*This restaurant is now closed*
Tiago Progressive Filipino Cuisine is a small restaurant in one of the side streets of Tomas Morato. I first thought they were part of a chain of restaurants that uses characters from Jose Rizal’s works as names. This place is actually named for the owners David and Sigrid Buendia‘s son, Santiago. The kitchen is headed by that last partner, Chef Kenneth Villaluz. I got a chance to try the place a couple of weeks ago and here’s what I experienced.
The interiors was designed by David Buendia, who studied at PSID. There’s an hip, retro charm to the place that instantly makes you comfortable upon entry. Pieces of yesteryears like the still functioning electric fans, knick knacks and even a record player add a sense of history.
Inihaw na Tilapia (P210). A dish that was so green you would think it was all vegetables. Each mustard leaf roll is filled with grilled tilapia, with a tempered buro (fermented rice with shrimp) and some cilantro. There a nice refreshing taste at first bite, but more complex flavors reach your senses as you taste deeper. This is not for everyone because of the buro but try it out and you might change your mind.
Bistek Pancit (P264), traditional style canton noodles topped with Bistek Rib eye beef slices. There’s also crunchy onion rings for texture, which I felt was not needed. The noodles taste clean and fresh sans the excessive oil and soy usually found in this dish. The beef slices can be eaten as accompaniment to the noodles or you can even have it with rice.
Humba with Poque Poque Salad (P300), a dish that is very popular in Cebu and the Visayas. Essentially braised pork belly in soy sauce but Chef Kenneth added some pineapples for a touch of sweetness. It’s served with an eggplant relish. This is perfect with plain rice and if I were eating alone, I’d just dump the rice into the plate to sop up all the sauce.
I got to try two of their fried rice variants, the first of which was the Adobo Rice (P178). This could be a dish in itself, with adobo flakes and diced green mango. Mix it all up for a mix for sweet, salty, and sour.
Tinapa Rice (P145) is the usual fried rice with dried fish pieces. This serve as more of a match for the strong flavors of the humba but on its own it paled in comparison to the adobo rice before.
Leche Flan (P78), a dish so commonplace in all sorts of Filipino restaurants from the high end to the fast food joints. This is not your ordinary leche flan, coconut cream is used instead of milk to give it a more creamy texture. That’s not all, sweetened sago and saba (bananas) are added on top then everything is drizzled with a tablea sauce. This is the best leche flan I’ve ever had, no wonder diners even come to Tiago and pair it with alcoholic drinks. I’d come back to Tiago even for just this one dish, I can’t even believe the price is so cheap.
The food and ambiance really is a treat at Tiago Progressive Filipino Cuisine. Once you see the prices, you’ll feel even happier, they are reasonable and each dish is substantial. I’ve only tried a small portion of their menu and I’m eager to go back the first chance I get with Irene in tow, who I know will enjoy it also.
Tiago Progressive Filipino Cuisine85 Scout Fuentabella St., Baranggay Sacred Heart Quezon City, Philippines Telephone No.: (02) 668-4240 (66-tiag0) Operating Hours: Tues – Sundays – 11 am to 2pm and 6pm -11pm
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