Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Discover Restaurante Pia y Damaso's "Subversive Pinoy Cuisine"

Restaurante Pia y Damaso had quickly captured the people’s food interest since it opened in 2007. The restaurant bears the name of two Noli me Tangere characters--the infamous friar, Father Damaso, and Donya Pia (wife of Kapitan Tiyago), whom he violated and sired a child (Maria Clara).

According to its owner, Chef Bambi Sy Gobio, Damaso was a personal choice by her brother. Damaso signifies all the Spanish influence to our local cuisine, which to her mind is represented by Pia. Restaurante Pia y Damaso is a modern Filipino restaurant that serves subversive Filipino cuisine representing contemporary twists in traditional home-cooked mix of Spanish, Filipino and Chinese food that we have come to love.

Now, on to the feast--

Appetizers



Almond Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon is a fun appetizer that gives the palette a play of sweet and salty treat. I love the taste of rich and decadent dates with a rich almond center.


Filo Tart with Pork Asado and Apple Relish (P 220) refers to thin bread dough stuffed with salty sweet pork. These flaky filo cakes are then are pan-fried and served with caramelized apple and vinegar.



Spanish-Style Sardines with Toasted Pandesal (P 220) is homemade sardines prepared without any preservatives. I love how it tasted. The fish meat and its bone were tender and flavorful.




Sisig ni Kabesang Tales (P 300) is the classic Filipino sisig made more exciting with a mix of diced pork belly, cheeks, nape and ears. Pork sisig is usually the show stopper in any celebration because of its crunchy and chewy texture. And this fare is one of my favorites!


Salads


Filipinos have been chewing betel quid or "nganga" for centuries and Nga Nga Beef Salad is the restaurant's modern take on this Betel Chewing concoction. Nga Nga Beef Salad is a DIY roll-up salad made of salty sweet chewy beef flakes, green mango pickle, red onions, haw flakes, cilantro, arugula and lettuce.


Crisp Soft Shell Crab Salad with Mango Pepper and Cilantro Relish was delicious. The soft-shell crabs were made crisped with flour crust and served over greens. I have never had anything that tastes as perfectly fresh as this!



Restaurante Pia y Damaso satisfies your exotic cravings with Elias (P 450). Elias is a refreshing Crocodile Salad that brings out an extravagant taste. The seared, marinated Crocodile (farm-bred from Davao) slices atop the mixed greens, tomato, caramelized pineapple, crisp shallots mix well with its mango cilantro vinaigrette.

Restaurante Pia y Damaso also creates invigorating meals from rare game but flavorful ingredients, such as deer (tapang Usa), wild boar (tapang Baboy Ramo) and ostrich.


Main Dishes



Ostrich Beef Steak (P 600) is a must try! It is a Filipino version of the Beef steak made even more exciting with thinly-sliced ostrich meat cooked in soy sauce and native lemon juice. The lean ostrich meat is red like beef. I swear I couldn't tell the difference!


Ode to Heidelberg (P 1,500) is a slow-cooked German platter of brined pork leg, slab bacon, plus four different sausages---wienerli, kielbasa, frankfurter, and cervelat.


Pork Belly with Chorizo and Chickpeas (P 600) reminded me of Christmas dinners spent at my grandparents' house. This festive Spanish stew comes in great flavor. I love the casserole's soft texture made from slow-cooked pork belly, garbansos and chorizo de bilbao.


Kare-Kare is a traditional Filipino stew complimented with a thick savory peanut sauce. Another favorite viand of mine. Now, Kapitan Tiago’s Kare Kare is made fresh by Restaurante Pia y Damaso from scratch we were told. The tender oxtail and tripe comes in a native stew made of freshly-grounded and roasted rice, garlic and peanuts. They serve it with their own bagoong shrimp paste.


Smoked Tapang Usa (P 450) is salted deer meat sourced from Nueva Ecija according to Chef Bambi. It is served with green mango pickles, roasted pepper omelette on garlic rice.



Roast Chicken with Sherry and Pimiento (P 375) is roasted chicken quarter with garlic, sherry, spanish paprika, green olives, extra virgin oil, herbs and roasted peppers. This is something people fond with herbs and spices would love. I love its aroma!


Cakes



Sisa's Dementia (P 175 per slice) is a superb cake made of creamy white chocolate almond pastille, dark chocolate mousse, and ganache.



De Espadana Quezo De Bola is cheesecake with a twist. While it looks like the usual blueberry cheesecake, this one uses santol, prune and fig compote instead.

More Desserts


Brazo ni Dona Vicki (P 100 per slice) is a chewy meringue roulade filled with a thick and gooey pure butter curd.


Toasted Yema Parfait (P 125) is a yummy cold dessert made of vanilla creme topped with toasted Yema (custard candy using milk and egg yolks).

I had so much fun with my culinary adventure at Restaurante Pia Y Damaso. I pretty much enjoyed the food especially the exotic fares. Thanks to Chef Bambi Sy Gobio for inviting us.



Restaurante Pia y Damaso
2/F Greenbelt 5
Makati City
Phone (02) 502-0106
damaso@skybroadband.com.ph

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