Pino Resto Bar is a fun take on Filipino food by Chef Ed Bugia. First opened in Maginhawa St, they have now branched out to Makati. Pino Resto Bar serves comfort Filipino food that is familiar yet different and well plated. The success of Pino has spawned off a Vegan restaurant called Pipino as well as the make your own burger joint, Burger Project.
Chef Ed came over and chatted with us about the restaurant and its beginnings. The food soon came flowing out starting with the Crispy Hito Salad (P195). A dish with decidedly Thai leanings. The salad is crunchy and soft, sweet and sour, a perfect way to excite the taste buds. A semi attempt at having a bit of healthy to start.
Spiced Sweet Potato Chips (P160) looks like the legendary mojos many of us adore but made super with the use of sweet potatoes. Served with a honey mustard dip that adds a sweet note to the chips. It’s actually already good as is.
Buffalo Chicken Skin (P145). Chef Ed threw out the meat and left the skin (the crunchy, addicting, evil part) of the chicken. He then coated it in a sweet and spicy buffalo sauce and we got this creation. (Cue the mad scientist laughter!)
Binakol (P285). A traditional chicken soup made with coconut meat and water. The coconut water makes the broth, light and refreshing. It was one of those wow moments when I first had a spoonful, I was not expecting it to be so good.
Kansi (P345). This is a dish I’ve come across before in Bacolod, an Illonggo version of bulalo (bone marrow soup). The broth of this one was in your face sour, a kick to your taste buds that should be perfect on a rainy day. Pump it up a notch by adding the bone marrow with malunggay pesto into the soup (see Eugene’s incredulous reaction as Chef Ed mixes it in).
Kare-Kareng Bagnet (P545/family, P255/single). Pino’s signature and most popular dish. This is a “finding the pot at the end of the rainbow” moment. Crispy bagnet pork belly slices atop a silky annatto peanut sauce. This dish is so good people were all quiet
Find the previous dish too indulgent, then the Seafood Kare Kare (P495/family, P225/single) is for you. Loaded with the bounty of the sea with the same peanut-annatto sauce and a siding of bagoong.
Filipino food practically requires you to eat it with rice but at Pino they have a different spin on it. Bagoong Rice is perfect with the kare kare while the Mango rice was a nice lightly sweet rice for the other dishes.
Adobong Sarisi Chicken with Egg (P225)
Coffee Crusted Beef Belly (P265). A different take on the classic bistek, with a bit more fat and flavor courtesy of the beef belly slices. The red wine caramelized onions might be overlooked by some but it’s my favorite part of the dish, sweet and silky.
Chef Ed also wanted us to try some vegan dishes from the menu of Pipino. Pipino Vegetarian shares a space thats separated by a long artistic white divider. Diners at Pino can order dishes from Pipino but not vice versa
Watermelon steak (P220). I loved the grilled watermelon flavor but was not a fan of the white aoili like drizzle.
Portobello Inasal (P260). This was not bad but I wouldn’t trade a piece of steak for this, EVER.
For dessert we sampled the Chunky Choco Tempura (P125) – essentially deep fried Kit Kat, Dulce de Leche Cheesecake (P150), Mango Sansrival (P165) and Chocnut Turon (P125). Sweet ending to cap off the feast.
Pino Resto Bar + Pipino38 Jupiter St., Bel-Air
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