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Monday, July 20, 2015

Restaurante Pia Y Damaso at Greenbelt 5 - rediscover the pinoy cuisine in a traditional, modern and exotic way


We discovered Restaurante Pia Y Damaso back in 2010 when me and my wife were trying to eat all of the restaurant in Greenbelt 5. We love to visit that mall because its peaceful, quiet and a good mall to hang out when our 8 month old son is with us. Restaurante Pia Y Damaso was the next restaurant to try at the 2nd floor of Greenbelt 5, during our first visit in 2010, we immediately fell in love with the food that they offer. We regularly visit the place to eat some good Filipino dishes and also eat some desserts, I’m glad that the cake display inside the resto really works for the ladies who want to munch some sweets and sip hot tea or coffee during the afternoon.

Restaurante Pia Y Damaso occupies a small space at the 2nd floor, my only complain is that the resto space is so small and if they ran out of seats, they can still offer the al fresco dining located outside. But never mind the space, but the concern goes to the taste of their food. I always order the never ending kare kare and caldereta every time we visit Restaurante Pia Y Damaso, I always order the same thing… sympre I always order my favorite food and if I like the taste of the resto’s recipe, I definitely go back to eat there again. Our visit became weekly, monthly and then there’s a time that I dine in alone hahahah. Sorry to my wife, I sneaked at Restaurante Pia Y Damaso without her, but I super love their lamb caldereta, yun lang.


Restaurante Pia Y Damaso at Greenbelt 5
Greenbelt 5 is the only the branch they have as of now,  I wish that they can occupy a bigger space if ever they will transfer or expand.


It’s a bit weird that they used the name “Damaso” for their restaurant, if you studied the novel of Jose Rizal – Noli Me Tangere, under the notorious character of Padre Damaso, he was considered as the main villain in Jose Rizal’s novel.

But the Damaso name was taken in a positive way, because Restaurante Pia Y Damaso is known for naming their food with the use of iconic names from Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, as I mentioned, if you read the novel, this restaurant will take you back for a throwback and it will test your Noli and El Fili knowledge.


Here’s an excerpt from Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere, describing Padre Damaso’s appetite


Here’s the menu of Restaurante Pia Y Damaso
just click on the photo to view large version

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Time to eat!!!

Below are the food that was presented to us during a lunch with Restaurante Pia Y Damaso. For me it was a time to re-discover our Filipino dishes, because Restaurante Pia Y Damaso manage to do the traditional way of cooking and also make their own modern take on some food and popular ingredients found here in the Philippines and also the exotic food that can add a little fear factor or wow factor to the adventurous foodies. No need to travel around, because the good pinoy dishes can be found also here in Restaurante Pia Y Damaso.


Kapitan Tiago's Kare Kare
PHP 600
"a native stew with roasted rice, peanuts and garlic with beef tripe, tail and meat served with bagoong shrimp paste"

The best kare kare ever! I totally forgot how good it is when I first tried this in 2010, but for 2015, it tastes more good, I learned that they cooked and prepared the kare kare with the traditional way. They added ground peanuts to keep the sauce more condensed.


Pork Belly with Chorizo and Chickpeas

I thought it’s a binagoongan type, but its not. the pork belly got a tasty and soft meat treatment in this dish and added with the spicy chorizo for more added flavor.


Ostrich beef steak with guava butter
PHP 600
"a thick seared ostrich steak, marinated tagalog beefstock style with soya sauce, onions, native lemon (calamansi), black pepper, with fried saba bananas, sauteed cabbage and onions"

I thought this was my 1st time to eat an Ostrich meat, it was supposed to be my first, but then my wife sent a FB message and she told me that we ordered this already during our regular visit. Okay, I didn’t pay attention on the food we ordered, I thought that I was biting a beef meat, but the real deal that this is an ostrich meat….that tastes like a beef meat, due to its red color.

Wow! No need to travel outside Manila to taste red meat..este… Ostrich meat.

The ostrich meat is from an ostrich farm in Cagayan.


Elias salad
PHP 450
"seared marinated crocodile meat from Davao, mixed greens, tomato, caramelized pineapple, crisp shallots and mango, cilantro vinaigrette"

After the ostrich meat, we have here another exotic food --- a salad with crocodile meat!!! Don’t worry guys, the meat is clean and not smell stinky. The croc meat came from the croc farm in Davao and this is a specialty because the meat is rare and hard to acquire…depends if there’s a big demand of croc meat and skin in the Davao croc market.

The croc meat is a freebie and its not scary to try it. The taste is comparable to a chicken meat but with a slight taste of a fish flavor. The caramelized pineapple and other salad greens will make you enjoy munching these Elias salad.

Smoked BBQ Mango Pork
PHP 500
"smoked bbq pork with a mango marinade, served with a spinach, apple, raisin, pinenut and garlic rice with scrambled eggs


Smoked Tapang Usa
PHP 450
"Salted deer meat from Nueva Ecija, green mango pickles, roasted pepper omelette on garlic rice"

Another exotic dish because of the deer meat, its super rare and not a regular offering in other restos, but here in Damaso, they always have it. The meat taste is close to beef and lamb, but the smoked flavor made it more delicious…it’s a best pair to a nice fried rice or red wine.


Roast Chicken with Sherry and Pimiento
PHP 375
"roasted chicken quarter with garlic, sherry, spanish paprika, green olives, extra virgin oil, herbs and roasted peppers"

When I saw this, I thought that it was Christmas hahaha. I love the spice and roast treatment of this dish. Im wondering already that I might order this in my next visti, because this is a good food for the guys who love a hearty meaty meal.


Ode to Heidelberg
PHP 1500
"a German dish of boiled smoked pork hock, bacon, four kinds of sausages and potatoes"
accdg to the resto, its a tribute to the place where Rizal finished writing the "Noli Me Tangere"

I’m familiar with this pork knuckle, it’s a Bavaria kind of meal that I usually see whenever there’s a Oktoberfest, We pinoys always love to eat the pork knuckles in any kind of recipe. But Damaso’s Ode to Heidelberg, its comparable to a Pata tim but more salty sweet flavor, thanks to the bacons and sausages around it in adding more taste.


Almond stuffed dates wrapped in bacon
PHP 175
"sweet and salty bites of bacon"

This is part of their starter meals, but since I arrived late for lunch, this was served right after my main course meal, but hey! it can be also a dessert, because its sweet and I love the chewy dates and later on the salty bacon took over after some bites… it’s a food for the mind tripper.


Nga Nga Beef Salad
PHP 250
" salty sweet chewy beef flakes, green mango, pickles, onions, haw flakes, cilantro, arugula and lettuce"

If Koreans have the Ssam wrap, where you wrap the grilled beef with a lettuce and dip it in gochuchang sauce. For the pinoy ssam wrap style, Chef Bambi made her own version – the Nga nga beef salad. Its the same procedure on how to wrap it and eat it, but the difference, dipping on sauce is not required and when you bite one, the beef blended the taste with the arugula and other ingredients like green mango to add some sweet and sour, and then the pickles to power up your taste buds.

For the health conscious, this is a must try food here in Damaso


Here’s how I prepared and ate my Nga nga beef salad.

The beef flakes is a bit similar to a beef jerky. But for Damaso, they make their own jerky.

Filo tarts with pork asado and apple relish
PHP 220
" pan fried flaky filo cakes stuffed with salty sweet pork and served with caramelized apple and vinegar"

Its like hopia..but looks like a hopia but taste more good than a hopia


Brazo ni Dona Vicki
PHP 100
"chewy meringue roulade with fresh butter curd"

Their brazo de mercedes version is good!! I like it.


De Espadana Quezo de Bola Cheesecake
PHP 220
"baked cheesecake with santol, prune and fig compote"

It’s the most compacted cheesecake ever!! The quezo de bola is the prime suspect here for making it a good cheesecake. I super recommend this if you love blueberry cheesecake.

This cake stuffed my tummy really quick, because the quezo de bola is very heavy.


Toasted Ensaymada with Queso de bola and Tsokolate Eh Belgian chocolate
PHP 150

I super enjoyed dipping the ensaymada to a cup of Belgian chocolates, its like a Damaso way of eating hahahaha. Actually, I pour on the choco on to my ensaymada…. I forgot that I didn’t dip it. But pouring it over is also like a Damaso thing.


Toasted Yema Parfait

”frozen dessert has layers of a special vanilla creme topped with toasted Yema.”


Sisa's Dementia
PHP 175
"truffle cake with white chocolate almond pastille, dark choco mousse and ganache"

Its good and not too sweet, I was afraid to try this because it looks like a Death by Chocolate, but I’m glad that my sweet sensors approved the taste of Sisa’s Dementia.

Pepay the dancer's halo halo
PHP 220
" red monggo, langka, garbanzaos, kaong, nata, jalea, goat's milk, leche flan, candied kamias, saba, guava, quezo de bola, fresh pastillas and ube purple yum ice cream"

For halo halo fans, you should try their version of halo halo. I was surprised that they added a quezo de bola strip inside the halo halo. OMG that’s a genius way to beautify the taste of the halo halo. Chef Bambi is not just a chef, for me she’s a food scientist! galeng!


Bibingka Waffle
PHP 150
" with Malago's goat's cheese, quezo de bola, salted egg and coco jam"

So that’s the food I ate and tried I missed the sardine food but I will try that next time for my visit.


with Chef Bambi Sy Gobio, one of the owners of Restaurante Pia Y Damaso
Thank you for re-introducing Restaurante Pia Y Damaso to me. I hope this blog feature can help the resto hunters to map their way to Greenbelt 5.


Restaurante Pia Y Damaso
branch: 2/F Greenbelt 5

Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.
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