Noli Me Tangere is one book we were required to read back when I was in high school. As students, we were all obliged to read and comprehend how Dr. Jose P. Rizal changed the nation through his books. Various book reports and activities conducted by our teacher just for us to truly grasp what the book, Noli Me Tangere or Touch Me Not (english) is trying to say. At the end of reading Noli Me Tangere, I appreciated and fully understood why Dr. Jose P. Rizal is our national hero. Indeed, he created a masterpiece and became an inspiration to Filipinos.
Bambi Sy-Gombio used this inspiration to create something that would feed people’s tummies. She absorbed Rizal’s brilliance by putting up a restaurant in Greenbelt 5 named Restaurante Pia Y Damaso.
Restaurante Pia Y Damaso is one of the first few restaurants that opened when Greenbelt 5 was relatively new. When I pass by the place, the view from where I stand directs me to seeing people with cakes and pastries on their tables. Due to that, my thinking of Pia Y Damaso is just a dessert place.
I was mislead that Restaurante Pia Y Damaso only offers desserts. My visit to the restaurant proved that you will go for the main dishes, not only for their desserts.
Crispy Adobo Chicken Skin & Tails (Php 160) - One deadly and sinful appetizer that welcomed me. The crisp and adobo flavor blended to come up with a wicked appetizer. I don’t dig oily food but this one can be part of my exception list.
Tubig Ni Maria (Php 300) - A creative mix that will make you forget getting the usual glass of water. Served in a cold pitcher of cucumber juice, ginger and citrus water. I had more than 5 glasses of this genius water mix.
Filo Tarts with Pork Asado, Apple Relish (Php 220) - If Chinese restaurants have their asado siopao, Pia Y Damaso puts out their Filo Tarts with Pork Asado and apple relish. Similar to getting a bun of siopao only this one is enclosed in crispy filo tarts and topped with apple relish to make every bite appealing.
Almond Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon (Php 175)
Elias (Php 450) - Elias is a well-known character in the book of Noli Me Tangere, the one who helped Crisostomo Ibarra, main character of Noli Me Tangere. The unique character of Elias illustrated on the dish named after him. Salad is a combination of greens, tomatoes, caramelized pineapple, crisp shallots and seared marinated crocodile that’s from Davao. It is also mixed with mango cilantro vinaigrette.
Mixed Greens with Duck Confit, Red Onions, Fresh Apples, Oranges and Champoy (Salted Plum) and Prune Vinaigrette (Php 350) - champoy flavor was very noticeable while having this salad. Also a unique salad combination that worked out well for me.
Kua Pao Pan De Sal (Php 250) - Soft garlic braised pork belly placed in between two toasted pan de sals. People complain how Chinese kuapaos are - often lack meat filling and flavor. You have to reach the the middle part in order to get a taste of its meat filling. Pia Y Damaso understands how we, Filipinos, complain about eating kuapaos. The remedy is this, a loaded kua pao or pan de sals with soya, anise and garlic braised pork belly, roasted peanuts, sweet mustard leaf confit and fresh cilantro leaves.
Callos (Php 300) - Classic Spanish Callos that is mixed with ox tripe, beef shanks, pork hocks, bacon, chorizo de bilbao, paprika and chickpeas.
Placido Petinente (Php 400) - Tired of eating white rice? This is an option for you. The forbidden black rice risotto takes you to a heavier side of eating rice. On top of the heavy black risotto are cuttlefish, and fish roulade with lemon to twist the entire flavor.
Camarron Cocido (Php 380) - As described by Pia Y Damaso, these are seared prawns and seafood thermidor with scallop, fish, mussels, squid, potato and gratineed cheese sourdough crumbs
Fried Chorizo Cubes, Potatoes, Egg and Pan de Sal (Php 475)
Ibarra’s Kiss (Php 175) - A sweet and delicate kiss made of hazelnut chocolate, dark chocolate mousse, caramel cheese and candied orange confit.
Look what caught my eyes again… the pretty and elegant chandeliers! :)
Thank you Bambi Sy-Gobio for having us. Using Noli Me Tangere as an inspiration captured the hearts of Filipinos, espeically those who adore Rizal’s works.
Greenbelt 5 is not complete without this remarkable room, Restaurante Pia Y Damaso.
Pray, Eat and Love.
The Food Scout
Location: 2/F Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City, Philippines