'Pilosopong pinakbet' with strips of ‘bagnet,’ crispy Sisa salad–we enjoyed the ‘Noli’-inspired resto | Inquirer Lifestyle

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‘Pilosopong pinakbet’ with strips of ‘bagnet,’ crispy Sisa salad–we enjoyed the ‘Noli’-inspired resto

Without even the slightest idea of how this restaurant got its name, we walked into the dining area shortly before noon and waited for expected company.

Still getting ready for lunchtime guests, the woman extended a welcome greeting and showed us to a table.

What did we find in the heavy menu folder? The characters in Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere” coming alive in the collection of Filipino dishes.

After learning who’s behind the restaurant, we figured the owner must be a fan of the Philippines’ national hero who has read his writings.

Elias

Bonifacio High Street, 7th Avenue cor. 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, tel. 6213276

This is a restaurant that inevitably reminds us of Jose P. Rizal and dares us to remember the characters in “Noli.”

Dining area—Spacious with tables arranged not too near each other so that conversation at the next table is hardly audible. Two giant frames on the main walls depict two ladies, one in maria clara costume, the other in baro’t saya. Two  vintage chandeliers hang from the ceiling. By the entrance door is a small table with bottled sauces for sale.

Service—The kitchen is efficient as orders come fast one after another.

Staff—Male and female attendants wear outfits in aqua blue with purple accents. Accommodating and very quick to respond to the slightest wave of a customer’s hand.

Suggested orders—Guests are titillated by each dish’s name. The “Ultimo Adios ”is likewise tweaked. There are Calamares de Tale, Squid Rings coated with desiccated coconut; Mi Ultimo Felicidad (My Last Happiness), Chicharon Bulaklak, Bituka ng Baboy at Balat ng Manok; Pilosopong Pinakbet, made with strips of bagnet; Crispy Sisa Salad; Sinigang Mestizo, done with watermelon that gives it a delicious blend of sweet and sour flavors; Don Pilipino, Pusit Adobo tweaked by mixing the squid with pork, but which retains the overwhelming flavor and color of the squid; Biñan, Grilled Tuna Belly, which we rate excellent; Choleng, banana turon creatively wrapped like cones and served with Batangas chocolate dip, which the chef calls fondue.

We had great fun trying to figure out which dishes had been named after characters in the novel.

Needless to say, we had a satisfying meal of delicious Filipino food.

Service charge and government taxes are added to the bill. Senior cards are honored.