Since it's already the independence week, let me get into a patriotic mode by featuring more Filipino restaurants around the Metro. After a gastronomic journey with Jose Rizal, I got to visit another participant for the Department of Tourism's Kulinarya Kalayaan -- C2 Classic Cuisine.
Owned by the Cravings Group, C2 Classic Cuisine is a casual-dining restaurant offering redefined classic Filipino dishes that exude true Pinoy taste but with a touch of C2's ingenuity and innovation. And to celebrate the upcoming Philippine Independence Day, it is just fitting to savor flavors which are distinctly our own while still enjoying a dash of the contemporary.
For our visit at C2 Classic Cuisine in Robinsons Midtown, we first got to sample a very comforting dish -- Tinolang Binakol (P295). Although light on the palate, the ginger-coconut soup with tender chicken cutlets, diced sayote (chayotte) and coconut meat was sweet and flavorful -- a good first dish to whet our appetite.
We then got to try the Chicharon Munggo with Crispy Paksiw (P330) -- a light and refreshing mung beans stew topped with pork cracklings, and served with fried mackerel fillets and paksiw sauce on the side. I'm not a big fan of mung beans, but this stew was definitely memorable as the salty cracklings and fried fish siding gave the whole ensemble its needed oomph.
For carbs, our group had a serving of the Sotanghon Guisado (265) -- rice noodles cooked in soy sauce and chicken stock. Although I'm generally not a fan of sweet Pinoy noodles, I enjoyed the generous portions of chicken strips, local vegetables, peanuts and scrambled eggs sitting atop the sotanghon.
Even in Filipino restaurants, it would be very rude to say no to desserts especially to this beautiful Bibingka Soufflé (P165). And despite getting my fair share of soufflés, it was the first time I've had a bibingka one. C2's attempt to be original may be risky, but was definitely worthy of praises as this light and fluffy coconut custard with salty eggs, quezo de bola (edam cheese) and toasted coconut was nothing short of awesome!
We also had a serving of Turon ala Mode (P165) -- crispy spring rolls of banana and ube, drizzled with butterscotch and langka (jack fruit) sauce and served with vanilla ice cream on the side. Although turon is one of my least favorite Pinoy snack items since I had to eat them almost every day back in grade school, I definitely dig C2's sweeter gourmet version.
Although C2 Classic Cuisine capitalizes on entrées, my friend Stacy and I felt as if I was in a desserts place. Even with the beverages, C2 had given a touch of sweet ingenuity. Just look at the dessert-like drinks we had, Maja Mais Con Yelo (P105) -- sweet corn and coconut cream; Guinumis (P95) -- pinipig, sago and crushed ice with panocha (penuche) syrup and coconut milk; and Buko Pandan Shake (P105) -- pandan-blended drink with jelly cubes and coconut meat.
C2 Classic Cuisine in Robinsons Midtown might only house a few tables, but this Filipino food destination can definitely feed a big hearty appetite. Although I honestly didn't go gaga for the main entrées we got to try, I was definitely very impressed with the innovative drinks and desserts -- a feat enough to make me come back for more.
Ambiance - 3.5/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5
C2 Classic Cuisine, Robinsons Place Manila
G/Lvl. Midtown Wing, Robinsons Place,
Pedro Gil cor. Adriatico St., Ermita
Manila, Metro Manila