I’ve always wanted to try out Pino Resto Bar in Malingap street. I remember when I first attempted to go there with friends a couple of months ago, we weren’t successful at getting a table. I said to myself then that I would go back and ensure that we get to eat at Pino next time.
Good thing my church mate was very organized because he was able to reserve a table for the 8 of us last saturday. Finally, I was able to sample the much-praised menu dishes in Pino Resto Bar. The restaurant is owned by Chef Ed Bugia, Star Jose and PJ Lanot. As I researched, Pino meant Filipino (Pili’PINO’) food and Pino (filipino term for ‘fine’ which means good). In short, the restaurant promises to serve good Filipino food. Well, I must say that I liked the food. I appreciate the creativity of the chef on creating the dishes that they serve. Imagine kare kare that has bagnet in it or tacos that has sisig in it – those are definitely something new and we, Pinoy foodies, would appreciate.
This is especially obvious as the place is always jam-packed with customers.
There’s an artistic vibe in Pino Resto Bar. Art work, photographs and cute handwritten notes were hanging/plastered on the walls of the restaurant.
There were eight of us so we ordered almost every bestseller in Pino’s menu. I was glad we did because I wouldn’t have blogged about Pino Resto Bar here if we ordered only 2-3 dishes. So this can be of help to you if you want to have an idea how the dishes looked like in Pino. I must say that the food did look delish but they also tasted just as good too!
- Pino Iced Tea (Php 80)
While we waited for our orders to arrive, we ordered a pitcher of Pino Resto Bar’s homemade iced tea. One pitcher (Php 80) can fill 5 glasses (see photo above). The iced tea is also available single-serve. I liked Pino’s version of the tea, it reminded me of ‘Sunquick’ – not too sweet but super tasty!
- Buffalo Chicken Skin (Php 145)
My cholesterol level is very high but that didn’t stop me from ordering Pino’s new dish: Buffalo chicken skin. As they say, the yummiest food are the deadliest of them all. It is crispy chicken skin coated with special buffalo style sauce, served with bleu cheese dressing & celery sticks. Delicious! Order at your own risk!
- Mini Sisig Tacos (Php 215)
I love tacos but I’m used to eating those ones with beef. However, I was curious as to how a sisig taco might taste like. I actually loved it! Pino was very generous in putting the ingredients in – pork sisig, lettuce, tomato salsa and the beautifully craved cheese on top. The dish needed to be taken by the hand. Forget about poise and image when you eat this 🙂
- Nori Cheese Sticks (Php 165)
Buttermilk cheese rolled in nori and wonton wrappers, served with pesto and strawberry sauce.
It is a unique way of recreating cheese sticks Filipino style. The sauce was heavenly!
- Tempura Oysters & Pearls (Php 185)
Oysters fried with wasabi tempura batter, topped with lumpfish caviar, wasabi mayo and tempura sauce.
Two words: unique & appetizing! When you’re at Pino Resto Bar, make sure you order this dish as one of your starters.
- Plain Rice (Php 20)/Bagoong Rice (Php 30)
The rice selection wasn’t in Pino’s menu. The waiter enumerated all the rice dishes for us to choose. We ordered plain rice. We thought plain rice was best because we could taste the flavors of the different dishes that we ordered. I, on the other hand, wanted to try out as much food as possible so I opted for the bagoong rice.
- Longganisa Rice (Php 35)
Most of my church mates ordered longganisa rice. I tried it but I didn’t like it. You can hardly taste the longganisa at all even if you can see bits of it in the rice. Best to stick with either plain or bagoong rice if I may advise.
- Kalderetang Lengua (Php 415)
Lengua or beef tongue is a food item that is really high in fat but most people still prefer to order often. Pino’s version is stewed, another way of cooking lengua (in contrast with the usual mushroom sauce).
- Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts (Php 365)
I’m not fond of chicken breasts. If I may say, I prefer to eat just the chicken skin. Even if this Bacon and Cheese-stuffed chicken breasts dish did look good, I didn’t bother getting a second serving. If only I could taste the bacon better then I would have loved this. Maybe the flavors of the bacon was overshadowed by the chicken and cheese.
- Red Wine Adobong Tadyang (Php 415)
This was basically beef short ribs cooked adobo style. Another twist to the usual beef stew, reminded me of the famous Korean beef stew. You should eat this as soon as it’s served as the ‘sebo’ or fat easily comes out once the dish gets cold.
- Kare-Kareng Bagnet (Php 565)
Last, but definitely not the least, is Pino Resto Bar’s specialty: Kare-kareng Bagnet. It was pork belly from Ilocos served with peanut sauce. I think bagnet chunks were cooked separately and then the peanut sauce was poured into it. At first, I was looking for bagoong but apparently since the bagnet is already salty, there is no need for it. Well, I had bagoong rice so it was a perfect combination at least for my palette. A great dish and a successful one, I loved it!
Apart from the yummy Pinoy food served at Pino, the service is something to commend for as well. Their servers were always ready to get our orders or any requests (like changing the temperature of the aircon as it was cold in the area that we were in) for that matter.
One thing that stuck in my mind was the beautiful wall art at the restaurant. It was made by Wee Will Doodle and it did have several images inside it like people, music, art, street signs, the Pino name and so much more. It definitely contributed to the artsy vibe of Pino Resto Bar.
We love taking photos and of course, we had to take it with the beautiful doodle art.
Pino Resto Bar is the second restaurant I tried out in the Teacher’s village. I have yet to try out the other places there. I’m eyeing on the Burger Project next which is owned by the same people behind Pino Resto Bar. Since I liked Pino, I’m sure I’ll like it there as well. Let’s see.
Pino Bar & Restaurant
#39 Malingap Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines