaper articles detailing, as what i thought, important events and people who are historical referenced.
Gela examines designs.
Besides that idea, i am disappointed by what i received in the table. I ordered Oriental Chicken because i want to know how "oriental" it was, given that most our Filipino dishes are "orientally" influence because of topography. It was the only thing in the menu that is left among the things i have ordered, so i tried it. I must admit it was not as good as i expected.
Following this description of "orientalism", i say that most, if not all, of our local cuisines made by local people are "orientally" influenced. For this matter, i could say that an "Oriental Chicken" need not to be called "oriental" because it is itself oriental. It is redundant and highly unlikely. So it must have been called "Special chicken" or "Gingered Chicken" because the only difference it makes to other dishes of chicken is a sauce gingered indispensably.
Economics would then brag about the idea of Marketing. I don't really care because "oriental chicken" is a categorically incorrect name.
Some other images from the trip: