carlo and i wanted to have a not so ordinary dinner one night so we headed off to pino at teacher’s village. this is near the bayantel office in maginhawa street.
we’ve eaten here before when i steered our production staff to dine here after researching online for vegetarian restaurants because we were running out of options in feeding our vegetarian director from mumbai. a quick call from ex-vegetarian jerrold tarog led to links which led to this resto.
the vegetarian choices were awesome, very simple but extraordinary in their execution. i had the stuffed tomatoes, some had the portobello mushrooms and so on and so forth. they ran out of tablea cheesecake that night so carlo and i swore to come and maybe taste everything else they had to offer.
and so we did. the place was half full when we arrived. impressed with the mix of cooking styles and ingredients but our choices that night had us at bagnet. we ordered kare kareng bagnet with bagoong rice, tempura oysters with wasabi and something (basically three of our favorite things in one dish; awesome), sinigang na salmon ulo sa miso and bayabas, and their home-brewed iced tea. also ordered the tablea cheesecake, which was available that night, and the turon with ice cream.
we were surprised that the oysters were too salty for our taste, probably the batter. that was a big letdown. everything went downhill from there. the bagoong rice made sense with the kare-kare but it made the dish really salty, adding to the fact that they also served bagoong on the side. their bagnet was sadly only lechon kawali status. we could have a gorgeous mound of real bagnet at stoops in makati for p90, less than half of what they were charging us, instead of this poor offering at pino. the kare kare sauce also tasted like it was reconstituted from a ready made powdered mix.
the sinigang was almost not that salty yet the miso had already rendered the stock salty and the chef’s heavy hand had rocked that boat with additional salt.
the iced tea unfortunately was too sweet and i had to thin it down with service water. for something that was a home-brew, their iced tea tasted like nutrilicious, a commercial premixed iced tea.
the dessert could have been the saving grace but alas it would not be so. while the cheesecake was not bad, it wasnt particularly mindblowing as id hope. the turon was better (but i hated how it was plated).
we normally wouldnt mind paying for a rather expensive meal if the food was good. this did leave us with a bitter taste in the end as it was not cheap at all to charge to experience. will have to think hard if we’re ever coming back because in fernez to them, the vegetarian fare was good. too bad.
pino resto bar is located at 39 malingap st.,teacher’s village, quezon city