Monday, December 17, 2007

Restaurante "Pia y Damaso" At The New Greenbelt Five

Noli Me Tangere was a huge part of my high school life.

When I first read about this new restaurant at the spanking new Greenbelt 5, I knew I just had to go. Last Saturday I spent a lovely afternoon with a very good friend and dined on dishes that brought to life Rizal's immortal characters. Think Maria Clara, Crisostomo Ibarra, Dona Victorina, the notorious Padre Damaso (after whom the restaurant is named after) and a host of others. Take a look at the interesting array of entrees on the menu that brought to a long-forgotten era. I secretly wondered to myself if these were the dishes that the friars and Filipinos once dined on. Probably. There is an interesting entry on the drinks page - "Tubig Ni Maria Clara" made from cucumber juice, ginger syrup, and citrus water - sounds very refreshing and something you would love to have on a summer's day.

Trivia - for those of you wondering why the name Pia y Damaso, they are the names of Maria Clara's parents, Pia Alba and the evil Prayle Damaso. Interesting huh? Do the meals here cause one to sin as well? Hmmmm. Not quite.

We started lunch with Croquetas de Jamon, which was delicious.

My friend decided on the Chicken Parian (with sticky rice, sausage and which was quite tasty and had an interesting presentation and texture to it.

I opted to go for the Fileto Empanado with dayap and caper butter (crisp, marinated and pounded and breaded beefsteaks)and was not entirely happy with it.

Aside from the fact that they were a bit greasy, they were quite gamey too. Not a good choice, really. My friend remembered how they used to cook something similar at home and together, all the siblings would pound on the beef in the kitchen. "Carne ng mahirap..." he described it so aptly. Something that the poor people from Noli Me Tangere probably ate. The version I had was quite malitid as well. Di ata nakuha sa pukpok.

Dessert demons that friend and I both are, it was a good thing that dessert was the saving grace to my meal. I had Padre Salvi's Canonigo (the infamous friar who lusted after Maria Clara) and true to it's inspiration, the dessert was, yes, quite sinful.

Friend had some version of the ever-popular Banoffee pie and the chocolate that was used on this treat was really so scrumptious and velvety. Truly exquisite.

The restaurant is small but its interiors are oh-so-charming, lovely and very-well done. Owned by Chef Bambi Sy Gobio (she of Kooky and Luscious fame), it's no wonder that the dessert menu is a fabulous and interesting one. I love the pretty details, the ribbons on the chandeliers, the paper that they line your table with, etched with swirly pen and ink designs, the menu itself, and the logo of Padre Damaso holding what appears to me like a giant chicken drumstick.

"Pia y Damaso" is located on the second floor of the beautiful Greenbelt Five. Not too many stores and restaurants are open yet, but those that are, deserve a second look. I didn't have time to browse through my friend Ruby Gan's "Mythology" a beautiful store that puts together the talents of five highly talented Filipino designers. The new mall is beautifully lit and so well-laid out. I will definitely go back to explore some more. Meanwhile, enjoy more pictures of the mall, here.

1 comment:

Beegee said...

Hi. Could you give me a price range of the food at Pia y Damaso? I'm planning to try it out one of these days.