Spanish-Filipino Cuisine in Restaurante Pia Y Damaso, Greenbelt 5, Makati

It has been a tradition, like most families do, to celebrate a family member's birthday, typically by dining out. For my father's big day, we've voted on to try Pia y Damaso in Greenbelt 5.

Story behind the Name
With the name itself, we were already given a clue on what type of cuisine this restaurant offers. As you may have remembered, Damaso is the infamous friar in Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Hence, to let the foodies know that this place serves Spanish dishes, they included the name of the friar for the restaurant, and to make things more interesting they added the name of the woman he had an affair with, Pia.

Haha! Actually I just made this up because the truth is I don't know the story behind the name. After all, there is no character in Noli or Fili named Pia, not unless it was one of those moments I fell asleep listening to the discussion.

Anyway, whether my insuniation behind the name is hit or miss, it is undeniably suggestive of a Spanish motif. This concept is further reinforced by the classy and somehow quaint interior of the restaurant. However, I noticed that the interior lacks enough space resulting to limited seats and cramped appearance. With this, we opted to just sit outside (non-airconditioned but fortunately non-smoking).

Ham and Chicken Croquettes || P160 
Eight (8) crisp breaded nuggets of ham, chicken, mushroom and cream
The amazing ham and chicken croquettes of Pia Y Damaso
The amazing ham and chicken croquettes of Pia Y Damaso
Served hot and fresh, these croquettes were oozing with goodness. and despite the creamy meaty mushroom filling, it was not too salty and overwhelming. In fact, it was purely awesome!

Note: It may be because we were so hungry that our taste buds were heightened.

Albondigas || P175
Minced beef and pork with spicy paprika and garlic on tomato
The meat-ball like Albondigas of Restaunte Pia Y Damaso
The meat-ball like Albondigas of Restaunte Pia Y Damaso
With expectations raised up due to the first dish, this Almondigas appeared only nice and ordinary. However, it was still good to note that they were crunchy on the outside which added to its appeal.

Lengua Sevillana with Olives & Mushrooms || P450 
Braised ox tongue with olive oil, tomatoes, mushrooms, green olives
The immensely rich Spanish Lengua Sevillana - Pia Y Damaso
The immensely rich Spanish Lengua Sevillana
Going for some rebound was this Lengua which I believe was great with the authenticity of its flavor! The most buoyant flavors are the tomato and the spices used.

Paella Valenciana || P450
Sauteed organic rice in sofrito and olive oil with marinated chicken, pork, prawns, mussels, fish, chorizos and peas
Paella Valenciana
Coming in a small serving but with sufficiently generous seafood and meat content, the Paella Valenciana was considerably fine. It had this tolerable level of spiciness which blended well with the dish. Without the chorizo being the source of spark, this dish could have been one of "those paellas".

Lamb Calderetta || P600 
Boneless Australian lamb chunks stewed in tomato, rum, peppers, olives and potatoes
Pia y Damaso's best selling dish - the Lamb Calderetta
Pia y Damaso's best selling dish - the Lamb Calderetta
Hailed as the best-seller of the restaurant, the Lamb Calderatta featured an immensely rich mix of tamed and harmonizing spices that gave justice to the tenderness of the lamb.

Pork Belly wtih Chorizo and Chickpeas || P600
Seared pork belly, chorizo de bilbao, olive oil, garlic, paprika & garbanzos
Pork Belly with Chorizo and Chickpeas - Pia Y Damaso
Greasy but tasty Pork Belly with Chorizo and Chickpeas
Although it was excessively greasy due to the pork belly fat, the dish had this rich taste that will appeal to those who have fat-tooth.

Seared Barramundi Fillet with Miso Pesa Sauce || P500
250 grams of seared apahap fillet withi a soybean sofrito sauce in olive oil
The Seared Barramundi Fillet with Miso Pesa Sauce
The Seared Barramundi Fillet with Miso Pesa Sauce
This Mahi-Mahi had a sharp fishy taste (which is pretty much innate to this type of fish) that didn't appeal to my taste buds. In fact, it was just "salty and sour" for me nothing much other than that. However, you need to understand that this might just be because of my personal preference.

A Not-So-Popular Kid in Restaurante Pia Y Damaso
A Not-So-Popular Kid in Restaurante Pia Y Damaso

Restaurante Pia Y Damaaso - Overall Ratings and Summary

Note: Unshaded stars are equivalents of half-stars. The ratings apply solely to this dining experience.
Place ★★
Taste  ★★ 
Value for Money ★★
Budget: At least P500 per head for 1 appetizer, two to three main dishes and 4 cups of rice (for group coming in 4)

Overall, I found our dining experience enjoyable and satisfactory, despite falling slightly short of my original expectation in terms of the service and plating. Still, I didn't mind these things and just focused my attention on the the food.

How about you - do you recommend this place?

Restaurante Pia Y Damaso [Closed]
Location: Level 2, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City

Contact No.: (02) 7295511, (02) 5020106
Service Charge: 10% before VAT

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