The location of Adarna is a bit strange. Instead of situating itself nearer the more conspicuous and more frequented areas of QC, the restaurant seems to sit by its lonesome along Kalayaan in Diliman. The wonderful thing is that curious guests and repeat diners do come all the way here — maybe some, for the enigmatic ambience, some, for the different vibe, but all come for the delicious eats. Hmmm, but I’m getting ahead of the story.
“I wanted the people to be revitalized after eating” said Chef Giney Villar, much like how the legendary bird Adarna, where the restaurant’s name came from, would revitalize and cure people of their illness. Chef Giney traveled around the country and brought back the historical and heirloom recipes that date back to the early 1900s and recreated them for people to enjoy now. Just the thought of trying out recipes that probably our lolas used to make was enough to feed my curiosity. And the interesting twist is that Chef Giney’s a vegan. So how would those meat dishes taste without her actually taste-testing it first?
No doubt, the Pinoy has gone global, his taste buds included. He/she has acquired a liking for tastes and flavors that transcend our borders but probe deeper and there’s this deep-seated, deeply-rooted liking for Pinoy food. Your happyfoodies are no exception. We love Pinoy food, period. But is there a place for Pinoy food in a fine dining set-up? The people at Sentro 1771 would like to believe so. The purveyors of modern Filipino cuisine, Sentro 1771 puts a twist to Pinoy fare. Their breakfast offerings at their Serendra location list more Pinoy selections than the Western kind. But are they worth waking up early for? Your happyfoodies were more than happy to check them out.
The newspaper headlines. Global recession. Inflation. Times like the present calls for some relief. Now more than ever, we ought to get comfort where we can find it. If it’s spa for the body and music for the weary soul, then it’s comfort food for the weary spirit. So when we heard of PenPen, we took a chance on the Saturday traffic and went to Timog for a late lunch for a serving of comfort food. The place has received some media mileage owing to the fact that it is owned by the wife and son of veteran actor, Pen Medina (hence the name, PenPen), but we want to find out if the comfort food lives up to the publicity.
With the globalization of the Filipino palate, is it still viable to set up a Pinoy restaurant nowadays? Ponder this: on one hand, you have to market to a younger generation of diners reared on a steady diet of pizzas, burgers and pastas. On the other hand, you have to appeal to an older generation who may have grown tired of the old favorites and are gravitating to international fare. Following the suggestion of a friend, we ventured to Mandaluyong to look for 1521 in the hope of finding a more definitive answer to our question. We’re happy to say that we walked in hungry for food and answers and walked out with a positive outlook and contented tummies.
1521 has an interesting story to go along with the great food. The name stands for the year in Philippine history when the Spaniards landed in the Philippines, marking the start of the Spanish colonial period. The restaurant’s mission is very noble: to rediscover Filipino cuisine. Simply put, 1521 is all about Filipino food with interesting twists and turns; fusion cuisine that pays homage to our roots but given fresh tweaks to provide both the young and older diners something interesting to discover. We’ve seen our fair share of Filipino fusion cuisine that strays far off the mark and happily, this isn’t the case with 1521. As its owner, advertising maven, Tanke Tankeko points out, it is food that’s faithful to the fare she (and us from the older generation) grew up on.