Who would’ve thought that the notorious priest of the anticlerical novels of Jose Rizal (and the late maiden, Doña Pia Alba) could work their ways in the kitchen? Up on the second level of Greenbelt 5 is Restaurante Pia y Damaso, a Spanish-Filipino cuisine inspired by… yes, you guessed it – Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. A small background on the name: it translates to “Restaurant Pia and Damaso” taken from two characters of Noli Me Tangere.
Strawberry and Mint Smoothie
Filo Tarts with Pork Asado, Apple Relish
Spanish style Sardines with Toasted Bread
This restaurant has already been around for almost eight year, but it never fails to capture the hearts of their customers with dishes influenced from the novels written by our National Hero. The owner, Ms. Bambi Sy Gobio, had a knack for cooking since she was eight years old and at the same time, shared the same love she had for Rizal’s works, describing herself as a “die-hard fan of Noli and El Fili“. Thus, Restaurante Pia y Damaso was born.
What makes the dishes so interesting are the stories behind it, specifically parts of the books or even the duration of writing them. Some include the Filo Tarts (Php 220), inspired by the pork buns sold by a Chinese vendor outside the student dorm where Rizal wrote El Filibusterismo, and Elias (Php450), a salad inspired from the scene where Elias saves Crisostomo Ibarra from a crocodile at the lake in Noli Me Tangere.
Some names are also from the characters in the book. A perfect example would be Kapitan Tiago’s Kare Kare (Php 600), in which the character behind the name served as a gobernadorcillo and the father of Maria Clara (Ibarra’s love interest).
Read on for more!