Pino Resto Bar: Filipino Dishes With An Attitude

Me claiming that Filipino dishes are superior wouldn't have that much weight in terms of credibility mainly due to the fact that I'm one. That statement is clearly reeking of bias. 

But here's the thing, if you're aware of how most Filipinos think and act {many of us will French kiss foreign products before we take a mere glance at ours}, you'd know that bigotry is expunged from the given statement.   

For me, the hardest to review are Filipino dishes. I have a strong basis of comparison. I think most Pinoys share this dilemma. It's hard to devoid my judgment of that. I would always compare restaurant-style dishes to my mom's cooking, my aunt's, grandmother, and even my very own. I can whip up an awesome Pinoy dish, y'know? My aunt's dog can attest to this. But from time to time, I concede {with bitterness} to those I find gratifying such as the ones at Chef Ed Bugia's Pino Resto Bar. 

Pino Resto Bar Jupiter Street Makati Filipino Dishes With An Attitude

Pino Resto Bar serves tweaked versions of much-loved Filipino favorites. It's my brother who first introduced me to this establishment. Pino is actually his default Filipino restaurant. 

This time around, I went with my fellow food warriors. I really like being with these people. They have a devil-may-care attitude towards eating.  Pomposity is removed and dieting is suspended...indefinitely. My kind of people. They're very much well-known {read: celebrities} floggers in this part of the world. I really don't know why I'm part of this group since I'm more established than them. And that is pomposity for yah! 

Bagnet Spring Rolls Pino Resto Bar Jupiter Street Makati
Bagnet Spring Rolls  PhP 235

Bagnet is thick slab of pork belly, slightly seasoned then deep fried. The taste is smack in the middle of awesomeness and death. Pinoys poke fun on this Ilocano delicacy due to the fat content. If you really think about it, death by bagnet is not that bad at all.

These spring rolls are flavor-packed! Chopped bagnet, chinese chorizo, salted eggs and vermicelli noodles constitutes the stuffing. It was good on its own, but better when dipped in the accompanying calamansi vinaigrette. 

With all those strong flavors, you'd think that the satiating factor's high. It wasn't. I was seriously jonesing on steamed white rice as I was eating it though.

Isol Popcorn Chicken Butt Pino Resto Bar Jupiter Street Makati
Isol Popcorn  PhP 205

For those unaware {meaning me}, isol is a Hiligaynon term for chicken's butt. This is one delicious ass, if I may say so. The butts are coated with seasoned batter, fried then tossed in Pino's special soy-miso-inasal glaze. Nom!

Apparently, chicken butt {pygostyle} is the most nutritious part of this animal. It contains calcium, iron and a high dose of protein! 

Nilasing na Tahong Pino Resto Bar Jupiter Street Makati
Nilasing na Tahong  PhP 245

Nilasing na Tahong {drunken green mussels} was one my Dad's favorite dishes. Eventually, it became mine as well. This one's a mix of sweet, salty, tangy with a little bit of heat. The mussels were oh-so fresh, plump and juicy. The flavors seeped through the meat perfectly. I would prefer this one to be less salty though.

Pino Pochero Pino Resto Bar Jupiter Street Makati
Pino Pochero  PhP 385

This is a hearty stew with fork tender beef and pork, tomatoes, saba banana, pechay, and Chinese chorizo. The size is good enough to be shared by two to three persons.

Bagnet Ribs Lechon Paksiw Pino Resto Bar Jupiter Street Makati
Bagnet Ribs Lechon Paksiw  PhP 245

It was obvious that the meat hugged the sauce really well because it was rich with deep flavors. Vinegar didn't dominate the sauce. I hate when that happens. It was a good marriage of salty, sour, and sweet. And yes, the meat was tender.   

Steamed Lapu-Lapu  PhP 495

It is very rare that you will not see this version of cooked grouper during any - and I mean, any - home festivities here in PHL. This Steamed Lapu-Lapu is pretty much mandatory. It's like the glue that holds the celebration together. Can someone please pile this under the You-Know-You're-Pinoy-When list?

This was the first time I've tried it with salted egg, pineapple, cheddar cheese, and fried garlic chips as toppings though. It was surprisingly good! The fish being steamed in lemon grass made the whole dish aromatic, zesty, and savory.  

Bagnet and Bicol Express Pino Resto Bar Jupiter Street Makati
Bagnet Bicol Express  PhP 295

Save the best for last! This is my favorite amongst all! The combination of texture is superior and the taste divine. The Bicol express was deliciously creamy with a rich coconut finish and had the right kind of spicy! I love the addition of alfalfa sprouts! It made the whole thing extra tasty and nutty.  

Have you tried Pino's dishes? Thoughts?

Quality: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Ambiance: 3/5
Cleanliness: 4/5

Pino Resto Bar
38 Jupiter, Bel-Air, Makati
Tel. No.: 550-1781
Facebook: Pino Resto Bar
Twitter: @PinoRestoBar

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