Adarna Food and Culture: Sooo Pinoy Cuisine
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The first time I ate at Adarna Food and Culture was the graduation celebration party of my nephew in 2009. I chose Adarna Food & Culture because the restaurant embraces our rich culinary heritage of traditional Filipino cuisine. It was conceived by partners Beth Angsioco and Chef Giney Villar who desired to show Filipino antiques and different Filipino flavors around the Philippines. I met Beth Angsioco late last year at the midst of the Reproductive Health debate. Both owners are proud Filipinas and advocates of promoting our rich heritage. Their love of Filipino culture is evident in their delicious Pinoy cuisine, the menu and the decors of the restaurant.
Adarna is not just a dining experience of traditional Filipino cuisine but a visual feast of the past. So many nostalgic pieces around you – old memorabilia on Pinoy pop culture, old photos and posters of carnival queens and actors, beautiful light fixtures, from the huge old-fashioned TV set that seems so familiar to me and vintage knick knacks that remind me of my childhood.
Chef Giney Villar explained to the food bloggers the food philosophy of Adarna Food and Culture. Adarna serves “heirloom recipes that have been passed on from family cooks and secret recipe books from all over the Philippines. Simply going through the menu is like going on a regional food trip.” It is interesting to know that Adarna has 3 tracks that serve historical, regional and heirloom cuisine.
“Historical because we try to research on food that had been served before. It’s a way of connecting with your past.
“Regional because there are so many things that we still haven’t experienced at least here in the city that might be common place in other places. If you go to Kalinga or Sulu, you’d be surprised at the kind of Filipino food that they have.
“And heirloom because there are families with food traditions and it would be such a waste if that cannot be shared by other people. So I try to ask friends, threaten, bribe them to share recipes so we don’t lose [them].”
She then shared a little trivia by showing this pretty fruit “with a firm outer cover found in Laguna. Once peeled, it has the same color as lanzones fruit, only beautifully broken up into slanting sections, topped by veins exploding into a red sunburst, the likeness of an eye straight out of Halloween.” Giney added in another interview that she “.. had to research on the other souring agents that were used before that we don’t use anymore that we’re not familiar with. We discovered that people also use batuan in the south, a small hard fruit, and catmon, a sour fruit common in southern Tagalog, even alibangbang.”
All this talk about Filipino food made me so hungry and I couldn’t wait to try the Sooo Pinoy food.
First to be served was Seafood Special. I expected a Pinoy name. Apparently, this recipe was shared by a family from Manila. This Iberian style seafood dish contains shrimps, scallops and fish in a flavorful tomato-olive oil suace topped with bell pepper, fried onions and parsley.
The Adobong Batangas has got to be the best tasting adobo ever. Chef Villar said the recipe for Adobong Batangas was shared by a friend whose family is prominent in Batangas.
“We had to recreate it. My friend doesn’t know how to cook but has gustatory memory. I sat down with her, asked her how it tastes like, how it was cooked, if she saw what went into the pot, and from there I tried to recreate it,” she said, adding it took them 3 tries to get it right.
Adarna’s Bicol Express are finger chilis stuffed ground pork and shrimps but when dipped with the coconut sauce , the spiciness is not that strong.
Notice the fine-looking dinner plate? Eating with beautiful blue china brings a nostalgic feel of the place.
You can also see how Pinoys are maximalists . We love to fill up every available space in our dining tables. Our concept of dining is a table filled with food and only food. Sometimes, flowers and votive candles are taken away to take its place for another dish or the dessert. The Adobong Batangas is a hit among the food bloggers that it is totally wiped out.
Quesong Puti and Langka Fry
Dessert is Quesong Puti and Langka Fry. Hmm, I love kesong puti combined with anything. The salty flavors of the cheese with the sweetness of the langka blends well.
After dessert, we got to tour the function rooms. It is always interesting to revisit these rooms. There are two rooms: Silid ng mga Bituin (Room of the Stars) and Silid ng mga Reyna (Room of the Carnival Queens).
My favorite is the Room of the Stars where I get to see vintage photos of our movie stars in the fifties.
A trip to Adarna Food and Culture is not just for foreigners, balikbayans or for couples on a date. People who just want to connect with their Filipino-ness should come here and they can’t go wrong. It’s a great place to bring our children – for a food heritage trip. Aside from our homes, this is a place for our children to appreciate Pinoy food and culture. Let us embrace our rich culinary heritage by knowing more about Filipino dishes.
Adarna Food and Culture Restaurant
119 Kalayaan Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines
Tel. nos. (632) 9268712 and (+63917) 9618113
Open Mon-Sat: 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. and Sun: 11:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
firstname.lastname@example.org You can view their menu here
To be one of the advocates for Pinoy Cuisine, visit www.facebook.com/SoooPinoy. Sooo Pinoy feeds your national pride through the appreciation of Filipino cuisine. Learn more about their history and discover where to find the best Filipino dishes. Ang sarap maging Pinoy!