PINOY FOOD ART

I believe in anything creative and innovative especially if it’ll champion anything Pinoy. 

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One of my college friends of 16 years and counting,  Rob  usually comes home every 3 months from his work abroad. Now that he’s here again, I and my wife Tina asked him with another best friend LG to try weekend brunch at  Chef Laudico BISTRO FILIPINO at the Fort.  When friends agreed, we made a reservation and the staff of the said resto immediately emailed me of the menu featuring more than 50 of their dishes.

The staff who received my reservation call told me that the weekend eat-all-you-can brunch which is offered at PhP 788 adults and PhP 488  for kids below 10 years old;  prices plus VAT and service charge,  all food served at plated half of their ala carte portions, starts at 10AM & ends at 3PM.  We came in early in full pack only to find out that they’ll open late at few minutes before  11AM.   So we strolled along the 3rd Avenue and  found this sculptured monument of fishermen as we crossed the street going to a common favorite fastfood for quick drinks and apple pies.  

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Poetic, isn’t it ?   After few minutes, we headed back to the resto…

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Somehow, I already had expectations from this restaurant that promotes Pinoy cuisine at its best not only because that I got the menu a day before in my Inbox, but I read tons of comments and saw some photos of its food posted on blogs.  There are positives but ofcourse, there also the opposites as cliche goes, “you can’t please everybody.”   My wife & son, 2 friends and I were a bit disappointed to its late opening yesterday.  Had the staff clearly emphasized that they’ll open at past 10:30AM or 11, then we could have arrived at a later time.  I guess punctuality is a must in service. 

Just the same, I also expected the best from what I’ve read about Bistro Filipino, my little fretting on its late opening was changed into amazement at the simple but inviting exteriors of the restaurant & its very romantic Filipino interiors.  First, I was drawn to its logo out of metallic sun & 3 stars; indeed very Pinoy, depicting features of the Philippine flag with a woven sawali  at its corner.  It looks tribal and yet very Pinoy.    EyeLikeIt!

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The interiors is more dramatic than its exteriors ofcourse.  Its entrance alone is already attractive with capiz chandeliers to welcome you and sinamay drapes dividing the restaurant into 3 longitudinal dining areas.   

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The intricate details are spontaneous and consistent  to the small, clean toilets where Pinoy tribal arts served as damask stenciled prints that were sponge-painted on blue walls continuous to the ceiling; the toilets are not only well interiored but more importantly adequately equipped with essentials.  

The walls at the ends of each dining area are provided with huge antique-looking mirrors creating an illusion of distance and depth on the interiors of the resto.  Here’s the end with round mirror….  

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Then here’s the wall with rectangular mirror…

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I don’t know about you, but I like the middle area where we brunched.

Because we found our place under the green stars, figuratively.  

We were seated under this romantic black chandeliers with faux emeralds.

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Now, the menu.  It’s creative and innovative.  It’s apparent that Chef Laudico Bistro Filipino attempts to elevate Philippine cuisine to where it should be.  I am not a chef and far from being a culinary arts expert but  I highly believe that our own dishes should be recognize as a global cuisine just like japanese, continental, chinese, thai, mideterranean  and others.  Bistro Filipino is one of those gourmet restos that serves well-prepared and high quality food however, improvement on taste of FEW dishes won’t hurt but will do more good.

So here are the dishes my wife, kid and 2 friends feasted on from Chef Laudico’s Bistro Filipino…

 img_0542            121 133SISIG BASKET :  ingenious serving of bite-sized pork sisig, with thin slice of quail egg at its bottom.

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TUNA KILAWIN ROLL :  raw and tangy!

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STUFFED FISH BALLS (left) :  nothing unusual, really.                    

PRITO FRIO (right) : a better version of okoy made special with shrimps, squid rings and another seafood i missed out.  It comes with 3 various dips that were uncommon to my palate.  I like this appetizer.  

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SHITAKE MUSHROOM SOUP (left) :  I don’t know about our best friends but my wife and I like this soup so much. There’s the distinguishing taste of the mushroom itself, sarap!

3 KINDS of MANGO SALAD (right) : I had this one and as a sucker for anything with mango, LOVE IT!

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EGGPLANT TORTA with SPICY CRAB : my friend Rob  generously shared portion of his omelette to me and Tina.  Never expected tortang talong can go so gourmet!  Bravo! LOL.

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GARDEN SALAD (with choice of dressing) :  LG had this one. Never tasted it, so no comment =)

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US  ANGUS BEEF KARE-KARE :  I ordered this because I’m a huge Kare-kare fanatic; quite OK, only that beef was shredded, why?  

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WAGYU and LENGUA ESTOFADO :   I, Tina & LG ordered this dish and I was so excited to grab my knife at the WAGYU BEEF but I think we’re one in saying that it’s probably (still) best eaten as a STEAK for not to be overpowered with the sauce.  I understand how estofado should taste and there’s nothing wrong with its sauce; only that we didn’t get to taste the WAGYU! Plus the lengua could have been sliced thinly and not served as an obvious chunk of ox tongue.  The sauce, the lengua all compete with the WAGYU, in the end nothing wins!  =(

 

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SALMON  ESCABECHE  Sayang, only my friends tasted this plate.

When we called the waiter to order for something more, we all felt we’re all satiated but I myself was weak to resist the other dishes on the menu. So we tried some more…  It was time for the PASTA…

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PRAWNS and BURONG MUSTASA (left) : I had this plate. I highly commend Chef Roland Laudico for being so daring on using a very Filipino green with one of my favorite seafood (no one, for me, goes wrong with shrimps!) but I honestly cannot appreciate the pasta probably because I’m already full at that time, but my palate was craving for some kick at this pasta and found nothing.

CALAMARI with CRAB ROE (right) :  LG and my wife Tina had each share of this pasta. But Tina didn’t get to finish it so (not to avoid the PhP 100 fine for every unfinished plate, but it was again, sayang) she fast-break  it to my plate.  Again, I’m such a seafood lover and I’m someone who wouldn’t pass on something with shrimp, or squid, moreso with crabs! But this pasta has (for the lack of a better term) an overpowering taste (again!) plus we found it too DRY!  Don’t get me wrong, I like pasta whether it has tomato/cream/herb/oil-based sauce/s, but this was just too strong for me.  To each his own, right?      

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ALL SMILES for the GOURMET SILOG! : my wife Tina & our son Gabby.
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US  ANGUS BEEF TAPA with GARLIC RICE stuffeed in TOMATOES with EGG with SALTED EGG CUCUMBER SALSA :  This one’s a winner for me!  TAPSILOG at its best! plus thanks to the chef-creator, I’ll make his salted egg and cucumber salsa a  home-baon-favorite !
Finally, the DESSERTS…. Usual Filipino sweets were never given such recognition until this resto gave it a best shot.
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MAJA BLANCA CHEESECAKE :  I’m so easy to please and EyeLOVEthis!  Another ingenuity of Chef Laudico! Putting the common merienda maja blanca into cheesecake was really something!  But what caught my discriminating taste was the use of COCONUT JAM as its drizzle. Another MUST-TRY from this resto! TWO-THUMBS UP!
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BANANA  Q  TART  :  Another creative innovation of a simple favorite Pinoy snack.  Never tasted this one, my friend Rob had his fork on this, but I think it’s also perfect to end a sumptuos buffet.
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DECONSTRUCTED SANS RIVAL :  I am so familiar with the common sans rival but this one from Bistro Filipino was truly deconstructed. I think it’s a misnomer to call it sans rival for it tasted like macaroons or chewy sticky rice cake;  just sooooooooo far from the usual sans rival. I just didn’t get its taste, sorry.
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SPANISH CHOCOLATE (right)
MOLTEN CHOCOLATE (left)
Just when all of us four were enjoying and discriminating the taste of this brunch, my son Gabby was having his time at these 2 choco-treats.  I just had them on photos, not on my palate. 
Our drinks included lemongrass iced tea, iced and hot tea, brewed coffee. The brunch also offers assorted sodas and sampaloc (tamarind) juice (gotta try it next time!).
I’m very particular at service of any establishment, especially when I know that they’re charging it on our bill. The staffs of Chef Laudico Bistro Filipino, in all fairness, were discreet in getting orders and courteous and polite but IMO, they should add their volume to compensate on the number of diners.  It was not only that they opened late
yesterday, but some of our beverages and food were also served late.  Again the biggest room in the world is IMPROVEMENT. 
Nevertheless, with its romantic FILIPINO INTERIORS, and some really tasteful innovation of PINOY FOOD especially the desserts and some entrees, I’d still bring my family and friends AGAIN to Chef Laudico BISTRO FILIPINO for us to enjoy other dishes on the menu.  It’s recommended for most balikbayans who are longing for Filipino cuisine with a twist.   
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Medical Dose :  Ingestion of something rich with carbohydrates is the stimulus of INSULIN secretion from the beta cells of the pancreas.  Once an individual eats, his brain stimulates the Islets of Langerhans specifically the beta cells to release INSULIN to carry and transport the product of  catabolism(breakdown) of carbohydrates which are simple sugars or glucose towards liver cells or hepatocytes, muscle cells or myocytes, fat cells or adipocytes for it to be deposited as GLYCOGEN (stored glucose) in the process known as Glycogenesis.  Once EATING is BEYOND 2 HOURS, such as in BUFFET EATING, the individual develops HYPERGLYCEMIA or increase glucose level in the blood because the brain can only stimulate INSULIN SECRETION for only 60 to 90 minutes or less than 2 hours. 
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