Restaurante Pia Y Damaso: For Subversive Filipino Cuisine

Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Recently, I've found myself falling in love for our national cuisine, both traditional and modern. It's quite fitting too 'cause August is Buwan ng Wika. And to start off the month, I've explored a whole new take on our beloved Filipino dishes. There may have been a lot of Filipino fusion cooking going on in the Metro, but this is the first time I've heard of subversive Filipino cuisine, only at Restaurante Pia Y Damaso in Greenbelt.
Restaurante Pia Y Damaso

Located at the second level of Greenbelt 5, Restaurante Pia Y Damaso is a cozy dining spot possessing a sophisticated allure. It welcomes unwary diners with light and soft-colored interiors adorned with elegant chandeliers, frames and mirrors. Truly, the lovely ambiance of the restaurant caught me off guard as I was initially expecting a dim and quaint dining space. However, I definitely dig the classy French country-inspired décor. It really gave the limited space a relaxing atmosphere perfect for a catch-up session with friends over coffee and tea, or for simply enjoying good food with the whole family.

Restaurant Chandelier Restaurante Pia Y Damaso Interior

Prior to this visit, I really didn't know what kind of food Restaurante Pia Y Damaso serves. Based on the restaurant name, I was guessing they offer Filipino and Spanish cuisine, dishes reminiscent of Jose Rizal's era. I had quite a lucky guess though as this charming dining spot generously offers an array of subversive Filipino dishes -- modern and colonial takes on Pinoy favorites with a touch of history and literature.

The Meal Starters

You all know that I love my appetizers. And at Restaurante Pia Y Damaso, they have aplenty. From an array of savory hors d'oeuvres, and bread and dips, you're sure to get your much-needed appetite whetting session before finally indulging on the mains.

Filo Tarts with Pork Asado Apple Relish P220

And to start off our lunch, we had the Filo Tarts with Pork Asado Apple Relish (P220) which is a plateful of pan-fried flaky filo cakes with sweet and salty pork asado stuffing served with caramelized apple and vinegar. I may not have cared too much for the apple relish, but that's because I just can't get enough of the filo tarts! They were delightful to munch and had a creamy flavor which went perfectly with the flavorful pork asado.

Crispy Adobo Chicken Skin and Tails P160

We then had a taste of the Crispy Adobo Chicken Skin and Tails (P160) which unlike other chicken skins, were even marinated in adobo sauce. And although I've been trying to cut down on my sinful food intake, I just can't pass up on this tasty and crunchy treat.

The Salads

Although I'm not much of a salad kind of girl, I was actually impressed with the selection of unique and creative salads at Restaurante Pia Y Damaso. They have a total of six salad dishes on the menu, and we're lucky to have tried two among them.

Elias P450

First on our table was a serving of Elias (P450), an ensemble of mixed greens, tomatoes, crispy shallots, caramelized pineapple and seared crocodile meat drenched with a mango-cilantro vinaigrette. With just the mention of the marinated crocodile meat all the way from Davao, you know that you'll get your money's worth with this salad dish.

Mixed Greens with Duck Confit, Red Onions, Apples, Oranges and Champoy in Prune Vinaigrette P350

We also tried the Mixed Greens with Duck Confit, Red Onions, Apples and Oranges in Champoy and Prune Vinaigrette (P350). Yes, you've read it right. This salad item made use of the Chinese salted plum candy in its vinaigrette. And surprisingly, the mixture works. Every forkful is an explosion of fresh and light flavors with a hint of acidity.

Sandwich and Pasta

Before getting it on with the mains, we also sampled an item each from Pia Y Damaso's unique and truly Pinoy-inspired sandwiches and pasta dishes.

Kua Pao Pan De Sal P250

Our sandwich item for the afternoon was Kua Pao Pan De Sal (P250), a plate of two toasted pan de sal with flavorful pork belly braised in soya, anise and garlic, roasted peanuts, sweet mustard leaf confit, and some fresh cilantro leaves. True enough, this Tsinoy sandwich tasted like the Chinese kua pao but with crisp yet soft bread. It also has a sharper and more refreshing flavor courtesy of the leaves.

Creamy Tinapa Asparagus and Fish Fillet P300

For pasta, we had the Creamy Tinapa Asparagus and Fish Fillet (P300), a serving of al dente-cooked pasta with sautéed fish fillet, tinapa (smoked fish) flakes and baby asparagus, with onions and leeks in milk and cream. And although tinapa in pasta is quite new for me, I definitely dig the salty, savory and creamy flavors of this delightful dish.

The Main Entrées

We've already sampled a lot of items before we even got to the main course. But with an enticing selection of seafood, beef and pork dishes, we really had to pace ourselves well.

Placido Penitente P400

We started our main course with the Placido Penitente (P400), a hearty dish of cuttlefish and fish roulade atop a serving of Chinese black rice (or sticky purple rice) risotto. As much as I found satisfaction with this plate's seafood toppings, it was the rice which caught my attention. Since I never had purple rice before, I initially found the taste quite odd. However, I grew to like its mild nutty flavor upon succeeding spoonfuls.

Fried Chorizo, Potatoes, Egg and Pandesal P475

We then had the Fried Chorizo, Potatoes, Egg and Pandesal (P475), a plate of savory goodness with toasted bread on the side, which I felt very fitting for either breakfast or brunch. Being a chorizo, potato and egg lover, I found myself contented with this dish. And although simple, eating everything together makes for one satisfying comfort food.

Callos P330

One of my favorites among the mains was the Callos (P330), a classic Spanish stew of braised ox tripe, beef shanks and pork hocks, with bacon, chorizo, paprika and chickpeas, served with garlic rice on the side. As one who's had her fair share of callos, I can definitely say this is one of the most hearty and savory ones I've tried.

Ode to Heidelberg P1500

Last among the main entrées but definitely not the least, especially in size, was a serving of Ode to Heidelberg (P1,500), a tribute to the place where Jose Rizal finished the Noli Me Tangere. This German dish which serves three or more people, is composed of a succulent boiled smoked pork hock and four kinds of flavorful sausages, as well as some bacon and potatoes on the side. With a platter this big, a group can just order a serving plus rice, and they can already be all set.

The Desserts

A trip to Restaurante Pia Y Damaso is never complete without trying out their sweet treats. Even if it was my first time at the restaurant, I've already heard and read a lot of good things about their desserts which made me more excited to finally try them out.

Sisa's Dementia P160

One of the most famous cakes at the restaurant is Sisa's Dementia (P160), a truffle cake with white chocolate almond pastille, dark chocolate mousse and ganache. With a rich chocolate flavor and a lovely blend textures, just one bite and I was spellbound.

Bibingka Waffle P150 Ube Langka Sans Rival

We also got to try the Bibingka Waffle (P150) with goat's cheese, quezo de bola, salted egg and coco jam, as well the Ube Langka Sans Rival which didn't only stayed true to its promise of ube and langka flavors, but also had a lovely crunchy and chewy texture.

Ube Macapuno P100

Next on the table was a beautiful purple slice of the Ube Macapuno (P100) dessert which is an ube jalea sponge layered with macapuno strips and ube mousseline cream. This ube-licious serving is also topped with more macapuno and a ball of ube jam. Yum!

Tubig ni Maria Clara Tsokolate Eh and Toasted Ensaimada P150

Another dessert item we had was the Tsokolate Eh and Toasted Ensaimada (P150), a perfect pairing of rich hot chocolate made from Davao cacao tablea and Malagos goat's milk, and warm toasted quezo de bola ensaymada. As for our beverage during the meal, we had Tubig ni Maria Clara (P230 per Pitcher), a light and refreshing concoction of cucumber juice, ginger syrup and citrus water perfect to cleanse the palate.

THE VERDICT

After this trip, I've come to realize that Filipino cuisine shouldn't always be boring. With a vision and a dash of creativity, we can enjoy modern and out-of-the-box gustatory masterpieces which still pay tribute to our origin, just like what they generously offer at Chef Bambi Sy Gobio's Restaurante Pia Y Damaso. And with a wide selection of delectable desserts, a lovely ambiance and courteous service on the side, I'm sure this won't be the last time I'll pay the subversive Filipino cuisine destination a visit.

Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Restaurante Pia Y Damaso, Greenbelt 5
2/F Greenbelt 5, Legaspi St., Ayala Center
Makati City, Metro Manila
Philippines
(02) 729-5511
Facebook Page

38 comments:

  1. I should stop visiting your blog while I'm trying to lose weight. LOL.

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  2. I definitely love SALADS! Would love to try it! And how did you manage to stuff all the food down Sis? Awesome! :)

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    1. We were a big group naman so we shared all these dishes.. ^^ If it's just me, I don't think I'll get to try everything!

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  3. I want to try the Bibingka Waffle and the Tubig ni Maria Clara... I'm not very much into Filipino food but I can never resist dessert. :)

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    1. Then you should really visit Restaurante Pia Y Damaso, even just for desserts.. :) They have a great selection, and I'm actually planning to dine again and just eat desserts.. ^^

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  4. naglaway ako! I want to try that Ube Langka Sans Rival looks so yummy!

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  5. drooling over that bibingka waffle! i always see this but ive never tried their food yet. i should visit one of these days :)

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  6. The salad looks delish. I am intrigued about tubig ni maria clara ; ) I wonder if this restaurant has the same owner as Crisostomo in Eastwood.

    xoxo
    MrsMartinez

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    1. I like to try that cuttlefish dish and the big German sausage dish! Too pricey for me though :)

      Mrs. M - this one is owned by Bambi Sy-Gobio of Cooky&Luscious, while Crisostomo is co-owned by Florabel and the group behind SumoSam :)

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    2. Thanks for informing Mrs. M, sis! :) Most of the time people think Pia Y Damaso is also from the owners behind Crisostomo and Elias.. ^^

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  7. definitely a fusion of international cuisines with our very own. i wonder if the owner of the resto is named "damaso". kidding :)

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  8. Everything looks so yummy! I would definitely go crazy over Sisa's Dementia. The price of the food isn't as high as I expected. Very, very good!

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  9. WOW! The food looks really, really, really good! I have got to drop by Greenbelt to try this one. I have a thing for ube so that Ube Macapuno is really reaching out to me :))

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    1. Try the Ube Langka Sans Rival too! :D I actually prefer this one over the Ube Macapuno.. ^^

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  10. I love the thought process behind their menu. And my oh my, Sisa's Dementia looks sooo yummy! :)

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    1. The fusion of Filipino cuisine, history and literature is so nice, no? :) And yes, the slice of Sisa's Dementia is indeed yummy!

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  11. Oh myy!! Parang ang sarap ng Crispy Adobo Chicken Skin and Tails *heart attack* Too bad I'm from South, but I wanna visit the resto soon! :)

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  12. The dishes are quite unique. Like you, this opened my eyes to the beauty and variety that can be created from the usual Filipino dishes. This really is a fresh take on some of our favorites. I really enjoyed reading through the dishes you tried because all were very creative :) Well, except for the callos but callos is one of my favorites too so I'm glad they kept it as it is. No point ruining a perfectly good dish :D

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    1. I definitely agree! :) I wouldn't want my callos any other way either.. ^^

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  13. id like to try this place. im curious about the cuttlefish dish and the champoy salad. they gave pinoy food a great kind of twist :)

    Rovie, The Bargain Doll

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  14. All I've seen bought me off especially the salads. Good to know there is this kind of resto that seems so patriotic. Ang dami na talagang resto choices to visit when we come back. And I'm sure your blog will be my number one reference. Thanks for it Sumi.

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    1. Aww.. Thanks Jay! :) There's really a lot of restos to choose from in the Metro. I'm sure you'll enjoy food tripping when you get back! ;)

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  15. Those dishes look really yummy!! It's making me hungry :). I would like to try this when we visit Manila.

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  16. Found the salads a little expensive but interesting dishes. :) Hope I could try it soon!

    http://www.dekaphobe.com/

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  17. Finally, a gourmet presentation of Filipino cuisine. i hope they bring it soon to Middle east and abroad instead of the usual Barrio Fiesta franchise. I mean, really, we all learn how to cook kare-kare in time. How about bringing us Sisa's Dementia for a change? =)

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    1. I think there aren't many gourmet and creative takes on Filipino cuisine abroad, 'cause the market might not be ready for them yet. But I'm sure, in a few year's time, someone will bring these unique Pinoy creation to other countries too.. ;)

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  18. each time I read your blog, napapatakam ako! hehehe very lovely review, basta ikaw nag recommend swak talaga sis :)

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  19. just looking at your picture makes me more hungry. I wish i can have the time to visit such places but we only have limited resto here.

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  20. ahhh I have a new restaurant crush! Kaso ang layo hurr. Pero baka kayang dayuhin pag madaming time.

    I love the interior!~ Minsan talaga ang nagsell sa akin to go inside a restaurant is how pretty it looks.

    Maybe I should go on a Purple Doll food hunt. Nakakainis ang blog mo ( -'_'-) nastress ang fats ko! :3

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    1. True! :) There are restos which I love to visit just because the interior is unique and so relaxing.. :D

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  21. I think I'm gaining more just by visiting your blog, haha! I love the interiors, I discovered a Filipino resto before named 1521 naman.. :)

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  22. I always pass by this resto, but I've never tried it. The dishes looks appetizing, and I love the dessert offerings. Will check this out soon!:)

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  23. If they integrated history and literature into this dining experience, then I'm in. Did I say I'm in? Sooo in ;) Look at the furniture! And please.... don't get me started with the ube langka dessert. Sisa's Dementia - I'd buy that (even if it's not yummy, but you say it is so I take your word for it) for the name.

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  24. whoah!! grabe ang sulit dito.. Crocodile meat, duck, filo tarts, and the one that really caught my attention - that "Ode to Heidelberg" Aside from hamburgers, we do not patronize much German foods that why it gave me a (O_O) what food is that? Price are very competitive.

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  25. I would need an hour in the gym after having a feast in this resto!

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  26. love their tinapa pasta and brazo!

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  27. I would love to try this restaurant kaya lang malayo! :((

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  28. This is food torture!! Give recipes for these dishes, not everyone can travel there to taste these in person, everything looks sooo yummy!

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