New on the Menu: Pino Resto Bar
A new year means new dishes.
Pino Resto Bar
38 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air, Makati City
Tel. No. 550-1781
39 Malingap, Teachers Village, Quezon City
Tel. No. 441-1773
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. onwards
Playful comfort food, Bugia-style
(SPOT.ph) It’s fascinating to imagine what goes on inside the mind of a chef: spices, seasonings, and other ingredients must constantly be permutating delicious results. But, it’s even more curious to imagine what goes on inside the mind of Chef Ed Bugia. With four very successful brands (not to mention branches), his head must constantly be whirring with ideas for new pie concoctions, vegan alternatives, and hamburger combinations, yet out of his hat he manages to pull not one but four more ways to present Ilocos’ classic bagnet.
Bagnet Spring Roll
Bagnet Bicol Express
Bagnet Ribs Lechon Paksiw
There’s Bagnet Spring Rolls (P275), slightly sweet rolls stuffed with chopped pork belly, Chinese chorizo, salted eggs, and vermicelli noodles; Bagnet Bicol Express (P475), bagnet fried the way we know it over fiery winged beans; Kare-kareng Bagnet (P565), a no-holds-barred combination that layers together two Filipino food heavyweights; and the Bagnet Ribs Lechon Paksiw (P295), a tongue-tingling testament that leftovers can produce terrific results if handled correctly.
Nilasing na Tahong
The new dishes were launched in time for the first anniversary of Pino Resto Bar’s (and Pipino’s) second branch on Jupiter Street. Chef Bugia, as well as business partners PJ and Alessandra Lanot, has come up with fresh ways to update Filipino comfort food. More than pork belly folded into different shapes and forms, there’s the Isol Popcorn (P205), which takes the beloved Negrense street grub and molds it ito an addictive popcorn shape. Beer marinade gives briny mussels robust depth in the Nilasing na Tahong (P295) while a large grouper (P495) becomes a canvas for a smorgasbord of pineapple aioli, salted eggs, bell peppers, pickle relish, cheddar cheese, scallions, and garlic chips.
But while Pino is known for its playful jab at Filipino cuisine, Chef Bugia knows that some classics are meant to be left as they are, putting only a few minor tweaks here and there to elevate a good dish to greatness. His Pino Pochero (P475) is his new showpiece: a glistening, golden-orange stew of crushed fresh tomatoes, saba, sweet potatoes, pechay, and chinese chorizo. The first bite features a stunning sweetness that can only be achieved through a spot-on layering of flavors. The use of both beef and pork muddle together a salty savoriness to the mix.
To say that dessert is a fitting culmination to a delicious meal is an understatement when you’re talking about their new Bibingka Galapong (P145). The rice cake is more egg than dough and embellished with kesong puti, a swipe of ricotta cheese, and crowned with a sprinkle of coconut and sugar. The perfect finish? A quick shot of warm homemade tsokolate. It’s the kind of dessert that you’ll come back for, not only to cap off your feast like an afterthought, but because it will leave you craving in the days to come.