[Pepper Lunch, Rockwell] 8 Trivias About Pepper Lunch in the Philippines

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1. The original Pepper Lunch is definitely better than the pinoy copycat version, Sizzling Pepper Steak in Trinoma. The Japanese rice used in Pepper Lunch is consistently yummy. I learned that Pepper Lunch uses a patented Rice Robot to wash and measure the rice and the amount of water (talk about Japanese geek technology) to attain consistency on the rice to be served. Also, their cast iron plate is heated up to a 270 degrees centigrade to cook the meat instantly and retain its heat when it is delivered to your table. I remember that Sizzling Pepper Steak plates are not as hot as the Pepper Lunch ones.

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2. Pepper Lunch in Rockwell will open on May 16, Friday! Yeah, the long wait is over! Currently, they are on a tasting preview for immediate family, close friends and Chuvaness’ blogger friends within the week. Don’t be surprised if you see this boarded Pepper Lunch outlet in Rockwell with some people entering it. You need to know the secret password to enter if you want to try it before Friday.

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a sneak peak inside the interiors of Pepper Lunch in Rockwell…

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3. The Pepper Lunch Philippines is 30% cheaper than Pepper Lunch in Singapore. The pricing for Pepper Lunch in the Philippines is lower than Singapore but similar to the prices in Thailand. The Pepper Lunch franchise ensured that the quality of food is consistent across the region via standardize equipment, procedure and sources of raw materials.

Pepper Lunch, Philippines Menu: Pepper Lunch Menu: Sizzle it Your Way!

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Shake! Shake! Salad! Seaweed (P99) and Spicy Tuna (P99) — For this amount, I think I would skip the salad next time.

4. Most of the ingredients and raw materials are imported except for the bean sprouts and the greens. The Japanese are control freaks and they want to make sure that the quality of Pepper Lunch in Manila is the same as the ones in Singapore or other franchises. Imagine all the meat, fish, corn, beans, etc are imported. This would also explain why the prices are on the high side. But at least, you don’t need to fly to Singapore to satisfy your craving for authentic Pepper Lunch meal.

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Beef Pepper Rice (P235) with Drinks. Only P198 A La Carte (without drinks). All prices are inclusive of VAT and No Service Charge.

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Salmon Pepper Rice (P315) with drinks. Only P275 A La Carte (without drinks) – Our Favorite.

5. Pepper Rice is flavored with Black Pepper that is prepared every morning. They use only the outer shell of the peppercorn which is most fragrant.

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Cut Steak and Hamburger Combo (P350). Only P280 A La Carte (without drinks). The cut steak was a little bit fatty than expected. We all loved the hamburger steak. A favorite of Chef Jeroen, husband of Chuvaness.

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6. The killer food in Pepper Lunch is their Hamburger Steak! We all agree that we love the Pepper Lunch Hamburger Steak paired with the sweet onion sauce! If you order the Cut Steak and Hamburger Combo, make sure that you order the Onion sauce at the counter.

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Steak and Hamburger Steak
1. You can cook both sides of your steak on the place as the beef is raw.
2. When the steak is ready. Please put a steak sauce (Amakuchi – Honey Brown Sauce or Karakuchi – Garlic Soy Sauce) on it.
3. You can place the cooked steak on vegetables so that it will not be overcooked.
4. You can also cook the vegetables on the place. Then you can taste it with a steak sauce.

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Pepper Rice. Hurry!! Mix Them Up!!
1. Please mix them up equally as there is a butter and sauce in the middle of the plate.
2. The more you mix them up, the more delicious “Pepper Rice” you get!!! Why? You will see it!

7. I bet that you won’t have time to read the instructions when the food arrives. Immediately after the food arrives, you need to mix it to maximize the heat of the plate and to cook the food really well. I posted the official instructions above so that you can be more prepared when you eat at Pepper Lunch. Anyway, the servers will be glad to help you in cooking your food.

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8. Pepper Lunch Philippines is the only franchise that have desserts in their menu! I’m glad that they decided to include the dessert to complete the meal experience for the Filipino market. The desserts are proudly Philippine made and hopefully we export the recipe to other Pepper Lunch franchise.


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Macha Cheese Cake (P140). Unique concept and taste but it reminds you of eating soap (as Mila would describe it).

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Molten Milk Chococolate Cake (P120). Safe, Cheap but Delicious.

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Vanilla Crepe Cake. Simple and Soft. Rache loves this dessert.

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Aidan filled up his first restaurant comment card. Here are some of the downsides when eating in Pepper Lunch:

— The prices are relatively on the high side.
— Like in any Japanese or Korean grill places, you would smell like your food after eating.

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Aidan with Chef Jeroen.

Pepper Lunch, Philippines
Rockwell Powerplant Mall, Food Court Level

Anton

Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

57 thoughts on “[Pepper Lunch, Rockwell] 8 Trivias About Pepper Lunch in the Philippines

  1. Wow posting comments is so fast unlike in other blogs, it needs approval pa! Has it something to do with the program?
    Again, i hope food captions will be shown, thanks anyway anton or si Mrs ang nag post? hehe!
    I always visit this blog, so cool! I always recommend this site to my friends!

  2. Wow posting comments is so fast unlike in other blogs, it needs approval pa! Has it something to do with the program?
    Again, i hope food captions will be shown, thanks anyway anton or si Mrs ang nag post? hehe!
    I always visit this blog, so cool! I always recommend this site to my friends!

  3. Wow, you sure are quick to the draw, Anton! 😉 Now that I see the pictures, I regret not joining you for lunch, but the timing was just wrong. I wasn’t that interested in Pepper Lunch before because it isn’t my type of food, but that Salmon Pepper Rice looks yummy!

  4. I’ve been waiting for another food blog from you :)I’ll add this to the list of restos I tried because of OAP! THANKS Anton!

  5. Yipppeeee, I’ve been craving for PL for the past months. Last time I had this was in Singapore in December 2007 pa! This is our favorite resto everytime we’re in Singapore. The copycat in Trinoma is really bbaadddd. Don’t even go there. The beef tastes like papel! Very bland. Congrats to Cecille & Jeroen!

  6. Eversince chuvaness announced her intention to franchise Pepper Lunch, I was really, really, really excited! I can’t believe that it’s finally opening this Friday! =)
    Thanks for the review, it’ll really help when my friends and I get there! =)

  7. WOW! Pepper Lunch in Manila! I love Pepper Lunch. We ate here before in Tokyo!
    In Japan, there are no counters but you have to order it in a vendo and the vendo will release a ticket similar to the TIMEZONE tickets when you play their games. The ticket contains your order.
    Thanks for the post!

  8. hi anton! i really like your blogs. you give the most comprehensive take on things! hahaha
    can i post a link to your blog on my multiply?

  9. I love Pepper Lunch. I was there yesterday and it looks like I’m going to have a new haunt. Anton, I disagree that the prices are on the high side. It’s actually pretty reasonable. Any cheaper, then it would be mass market level, which is not the target of Pepper Lunch. In perspective, it’s cheaper than other casual dining restos like TGIFridays, but PL offers a higher quality and a truly unique flavor and experience. In that aspect, it’s priced very very well.

  10. i was happy enough with the sizzling pepper steak in greenhills promenade. i’m looking forward to trying pepper lunch this weekend!! woohoo!!!

  11. Yikes. So it’s not me when I thought that there’s something wrong with the Trinoma one. Copy cat pala sya.

  12. looks so yummy 🙂 wow, its open na pala today! i’ve read about this in the chuvaness blog as well! congrats to ms. cecille zamora and family 🙂
    btw, aidan is so cute in the pic with the comment card! he looks so proud 🙂

  13. I’ve tried Pepper Lunch in Singapore and I wasnt impressed at all honestly, it’s not as tasty as the one in Trinoma,the sauces are perfect for Pinoy market unlike in Pepper Lunch,its like soy sauce and garlic lang talaga.

  14. Hi Anton! I tried Sizzling Pepper Steak and it’s really yummy ha! Mas ok sya kesa sa Pepper Lunch sa Singapore. Fast food style lang kc unlike in Trinoma, cozy ambiance, nice interiors and superb ang service nila. Must try yung chicken Salad. They have Kiddie meals like Hamburg Shrimp and Pasta, panalo sya for kids talaga. Soup goes well din with the steak.They also have Ebini,katsuni and it’s really great!

  15. I’ve yet to try these… Anyway, for a cheaper Japanese food trip (with the “cooking experience”) and in case you’re at the East side, you may want to revisit Ebisu Grill at Eastwood City, near Shoe Salon, almost next to The Face Shop (on top of Starbucks).
    My bro and I recently bonded here after our movie night – What Happens in Vegas… I enjoyed the food (500 pesos for the two of us!) as much as I enjoyed Ashton Kutcher!!! Our Ebisu experience would be on my blog one of these days….

  16. saw your family last saturday at Pepper Lunch!! Rache and AD, I wanted to say hi to Rache and AD since I’ve been a fan of your blog for so long that I feel I know your family na! haha but was shy to do so haha… wanted to try Pepper Lunch eversince I read Chuvaness’ post of getting the franchise but the Saturday’s queue was very long and we had to catch an 8pm movie… Next time and hopefully the line’s shorter haha!… saw chuvaness and chef jeroen too… same thing… got dyahe to say hi…wanted to have pic/s taken sana with my favorite bloggers (you and CVS)! haha… my hubby thought it was weird knowing all of you thru your blogs haha!!

  17. Hi Anton, your review seems cool, though i like Pepper Steak in Trinoma better than the one in Singapore (Pepper Lunch) because of the yummy sauces. Pepper Lunch is more of a fast-food than the casual-dining, i prefer the cozy ambiance and good service of Sizzlin’ Pepper Steak

  18. great, open na pala! thanks for the info… last week of may to 1st week of june pa raw opening ang sabi when i called power plant’s info desk last friday…at least we could now satisfy our cravings sooner… btw, is their ventilation okay? the one at tokyo was cramped, we always took home the yummy smell. our bosses could tell whenever we had lunch there…lol!

  19. I’ve visited Pepper lunch na, quite disappointed with the serving size of the food. the beef is too oily and the burger doesnt taste good, lacks salt or something. Try the burgers of Sizzlin’ Pepper Steak in trinoma, i think they have one also in promenade (its a smaller one). the burger is really great

  20. i agree, i’ve tried the burgers of Sizzlin’ Pepper Steak and the burger of Pepper Lunch, i think Pepper Steak burgers are better

  21. Already tried out Pepper Lunch last Friday. Wasn’t the least bit disappointed! I ordered Beef Pepper Rice and my brother ordered the Salmon Pepper Rice. I have to agree with you, the salmon really tastes great! Yaay another favorite place to hang out and get good food in Rockwell. =)
    P.S. Aidan’s really getting cuter everytime I see his pictures. =)

  22. loved the burger too…and the fat of the cut steak just makes it more yummy hehe it’s unhealthy but it’s a good treat once in a while.

  23. Tried it, loved the rib-eye and the ice tea…only thing i noticed though is the queuing…once you pay, you have priority in getting a table, right? That night we ate, they were sitting people even without ordering. Unless this customers called in for a reservation. Hmm! Anyway, the food was good but the smoke eaters don’t seem to be working.

  24. Hi Anton! I went here last Thursday and I loved it! The food came on time and although it seems pricey for fast food, it’s definitely better than eating mcdonalds. I tried the Chicken Pepper Rice and I liked it better than the beef. You’ve guided me in a lot of date planning with my boyfriend. Many thanks! Keep it up 🙂

  25. hi anton, i went to rockwell last night to have movie and dinner date with my girlfriends..i didn’t know we were going to pepper lunch, so when they asked me if i was ok with it, and I said “yeah, of course, i’ve heard great reviews about it”, thanks to you.. 🙂
    i ordered the hamburger steak like you recommended and I had one of the yummiest, juiciest burger steaks ive had..we watch the movie still smelling like food though..

  26. Wooooooooow!!!!I tried pepper lunch for so many times in japan.whenever we go out in japan,we really dont care if we eat at pepper lunch 3x a day!…i really love it.i also tried sizzling pepper steak in trinoma..well..its not that bad after all…..i was just just checking your site..and finally read this post…oh my..im really excited to go here..waaaaaaaaaaah!im a big fan of pepper lunch!!!im just soooo excited….huhuhu..i could have checked your site earlier….thanks for this post….I really love your blog!

  27. I was trying to see the menu. I do not see the Tenderloin steak which we tried twice at Hongkong Langham’s Place Pepper Lunch Mongkok area December 2007. Why? If they have to put up a local Franchise, sana lubus-lubusin na. Chuvaness what’s up. Heard you are the franchisee.

  28. tried it yesterday with my family… too bad out of stock na agad ang salmon pepper rice at that time, e that was just around 1 pm palang naman! i was looking forward to try it pero i was not disappointed with what i ordered, cut steak and hamburger combo, yummy! i love the cut steak, so tasty!
    here is my not so good comment about the resto – i don’t like their ordering/seating system. yesterday was sunday so as expected, maraming tao. i went inside to get a table and i was told by their staff na to order first kasi they are going to assign table number upon ordering. i was thinking na pano pag walang vacant table kung magoorder na kami? yung nga ang nangyari… after 20 mins in line, when its our turn na, i was told na wala pang vacant table for us. so i ordered and waited for around 10 mins before we got a table. doble-doble ang waiting time diba. i was with my family pa naman, with 2 little children. when we got into our table, my son was so hungry na. inip na inip na siya. after 10 mins, dumating na food namin, naghintay ulit siya para maluto yung food niya. buti na lang masarap yung food, if not siguro, we will not go back anymore. my sister told me na baka ganito ang system nila sa ibang bansa. sana we could get a seat muna, then order. diba, mas ok pag ganon.

  29. Wow, looks very different from those here in Japan. 🙂
    And they actually have cushioned seats there!
    Dito kasi, they’re just like hole in the wall stores. Usually 15 people max lang and parang bar yung set-up. It gets very busy during lunch and so people usually eat in a hurry, kasi madaming nag aantay sayo na makatapos kumain. Literally, they are watching while you’re eating. Then as soon as you finish, you’re expected to leave. Sa labas mo na lang antayin mga kasama mo. 😉
    What so cool are meal ticket vendos! Though, the first time I ate in Pepper Lunch, I didn’t know how the thing worked and the machine ended up “eating” my change! Hay, my supposedly 700yen meal ended 1000yen.

  30. went there last sat with my friends…we wanted to beat the lunch time crowd but ended up at exactly 12nn instead..maybe the rest of manila was sleeping in late cos there was absolutely no line at pepper lunch…we even changed tables 3 times….my friends and i werent the adventurous types when it came to food so we all ordered what had been written about in your/most blogs..we ordered the cut steak and burger combo and we all loved it… i even loved the bean sprouts that came it with even if im not a veggie lover … the steak and the burger were very juicy… in fact, am craving for one right now kaya lang medyo hassle magpunta s rockwell ..m bringing my hubby there for advanced father’s day just to have a reason to eat there again

  31. went there last sat with my friends…we wanted to beat the lunch time crowd but ended up at exactly 12nn instead..maybe the rest of manila was sleeping in late cos there was absolutely no line at pepper lunch…we even changed tables 3 times….my friends and i werent the adventurous types when it came to food so we all ordered what had been written about in your/most blogs..we ordered the cut steak and burger combo and we all loved it… i even loved the bean sprouts that came it with even if im not a veggie lover … the steak and the burger were very juicy… in fact, am craving for one right now kaya lang medyo hassle magpunta s rockwell ..m bringing my hubby there for advanced father’s day just to have a reason to eat there again

  32. Me and my friend just tried it last Saturday. The food was great and the servings was just right. I ordered the beef and burger meal, the meat was juicy and delish, I would be giving Pepper Lunch a 10 out of 10 rating if not for one incident when we saw the service crew returning the straws which fell on the floor and placing it back to the straw dispenser. Never will I be using the straws from the Pepper Lunch for any or my drinks again.

  33. Hi Chub! Talaga? Yikes!!!! I think they should train their staff more,not just on how to cook steaks on sizzling plates. Sayang,ang sarap pa naman ng salmon nila.

  34. I just want to share an unpleasant experience my friends and I had with Pepper Lunch. A kabarkada of ours was finally celebrating her birthday with us here in Manila after two years of being stationed in Cebu. She specifically requested that we hold her birthday dinner on the night of July 16th at Pepper Lunch in Rockwell. It was also the first time our barkada would be relatively complete as another friend had come home also after a year of studying in China. We were a little over 15 people, meeting up for dinner.
    When I got there at about 8pm, some of my friends had already gotten seats. Pepper Lunch had a rule that the seats were pre-reserved for customers in line and so we could not reserve seats for ourselves. When I arrived, I personally informed a waiter of our situation – that it was our friend’s birthday, we were a little over 15, and that we would appreciate if we could be seated comfortably together (or in the same area at the very least). They told us it was protocol, and that we understood, and we just requested them again to accommodate if the space frees up later in the evening. After all, it would be just a matter of switching tables, and not inconsiderately occupying an area that could be used by others. Our group of 15 was about complete, although we were seated apart from each other.
    The line got shorter and eventually thinner. We went back to the waiter to request for the table right in front of ours (just so we could seat a group of friends who were a bit father nearer to us). Once they were moved, we would all be relatively in the same area. He didn’t pay attention and just said he couldn’t move us. Strike 1.
    Pretty soon, the seats were full again with new customers. Later into the evening when we again saw that the line was gone, we asked once more. Again, they gave us the same answer and did not bother to accommodate us. Strike 2.
    A while later, a lady in a more authoritarian uniform cleaned up an area near we were seated. We presumed she was the manager. We again approached her and told her about our situation. Again, she gave us the same response – that it was protocol and well, that she couldn’t transfer us. I really couldn’t understand why this was so, since we would free up another table anyway, and she could just easily have the other table cleaned up, then switch the “reserved” table signage. It wasn’t like we were asking for us to occupy both tables. But anyway, I let it go. Strike 3.
    A few seconds after, the “lady in uniform” went to the table we were requesting for and put another “reserved” sign on the table which already had a “reserved” sign. In short, there were now two reserved signs on the same table! I guess it was to drive a point, telling us we really couldn’t have it, as though we didn’t understand. Strike 4. And that’s when I got pissed.
    It was insulting not because we had been denied so many times but for her to even put that sign (two signs) as through we did not understand what she explained. It was insulting because despite their bad service, we had not disrespectfully tried to sit in that table even if we had the chance to do so, precisely because we respected protocol. All we were asking for was a chance to be serviced right and to be accommodated. We had a simple program for our friend’s birthday – a special cake for her to blow and a certificate, and we wanted to give that to her in the restaurant she requested for on her special day. We had waited and asked patiently for their understanding, only to be accommodated and unheard by deaf ears.
    I went up to the lady in the counter, asked her if she was indeed the manager and, when she said “yes”, I explained everything to her in the fastest way I knew how. To make matters worse, midway into my litany, she even attempted to explain, but I guess it would be about “protocol” so I told her, “Wait, I’m not done yet”, which I think I was entitled to, because we had been waiting patiently for over 2 hours already for us to be treated well. I told her about my friend’s birthday, her request, our group of 15, the cake, her crew turning a deaf ear, and her insulting us with her “double signage move.” Then I told her how bad they had serviced us, and I knew about service because I work in a top QSR/Restaurant/Food company so I fairly know all about protocol and customer service and ensuring customer satisfaction and all of that. I knew we weren’t asking something impossible because I know that our own stores deal with this everyday. We had eaten their food alone and the only item we brought in that wasn’t theirs was the dessert (cake and cupcakes), which I think was acceptable given that all 15 of us purchased from their counter (some even ate 2 meals). To the Manager of Pepper Lunch, “You’re Out!”
    A little after our encounter, the waiters started to free up a table where we could all sit. BUT IT WAS TOO LATE. We had all finished our dinner, and just decided to go to Gerry’s grill for a few drinks and have the cake blowing, etc there. And my, was Gerry’s a welcoming break from Pepper Lunch! They immediately set up a space for us, even if they were somewhat full already. I’m not exaggerating when I say they made an “L-shaped” table just to accommodate us. Even if we just ordered drinks and pulutan, they gladly gave us plates and forks so we could consume our dessert. The staff of Gerry’s knew about customer service and they did it well, so kudos to them!
    While the concept of Pepper Lunch was intriguingly unique and the food was delicious, prepared and presented innovatively, I could not enjoy it because of the HORRIBLE SERVICE (or rather, LACK OF SERVICE). Why did they have to react only upon an irritated customer’s feedback? Is that their practice – piss off a customer before serving them better, especially when it could have easily been prevented?
    It was a disappointing experience especially for our group who regularly meets up to drink and dine (food has always been a binding factor in our barkada’s friendship). While some of my friends will still go back because the food was something they objectively enjoyed, it will certainly take some time before the rest of us eat there again. I, personally will not go back in the near future, nor recommend it to anyone on the basis of poor service.
    I just wanted to share this as a means of feedback because it was truly disappointing for me. While some restaurants have slow service, this was by far, the worst kind of service I had experienced personally. And just to get the lesson across – that it is just “that easy” to ruin a first impression and lose a customer’s loyalty. Well, it took 4 strikes for them to boot us out, so I guess it wasn’t even “that easy” for them. Thanks for reading this.

  35. Dear Anton,
    Re: the letter sender above, he seems to have made it his personal mission to let everyone know his “horrible” experience at Pepper Lunch, even going so far as to email the principals in Singapore. We have apologized to him several times and asked our managers to give us an incident report. Our staff has also reported to us his rude behavior at the restaurant which was witnessed by many guests.
    In spite of all of this I am once again for the nth time apologizing to Mr. Hemedes and to all the people who were disappointed with Pepper Lunch.
    We are happy to bring this wonderful franchise that we love to the Philippines in hope that the Filipinos would love it as much as we do.
    We aim to please, but in the end we can’t please everybody.
    Thank you Anton, for giving us space.
    Best,
    cecile

  36. Hi Anton,
    Maybe i could relate to Jenny. Few weeks ago a friend of mine dined at PL, he was complaining about almost the same things mentioned by Jenny. I was thinking however that he’s just over reacting, but knowing that other people experiences the same, i think PL should be more vigilant in training and perhaps expanding, coz Pepper Steak is really becoming popular and service is really a wow!

  37. i agree with ziggy… pepper lunch should train their staff well. i had a not so good first impression with pepper lunch re their ordering/seating system pero still i went back again because of the food… on my second visit, i asked the waiter/crew to help out my son’s nanny in mixing her food. well, the waiter did help but in a manner na parang napipilitan. the waiter had a straight face. they should train their staff to be friendly and accommodating kasi malaking factor ang customer service. i hope that ms. cecile van straten would read this. i know that u can’t please everybody but u should at least TRY to please everybody. kulang kasi ng effort yung mga staff niyo.

  38. Man!!! Maybe the customer Mr. Hemedes was really rude but for him to go out of his way para siraan and PL, the crew must have done something to really piss the dude off. Haha..
    And the phrase “we can’t please everybody” just isn’t good enough. You can try or even at least appear to be trying. Haha..

  39. I wasn’t that interested in Pepper Lunch before but when I try this.. WOW!! my tongue was exploded (ha-ha exaggerated!) well it so tasty especially with the yummy sauces and I love the way meat is cooking on the hot plate (whattaaa.. a cooking experience!!) I really enjoyed this food.. Next time I will bring my mom

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