CHECK IT OUT: Elias by Cristostomo at Bonifacio High Street Central
Pinoy food, Jose Rizal style
Elias by Crisostomo
Bonifacio High Street Central
Tel. Nos. 546-7977
Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
Pinoy food favorites and more at Elias by Crisostomo. Click for more.
(SPOT.ph) If you're a fan of Filipino food, then you're probably familiar with Crisostomo, a restaurant chain famous for its unique take on Pinoy fare spawned by the creativity of chef and restaurateur Florabel Co-Yatco. New hangout Bonifacio High Street Central in Taguig, however, welcomes the latest addition to the franchise: Elias. Think Crisostomo but slightly more upscale: Elias also features floor-length images of characters from Jose Rizal's novels. But unlike the intimate setting laid out in Crisostomo-yellow hues, dark furnishing; Elias is a bright, roomy space accented with whitish French-lime woodwork.
Co-owner (Chef Florabel's husband) Chris Yatco explains that the Rizal references run deeper than admiration for his novels. "We have similarities. We're both from Biñan, Laguna," he said, adding that his ancestors knew the national hero. The menu, which is essentially the same as Crisostomo’s, also contain such references. The crispy pata (P550), for instance, comes in two varieties: a classic Don Rafael and a spicy Don Maximino, though both boast of sinfully crisp skin. The beef tapa, Mang Pablo (P325), is also a must-try-thick bacon-like strips with a delectable crunch.
Chef Florabel flaunts her culinary ingenuity in Tinolang Matanglawin (P395). Flavorful though it may be, it's decidedly still the usual tinolang manok until one discovers a surprise ingredient: chunks of buco for a touch of sweetness. Yatco also endorses his favorite, the Caracal (P310), a succulent plate of snails (kuhol) and kangkong doused in coconut extract. You would be remiss not to dine in a Filipino restaurant without sampling the kare-kare. Kare Kare ng Kura (P400), a Crisostomo bestseller, is a steaming stew made up of peanut butter, oxtail, tripe, vegetables, and shrimp paste. For the more contemporary palate, try the Saturnina pizza (P325) composed of chicken pork adobo, mangoes, eggs, and sprinkled with adobo flakes.
If you have a sweet tooth, choose from the Narcissa (P200), a rich cheesecake made with the local Quezo de Bola, the Madrid (P165), a choc-nut pie which has the consistency of mousse, or the Yema Chiffon Cake (P165). Complete your meal with a refreshing glass of the Malunggay Calamansi juice (P98/P150).
With the service friendly, the selection extensive, and the portions generous, Elias by Crisostomo is served just the way Filipinos like it.
Interior photos courtesy of Chris Yatco; food photos by Sasha Lim Uy