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This review by thiamng is one of this week's winners of a P500 gift certificate from Cupcakes by Sonja. Congratulations! Please wait to be contacted by SPOT.ph's marketing team for info on how to claim your prize.
Features: Lunch, Dinner, Caters, Has smoking area, Bar list
Business Hours: 11:00 AM-
Price Range: Php 501 Php 1,000
Accepts Credit Card: Yes
It's a challenging position for a Filipino restaurant aspiring toward the high-brow. Most locals and many tourists associate Filipino cooking with comfort food, not easily molded beyond its hearty, populist nature to haute cuisine. But this is exactly what Chef Laudico does in his Bistro Filipino. Bistro Filipino doesn't cook or act in the predictable way you come to expect from Filipino restaurants in town serving dishes that are homogenized versions of Mother's home cooking. Touted as a bit unconventional, Bistro Filipino offers diners an intriguing re-interpretation of tried-and-true classic dishes.
For the Wine Depot Restaurant Week, Bistro Filipino offered a dazzling five course menu. First up was the Trio of Appetizers consisting of Ubod Spring Roll, Sisig Basket and Kangkong crisps. Of the three, Ubod Spring Roll was the star. The combination of chorizo, prawns and ubod topped with a frozen vinegar in the crispy lumpia cone evoked the right balance of rich and tangy. The boldness was delightful. For the next course, I had the 3 Kinds of Mangoes (green, fresh, and dried) and Kesong Puti. It was nice but nothing to write home about. My friend opted for the Tomato Mongo Soup, which was presented as puree topped off with a salty foam and housed in a martini glass. The saltiness from the labahita was not cloying and balanced sublimely with the mongo beans.
For the third course, my friend chose the Salmon Escabeche and I went for the Tuna in Burong Hipon. The tuna was fresh and juicy but was marred by the fact the sauce was too salty for my taste. The salmon on the bed of sweet potato puree was a winner! Most of the time, restaurants tend to overcook salmon, dehydrating the flavor, but here it was just right. Beef Kare Kare was my choice for the fourth course, kare kare being one of my favorite Filipino comfort food. It's a stew of tomatoes, ground peanuts and eggplant among other ingredients. I was impressed with the dish as the beef was tender and tasty. Locals might find the Kare-Kare however too timid as the pungent bagoong, or fermented shrimp paste, was added only sparingly. My friend chose the Duck Patotim. It looked promising but the meat was too tough and the sauce overly sweet.
Finally, Trio of Desserts, Halo Halo Shooters, Spanish Chocolate and Suman Cake, for the final course of the evening. The Halo Halo was excellent although my friend insisted she prefers her father's halo-halo. The Spanish Chocolate was too tame as a mousse but tasted delicious.
Overall, we had a wonderful evening at the restaurant. The ambience evokes an old colonial house. Bamboo screens divided the dining area into three parts and helped dampen the sound of the diners' conversations and the noise from the bar. The food was of a very high quality and paired lovingly with a wide array of wines from Australian Sauvignons and Chardonnays to California merlots. We would highly recommend the restaurant to any person who is interested in Filipino food with a twist.
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Image by Patrick Martires.