Our latest finds: stuffed ‘kalabasa’ flowers, ‘pinakbet’ salad, grilled chicken bathed in cheese | Inquirer Lifestyle
outbrain

Our latest finds: stuffed ‘kalabasa’ flowers, ‘pinakbet’ salad, grilled chicken bathed in cheese

Last week’s discoveries revealed unique kitchen twist/tricks and lots of premium cheese in two restaurants. One is owned and managed by a gracious young couple in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, serving Filipino food injected with interesting elements. The other is named after a premium Italian cheese that enhances every dish.

Industry Bar and Resto

Paseo de Sta. Rosa, Sta. Rosa, Laguna; te . 0908-8971614.

The once quiet little town of Sta. Rosa has evolved into a large industrial hub. It is, therefore, not strange that this amazing development has inspired the owners to call their restaurant Industry, sort of a tribute to the companies which made the town progressive.

Dining area—There’s an “industrial” feel—the interior in gray and black, the simple tables and chairs, the floor ingeniously painted in cement gray, but reflecting a simulated walked-on area, much like a very active workplace. Above are big pipes. The only color relief are the few sofas and chairs in orange upholstery.

Service —Solicitous and fast

Staff—Courteous, attentive

Suggested menu—The menu is on a clip board, in keeping with the workplace ambiance. Here is where chef Vivian surprises the diners—she puts unlikely ingredients in the dishes, producing unique flavors.

For those wanting new taste, there are quite a few. Start with Stuffed Kalabasa Flowers served in tiny cups filled with a mix of pork and shrimps, accompanied by a mayonnaise-infused cream.

Get the Pinakbet Salad—yes, salad. It never looked like this; the veggies are roasted, then blended with the bagnet, and a bit of vinaigrette splashed on shortly after serving.

The Crab Molo soup uses galangang instead of ginger, acquiring a more robust earthy flavor with lemongrass and coconut milk.

Be sure you still have enough energy for one or two main courses—the Ox-Tail (from the US, thus malaman and rich with marrow) Kaldereta with discernible liver flavor, or the Plapla and Balao-Balao, fried crispy with homemade fermented rice.

Don’t skip dessert. Try and love the Batter-Fried Leche Flan Log with preserved coconut and caramel sauce.

Beverages, cocktails and wines are available.

They don’t include service charge in your bill, and all prices are VAT-inclusive. Tab is very minimal.

Rating ***

Parmigiano Pizzeria Ristorante

Shop F @ B, 2/F, Newport Commercial and Entertainment Center, Newport City (Resorts World), Pasay; tel. 6598295.

Among all the dining places in this mall, this one is a standout where the quality of food is concerned.

Dining area—Elegant in subdued gray and stark black. Tables are varnished, needing no tablecloth. Lighting is not glaring. There’s a certain quiet air about it so that conversation is sedate and controlled. On the walls are niches of various displays —wines, harvest, jars.

Service—There is need to improve this, specially the kitchen. We waited no less than half an hour to be served the first course, some appetizers with dip.

Staff—We must commend Julio who attended to us. We noted he felt so uncomfortable every time he’d come to us and apologize for the slow service from the kitchen.

Suggested menu—Short of risking a vertigo attack (triggered by an indulgence in cheese) we did enjoy what we ordered, done perfectly well. The Spinachi Graninati dip with warm bread sticks whetted our appetite for more cheese-laden offerings. Osso Bucco is one dish we could never resist, so we had this—thickly sauced bulalo beef slow-cooked with wine that the meat really fell off the bones, very flavorful.

The Cotaletto de Polloala Parmegiana (grilled chicken) bathed in cheese on a Risotto was excellent. Of course, we had our fave Tiramisu and bold Espresso coffee to culminate a good meal. Wines and beverages are offered.

Service and government charges are added. Senior cards are honored.

Rating ***