Sol Vanzi Timpla't Tikim
CELEBRATION OF TASTE: BISTRO REMEDIOS CELEBRATES 30 YEARS 

Bistro Remedios marks 30 years in the food business with dishes that put a twist on old
Filipino classics. Former Malacańang Information undersecretary Lorenzo J. Cruz was forced by circumstances to become a restaurateur in 1979. Friends hang out in his art gallery and enjoy complimentary cups of native brewed coffee, Philippine-made chocolate, and exquisite snacks. He probably thought: Why not create a coffee shop? And he did with Café Adriatico, named after the street it was on. Larry’s café was such a success that dozens of artsy-fartsy coffee shops, galleries, gay bars, and gourmet eateries soon sprouted at Remedios Circle. It was not long before all the beautiful people in government, entertainment, and business were flocking to the new must-visit places. Correspondingly, property values went up.

With customers spilling out to the sidewalks and requesting more hearty fare, Larry opened Bistro Remedios in 1984 at the time when the country and the economy were reeling from the instability resulting from the 1983 assassination of former senator Benigno Aquino Jr. And so a night hawk’s tradition was born: cocktails at Café Adriatico, dinner at Bistro Remedios, and then back to Café Adriatico for a nightcap or two. Bistro Remedios is a restaurant that looks and feels like a provincial home’s expanded dining room. Years ago, its interior was dominated by a banggerahan—the holder of the clay water jar and drying dishes and glasses—made of bamboo and positioned to jut out of the dining room window.

The restaurant’s displayed collection of centuries-old aparador (wooden clothes cabinet), mirrors, tables, chairs, paintings, and other memorabilia may seem kitschy to a few but they’re downright heartwarming to many. The folk art representing many eras comes from all over the Philippines, as do the authentic dishes served in quite generous portions. * CONTINUE READING...


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Celebration of Taste


FRESH TAKE ON FILIPINO CLASSICS: Adobong hito and Lechon kawali sa gata

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi - Bistro Remedios marks 30 years in the food business with dishes that put a twist on old Filipino classics.

Former Malacańang Information undersecretary Lorenzo J. Cruz was forced by circumstances to become a restaurateur in 1979.

Friends hang out in his art gallery and enjoy complimentary cups of native brewed coffee, Philippine-made chocolate, and exquisite snacks. He probably thought: Why not create a coffee shop? And he did with Café Adriatico, named after the street it was on.

Larry’s café was such a success that dozens of artsy-fartsy coffee shops, galleries, gay bars, and gourmet eateries soon sprouted at Remedios Circle. It was not long before all the beautiful people in government, entertainment, and business were flocking to the new must-visit places. Correspondingly, property values went up.

With customers spilling out to the sidewalks and requesting more hearty fare, Larry opened Bistro Remedios in 1984 at the time when the country and the economy were reeling from the instability resulting from the 1983 assassination of former senator Benigno Aquino Jr. And so a night hawk’s tradition was born: cocktails at Café Adriatico, dinner at Bistro Remedios, and then back to Café Adriatico for a nightcap or two.

Bistro Remedios is a restaurant that looks and feels like a provincial home’s expanded dining room. Years ago, its interior was dominated by a banggerahan—the holder of the clay water jar and drying dishes and glasses—made of bamboo and positioned to jut out of the dining room window.

The restaurant’s displayed collection of centuries-old aparador (wooden clothes cabinet), mirrors, tables, chairs, paintings, and other memorabilia may seem kitschy to a few but they’re downright heartwarming to many. The folk art representing many eras comes from all over the Philippines, as do the authentic dishes served in quite generous portions.


Sinugba platter


* My favorites from the original menu are ginataang pla-pla, crispy tadyang (twice-cooked beef ribs), binukadkad na pla-pla (crisply deep-fried butterflied giant tilapia), sugpo sa aligue, Knockout Knuckle, and baby squid in garlic.

Neighbors at North Syquia Apartments, restaurant owners themselves, are addicted to Bistro Remedios’ oxtail kare-kare, which they all rate as the best in the Ermita-Malate area.

As Bistro Remedios turns 30, new dishes have been added to the menu after months of taste tests involving hundreds of loyal patrons. The delectable recipes were introduced to foodies and journalists recently and they passed with flying colors.

One of them is the lechon kawali sa gata, which is like a fusion of the Ilocano bagnet and Bicol express without the searing heat of chili peppers.

Another is the pininyahang baboy, which is pork cubes simmered in coconut milk, accented with fresh pineapple and a selection of native vegetables. The thick gravy is reminiscent of afritada served at Sunday family meals.

Next is the adobong hito. Described on the menu as originally from Iloilo, the dish is actually a heritage dish from many provinces in the Philippines: Batangas, Quezon, Aurora, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna. It stands out with curry-like color from fresh turmeric.

The last dishes are all from the Cebuano-speaking Central Visayas region: sinugbang manok and sinugba platter. The latter is perfect for a group: It is a heaping plate of grilled prawns, pork belly, and chicken accompanied by green papaya achara, and spicy vinegar dip.

With offerings such as these, it is no wonder that Bistro Remedios is recommended by the Department of Tourism to visiting foreigners.


SOL JOSE VANZI'S CORNER
LIFESTYLE COLUMNIST OF THE MANILA DAILY BULLETIN & PANORAMA
'TIMPLA'T TIKIM'


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