Dining-in at Crisostomo Restaurant
Crisostomo; Turn of the Century Filipino Cuisine
Our Highschool classmate Liezl who migrated to US, went home to Philippines recently and requested for a get together, Anna our class-president during highschool days chose Crisostomo restaurant at East Wood Mall. Although I always prefer a buffet restaurant, Crisostomo Filipino cuisine is not a bad choice, and I am curious too because of the familiar name
The first thing that came to mind when I heard the name was the two popular novel by our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal, the Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Who can forget the lead character named Crisostomo Ibarra?I was thinking what the restaurant will represent, A Filipino Cuisine that can be inspired from the Spanish era?
Reaching the place it sure showed Filipinos during the Spanish time, probably during the times of Padre Damaso and Donya Victorina. Attached in the walls are portraits of people obviously wearing Filipino clothes during spanish times. The covering of the menu has a portrait of a man in Barong (National Filipino clothes) and wearing a tall hat. The pouch they used for packaging take-out foods has a sketch of a woman or man in filipino costume.
The food named after Noli and El Fili Characters,
The menu is full of familiar names, mostly taken from the two novels or if not obviously of spanish influences. For appetizers, we ordered Bolas De Fuego, these are simple deep fried squid balls, deliciously presented like a lollipop and standing on a piece of attractive wood.
The oyster baked in garlic and cheese was named as Elias's Choice. Bracken Tofu was probably taken from the name of Josephine Bracken, one of the girfriends of Jose Rizal in real life. The appetizers are all great but my favorite is Elias' choice.
The Main dish
The first choice of the group is Manok ng Diablo, it is called the Diable or devil because it is spicy. Manok ng Diablo is just a deep fried Chicken with too many spices.
The De Los Santos is a family platter, combining the best of Crisostomo, Pork barbecue, liempo, chicken, pusit, bangus belly, oyster, inihaw na talong and achara or grated fermented papaya. This is what I enjoyed the most next to the the grilled tuna.
I especially like the Aligue (or fat of crab) fried rice. I think I will return to Crisostomo just to have a taste of it again.
If you are planning to treat your balikbayan friend or friends from other countries for dinner or lunch, Crisostomo Filipino Cuisine can be one of the best choices. Over all the food are great and presented attractively, plus the history that you can share with them as part of your lively conversation.
I am not sure if it is only me, but I think it is too pricey here at Crisostomo or we just ordered the best and the most expensive both in appetizers and main dishes. I had colds when we had our dinner, so maybe my sense of taste was a bit affected, not that I didn't enjoy the food but, I am not sure what made them unique from other well known Filipino restaurants that I dined-in before, that is why I am thinking of going back (aside from the reason that I like the aligue fried rice) to give proper judgement of the food that they offered.
For Dessert we only tried the Queso de Bola Cheesecake. Adult will like this because this is not really sweet.