Restaurante Pia y Damaso
Serves ‘Subversive Filipino Cuisine’

Restaurante Pia y Damaso's Ode to Heidelberg

Restaurante Pia y Damaso’s Ode to Heidelberg

IF you are a fan of our National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal (whose birthday we just  celebrated on June 19), and think that his masterpieces, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, are works of a genius, then you would be interested in a restaurant in Greenbelt 5 called Restaurante Pia y Damaso.

By the name alone, you would rightly guess that the restaurant has something to do with Dr. Rizal’s novels. And it does have everything to do with them. The name of the restaurant is taken from two key characters in Noli Me Tangere—Pia Alba and Padre Damaso.

Pia Alba is the mother of Maria Clara. She and husband Kapitan Tiago were childless for six years, and so they approached Padre Damaso to ask him what they could do to have a child. Padre Damaso, the Spanish friar, suggested that they danced in Obando. The couple heeded Padre Damaso’s suggestion and, afterwards, Pia Alba conceived a child, Maria Clara. The dark secret, however, was that Padre Damaso raped Pia Alba and was the real father of Maria Clara.

So much for the name, though. When it comes to food, Restaurante Pia y Damaso serves what chef-owner Bambi Sy-Gobio calls “subversive Filipino cuisine,” which also translates to “comido antigo.” The dishes on the menu are inspired by classic Filipino dishes that people have been enjoying since the time of Dr. Rizal, particularly dishes mentioned in his two novels. The food is based on characters and even named after them, such as Kapitan Tiago’s Kare-Kare, Sisig ni Cabesang Tales, Placido Penitente (Ifugao sticky black rice), Salvi’s Canonigo, Sisa’s Dementia, and Maria Clara’s Velvety White Cheesecake.

Chef Bambi’s culinary genius allows her to create twists and tweaks to classic dishes from appetizers and salads all the way down to desserts and cakes. And it helps a lot that she is a fan of Dr. Rizal’s great literary works.

Some of the must-try dishes on the menu:

Filo Tarts with Pork Asado, Apple Relish

Filo Tarts with Pork Asado, Apple Relish

Filo Tarts with Pork Asado, Apple Relish (Php220)—pan-fried flaky filo cakes stuffed with salty sweet pork, served with caramelized apple and vinegar. When Chef Bambi thought of this dish, she was inspired by the pork buns sold by a Chinese vendor outside the students’ dorm where Dr. Rizal wrote El Filibusterismo. She gave the idea a contemporary twist by using filo pastry.

Ham and Chicken Croquetas

Ham and Chicken Croquetas

Ham & Chicken Croquettes (Php160)—consists of eight pieces of crisp breaded nuggets made up of ham, chicken, mushrooms and cream; a perfect starter to get the palate going.

Albondigas

Albondigas

Albondigas (Php175)—minced beef and pork with spicy paprika and garlic served with fresh tomato sauce.

Mixed Greens with Duck Confit, Red Onions, Fresh Apples, Oranges and Champoy (Salted Plum) and Prune Vinaigrette (Php350)—the champoy gives this salad a unique flavor profile.

Elias

Elias

Elias (Php450)—is seared marinated crocodile from Davao, mixed greens, tomato, caramelized pineapple, crisp shallots and mango cilantro vinaigrette. If you are wondering why this salad is called Elias, it is because it got its inspiration from a scene in Noli Me Tangere where Elias saves Crisostomo Ibarra from a crocodile in the lake.

Nga Nga Beef Salad

Nga Nga Beef Salad

Nga Nga Beef Salad (Php250)—is salty sweet, chewy beef flakes with green mango pickles, red onion, haw flakes, cilantro, arugula and lettuce piled on leaves and then rolled up like nga nga (bettle nut chew).

Bangus Belly Salad

Bangus Belly Salad with Dalandan Vinaigrette

Bangus Belly Salad with Dalandan Vinaigrette (Php325)—puts the spotlight on seared prime bangus belly steak and marinated onion, baby French green beans, potatoes, arugula, tomato, hard-boiled egg and mustard dalandan dressing.

Lengua Sevillana with Olives and Mushrooms (Php450)—is braised ox tongue with olive oil, tomatoes, mushrooms and green olives. It is a classic Spanish dish that has withstood the test of time.

Callos

Callos

Callos (Php300)—is another timeless Spanish dish. It is an Old World Spanish stew of braised ox tripe, pork hocks, beef shanks, bacon, chorizo de Bilbao, paprika and chickpeas. No decent Spanish restaurant can be without its own version of this dish. So with a restaurant that is inspired by the Spanish period in Philippine history.

Ode to Heidelberg

Ode to Heidelberg

Ode to Heidelberg (Php1,500)—good for three people, this is probably one of the restaurant’s biggest platters and most luxurious dishes. It serves as a tribute to the place where Dr. Rizal finished writing Noli Me Tangere, and is a German dish of boiled smoked pork hock, bacon, four kinds of sausages and potatoes.

Roasted Vegetable Tart

Roasted Vegetable Tart

Roasted Vegetable Tart (Php300)—Roasted zucchini, peppers, eggplants, mushrooms and garlic in a crisp tart crust, topped with shaved edam and served with a side salad.

Beef Hanging Tender Steak

Beef Hanging Tender Steak

Beef Hanging Tender Steak (Php500)—seared 150-gram steak, marinated in special garlic mix, and served with pearl rice, corn and mushroom pilaf.

Fideos with Mussels and Chorizo

Fideos with Mussels and Chorizo

Fideos with Mussels and Chorizo (Php360)—toasted vermicelli noodles cooked in white wine, seafood broth, tomatoes and chorizo. It’s like paella, especially since it is cooked and served in a paellera, but in pasta form.

Camaron Cocido

Camaron Cocido

Seared Mahi-Mahi

Seared Mahi-Mahi

Ostrich Steak with Guava

Ostrich Steak with Guava

Other specials that diners must try when at Restaurante Pia y Damaso include Camaron Cocido, Seared Mahi-Mahi, and Ostrich Steak with Guava. These are bites that will transport you back to the time of Dr. Rizal and Noli Me Tangere, the time when Spanish friars were very powerful and influential personalities in the community and Spanish influence in Filipino food was strong and glaring.

Tubig ni Maria

Tubig ni Maria

Do not forget to wash it all down with Tubig ni Maria, which is a refresher made from cucumber, ginger and citrus.

But if you know Chef Bambi from the time when she had Kookie & Luscious, you’d know that she will certainly create a good dessert menu for Restaurante Pia y Damaso as well. And she did. The cake and dessert lineup is good that even diners of neighboring restaurants come to the restaurant to have dessert. Topping the list is Sisa’s Dementia (Php240), a chocolate cake that’s to die for. Also worth trying are Salvi’s Canonigo (Php100), baked caramel lined meringue with vanilla crème and fresh mangoes; Brazo ni Doña Vicki (Php100), chewy meringue roulade with fresh butter curd; and Toasted Yema Parfait (Php125), Damaso’s special toasted yema on a frozen creamy parfait with cookie crumbs.

 

(Restaurante Pia y Damaso can be found on the 2nd Floor, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City; with telephone number 729-5511.)

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KFC Introduces Salted Egg Yolk Chicken

KFC's Salted Egg Yolk Chicken

KFC’s Salted Egg Yolk Chicken

THERE is no stopping the salted egg yolk craze just yet, as a world-renowned fast-food chain, KFC, joins in the fray by introducing Salted Egg Yolk Chicken in all KFC branches in the Philippines. It is the subject of the first “Egg-xecutive Order” of the first Filipino Colonel, veteran actor Ronaldo Valdez.

I have tried Salted Egg Potato Chips. I have also googled how to prepare Salted Egg Sauce and made both Salted Egg Chicken and Salted Egg Fish Fillet. I have likewise had generous bites of Choobi Choobi’s Salted Egg Shrimps (the shrimps have their skin on) during a media lunch and Shrimp Bucket’s own version of Salted Egg Shrimps (the shrimps are peeled) during a Zomato food tour of Bonifacio Global City.

P_20170611_153420_1So, when KFC recently launched its Salted Egg Yolk Chicken, I just had to try it. My elder sister Swanie, with whom my husband Raff and I are temporarily staying at the moment as he recovers from stroke, dialed KFC’s delivery hotline, and the Salted Egg Yolk Chicken arrived just in time for dinner.

KFC’s Salted Egg Yolk Chicken is actually the fast-food chain’s Hot & Crispy Chicken coated with salted egg yolk sauce. In the case of delivered orders, so that the crispy skin of the chicken does not become soggy with the sauce, the salted egg yolk sauce comes in a condiments container, just like gravy, and is served with garlic rice. Order it a la carte for Php99, or opt for the meal with mushroom soup and drink for Php115.

The sauce is undeniably salted egg yolk, slightly runny, with a mild flavor that does not overpower the chicken. It comes in a generous amount, so some of it can actually be smothered on the garlic rice should one decide to do so. Best eaten when chicken is still warm and the skin still crispy.

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Carrot Cupcakes with Stable Icing
(Chef Dorothy Ferreria for Cake Boss)

Chef Dorothy Ferreria's Carrot Cupcakes with Stable Icing

Chef Dorothy Ferreria’s Carrot Cupcakes with Stable Icing

CARROT cupcakes are delicious. Especially if you put an equally delightful icing on them. In a recent baking demonstration staged by Cake Boss bakeware and utensils at True Value Shangri-La Plaza, seasoned pastry chef and culinary teacher Chef Dorothy Ferreria showed how to bake up a great batch of Carrot Cupcakes and ice each one nicely.

For the carrot cupcakes:
1/2 cup corn oil
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup well-drained crushed pineapple
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup white sugar
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon powder
1/8 tsp. ground cloves or all spice
1 tsp. sifted baking soda
1/8 tsp. fine salt

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line Cake Boss Cupcake Pan with baking cups. Set aside.
2. Pour ingredients in the order given above into a Cake Boss Mixing Bowl. Mix with a Cake Boss Wire Whisk until blended.
3. Spoon cake batter into the prepared Cake Boss Cupcake Pan, filling them two-thirds full.
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Let cool before piping icing on them.

For the stable icing:
1-1/2 cups non-dairy pastry topping
2 Tbsps. natural cocoa powder
finely chopped nuts

1. Pour pastry topping into a Cake Boss Mixing Bowl.
2. Beat using an electric hand mixer until emulsified.
3. Transfer an adequate amount of prepared pastry topping into Cake Boss Pastry Bags fitted with the desired Cake Boss Decorating Tips.
4. Pipe out icing as desired over each cupcake and dust with cocoa.
5. Sprinkle surface with candy sprinkles for a dressed-up look.

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Potato Chips in My Cookies
(Chef Dorothy Ferreria for Cake Boss)

Chef Dorothy Ferreria's Potato Chips in My Cookies

Chef Dorothy Ferreria’s Potato Chips in My Cookies

Chef Dorothy Ferreria with event host Steven Silva

Chef Dorothy Ferreria with event host Steven Silva

YOU’VE tried coating your chicken with potato chips for that unique crunch on the outside while the chicken is tender and juicy on the inside. But have you ever tried adding potato chips to your cookies? No? In the recent Cake Boss baking demonstration held at True Value Shangri-La Plaza, seasoned pastry chef and culinary teacher Chef Dorothy Ferreria showed that, yes, potato chips can be incorporated into cookies and that, yes, again, they are yummy.

Chef Dorothy made Potato Chips in My Cookies as one of her featured recipes. She used Cake Boss bakeware and utensils, which were uniquely designed by celebrity chef Buddy Valastro. These are the same functional designs that he uses on his show Cake Boss, which are now available in the Philippines.

Along with event host Steven Silva, himself a chef, Chef Dorothy captured the full attention of the audience with her interesting recipes.

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
1 whole egg
1-1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
60 gram salted potato chips, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, vanilla and sugar. Beat at medium speed until combined. Pour in egg and beat until blended. Add flour and mix on low speed until no trace of flour is visible. Add potato chips and beat only until well dispersed.
3. Using a Cake Boss Mechanical Cookie Scoop, form cookie dough into balls and arrange on Cake Boss Cookie Pan, using the markings on the pan as a guide.
4. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Allow cookies to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to airtight food containers.

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Puttanesca Pasta al Cartoccio
(Chef Jam Melchor for Carl Schmidt Sohn)

Puttanesca Pasta al Cartoccio

Puttanesca Pasta al Cartoccio

AFTER almost a year of not doing media event coverages as I personally took care of my husband Raff, who suffered a stroke middle of last year and is now recovering nicely, I attended the cooking demonstration organized by Carl Schmidt Sohn at True Value Shangri-La Plaza last May (2017).

Chef Jam Melchor

Chef Jam Melchor

Conducted by Chef Jam Melchor of Healthy Eats Manila, the cooking demo was the first in Carl Schmidt Sohn’s Solingia series of cooking demonstrations that made the rounds of True Value and True Home branches in Metro Manila. Chef Jam used products of Carl Schmidt Sohn, a line of premium German knives and kitchenware, in preparing three dishes—Free Range Chicken and Apple Salad, Puttanesca Pasta al Cartoccio, and Citrus Soy Marinated Steak. All three recipes I recently featured in my Weekend Chef online column in TV5’s www.interaksyon.com/lifestyle. But I would also like to share this pasta recipe with you because I find it light, healthy and delicious in its simplicity. It is also vegetarian or, shall I say vegan, so everyone can have a fill of it.

 

PUTTANESCA PASTA AL CARTOCCIO

2 Tbsps. olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. chopped black olives
1/2 tsp. capers
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup tomato sauce
tomatoes, chopped and peeled
pasta noodles, cooked according to package direction
fresh basil leaves for garnish

1. Heat olive oil in a Carl Schimdt Sohn casserole. Add garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
2. Add chopped black olives and capers.
3. Pour in wine and allow alcohol to cook and evaporate for an added dimension of flavor.
4. Add tomato sauce and some chopped and peeled tomatoes. Cook until sauce is thick.
5. Add cooked pasta and toss until fully coated with sauce.

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