Every time I passed by Greenbelt 5 in Makati City, there’s this small yet cozy Spanish looking restaurant that catches my attention – Restaurante Pia y Damaso – a Subversive Filipino Cuisine.
Last Wednesday, I had chance to understand the story behind Restaurante Pia y Damaso through the owner, Chef Bambi Sy Gobio. The first question asked was, “Why was the place named Restaurante Pia y Damaso?”
Chef Bambi said the restaurant’s idea was mainly from the novel “Noli Me Tangere”. Her brother gave her the name Damaso and encouraged her to make a strong characteristic of a restaurant out of it. Remembering Jose Rizal’s novel, Padre Damaso was one of the notorious characters in the story. Rumor has it that Damaso is the father of Maria Clara from Dona Pia Alba, the wife of Kapitan Tiyago.
Talking about the food, Chef Bambi proudly shared that most of the Filipino dishes they serve are from the novel with added twists and character.
We started on the appetizers. She offered Almond Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon. It’s salty, sweet and chewy. Kids will enjoy this for sure.
I also love their Filo Tart with Pork Asado, Apple Relish (P220). Honestly, this will keep me coming back to Pia y Damaso.
For vegetarians, have a taste of ELIAS – seared marinated CROCODILE from Davao, mixed greens, tomato, caramelized pineapple, crisp shallots and mango cilantro vinaigrette for only P450.
I have one memorable quote from Noli Me Tangere that I cannot forget. I think it’s already installed in my mind. It was ELIAS saying, “I die without seeing the dawn, brighten over my native land. You who have it to see, welcome it and forget not those who have fallen during the night.”
Another selection is Nga-Nga Beef Salad, made up of chewy beef flakes, green mango pickle, red onions, haw flakes, cilantro, arugula and lettuce.
The salad was created out of Dona Consolacion’s character who loves chewing nga-nga or betel nut in the novel.
How to enjoy eating it? Wrap the beef flakes, mango pickles, red onion and haw flakes with the greens and that’s it.
Pia y Damaso also served Smoked Tapang Usa. The deer meat is from Nueva Ecija with green mango pickles, roasted pepper omelette on garlic rice. (P450)
Yes, they serve ostrich dish too and Ostrich Beef Steak is a must try for P600, per serving! The meat is so tender and juicy. Your kids will not notice the are eating ostrich.
Kare-Kare and Sisig are in the house too!
Ode to Heidelberg dish is a tribute to the place where Jose Rizal finished the novel Noli Me Tangere. This is good for 3-4 people for only P1,500.
For desserts, the most famous are Sisa’s Dementia and Brazo ni Dona Vicki. They also have Ibarra’s Kiss.
Pia y Damaso also sells whole cakes.
For breakfast, you can start with Bibingka Waffle. I drool over this because of the deliciously made coco jam. Yes, it’s not too sweet and I love how it blends with the waffle and the salty egg on top.
Tsokolate Eh and Toasted Ensaimada Quezo de Bola is also a good way to start the day. To enjoy this, you should dip the ensaimada on the tsokolate, just like dipping your pandesal on your hot coffee!
Coffee is also served for P80.
Dishes served at Pia y Damaso have characters and distinction of their own even it’s the most common Kare-Kare. Also, this restaurant serves meat and use products from local produce.
Indeed, Restaurante Pia y Damaso is true to its tagline – Subversive Filipino Cuisine.
Restaurante Pia y Damaso is located at 2nd floor Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City. You can like their Facebook Page HERE