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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Historic Filipino - Elias

What better way to commemorate the Philippines' independence day celebration than to dine at a place that pays homage to our cuisine at the time it happened?


Elias is another concept restaurant brought to us by one of the country's foremost chefs, Florabel Co-Yatco.  With other restaurants she has successfully created up her sleeve such as the fine-dining establishment that is her namesake "Florabel", "Felix" and Filipino restaurants such as "Crisostomo" and "Sisa's Secret", why not set up another one that showcases turn-of-the-20th-century cuisine?


With some foresight, I was able to snag a discounted dining voucher at Elias through cashcashpinoy two months previously.  Thus, for a meal that would usually cost Php1,500 (USD36), I get to pay only Php750 (USD18).  Great deal.  If you're also interested in getting similar dining, beauty or travel (and a whole lot more of other) deals, just go to their website (as highlighted) and register.  Purchases can be made via credit card or cash.  So far, my experience with the website has been safe, so I hope you'll have fun getting some savings with your purchases.


So for our own little celebration, we went to the Bonifacio High Street venue in Makati, and stepped into a high-ceilinged space highlighted in muted rose and cream with splashes of tiffany blue.  The interiors, however, had much the same feel as that of Crisostomo's so there is a sense of the familiar.  I would have preferred that Chef Florabel envisioned another "look" for this restaurant, or else, it would beg the question of how different would the dining experience be from her other Filipino-themed restaurants?

The dining attendants were all courteous as they first served our appetizer of choice called "Tiago's Triumph" (Php335/USD8)or a plateful of baked oysters in spinach and cheese.  Creamy, briny and fresh all at the same time.


For our main dishes, my husband, daughter and I shared the Lengua Laruja (Php395/USD9), or stewed ox tongue in mushroom sauce served hot on a sizzling plate,


The Crispy Pata Don Rafael (Php625/USD15), which is simply crisp-fried pork front leg.  (They also serve it Don Sebastian style which is served with chilis and garlic),


And one of Chef Florabel's pride, the Paella Negra (Php300/USD7) or paella cooked in squid ink.  I have to agree that this dish should indeed take center stage:  rich, flavorful, perfect.  I loved how the garlic aioli adds another dimension to the dish. 


This lunch was truly a feast, best shared with friends and/or family, as is usual with Filipino cuisine.  So was the price at Php2,050 (around USD50 with drinks and additional steamed rice for my daughter).  But it was a great way to commemorate an independence hard-fought.