Monday, June 12, 2006

G.U.S. NITPICKS!! (v. 4)


Finally, the much-delayed Saturday lunch with my cute and fresh-as-a-daisy-looking friend, G., was pushing through. I had mentioned Malate, as i haven't been in this area for nearly a year. G. dissented, saying the good restos such as Bravo, etc. have closed, and we would be better off going elsewhere. Being obstinate by nature, i insisted.

So there we were, circling the area looking for a suitable place to dine in, but no such luck. We didn't want to eat at Cafe Havana and other places you could find elsewhere. Unfortunately, Malate is now overrun with Korean restos and clubs/bars/KTVs catering to Korean clientele (and to some extent, Japanese). I know some heritage conservationists in Manila are wringing their hands about this, but what can you do?

So we ended up driving along Jupiter St., looking for that elusive resto. It came down to a choice between Queen's (Indian cuisine) and this fairly new, homey-looking resto, Palatofino. We decided to give the latter a try.

First impressions were quite positive, with its simple interiors, wood-panelled ceiling and white/green tablecloths.

Menu was extensive enough, albeit rather pricey (esp. the meat and fish entrees). Fortunately, the appetizer we ordered, Calamari Freschi (squid with tomato, red peppers and avocado), made up in taste and texture what it lacked in presentation. Likewise, the Linguine Con Cozze (mussels in white wine and chives) was quite tasty and didn't scrimp on the mussels; and G. liked her Penne Pancetta (with tomato, spices and creme fraische) as well.

However, dessert (my fave part of any meal) didn't turn out so good. The creme brulee with berry compote tasted and smelled more of banana than anything else.

And the service was inattentive, at best. The restrooms were kinda filthy, too. And it was a pricey meal (with taxes and service charge, our bill reached PHP1,160.00) considering we didn't order any drinks at all. I would have thought that Jupiter St. is a lower-rent area vs. Makati malls like Greenbelt, but it wasn't reflected in this resto's prices.

Sayang, i thought this resto had potential to be a cozy hang-out place. All in all, a return trip is rather unlikely.

(Palatofino Resto is located at Jupiter St. corner Saturn St., Bel-Air II, Makati City)


Anonymous said...

I am a regular customer of Palatofino. Fortunately i have had a better dining experience the first time i walked in to that rather new opened med resto.
The service was rather pleasant as the owner would come approach (very friendly by the way) to help suggesting a good meal for a good value. Recommending dishes by one who knows it well makes a differrence for a new walk ins customer like us. The bathroom issue, i give that to you. But i am the type who go for food worth going for not to check out the toilet. The ambiance was also very quaint day and night. I also recon the often i go there, I see more reputable socialites and one time even a mayor. I overheard that they were asked to open another palatofino in his town. We also had some complimentary pita and baba ganoush(excellent). As me and my office mates became regulars, the restaurant eventually gave us 10% discount. I recommended some friends and family to visit it, they said the same thing and they got a free glasses of very good dry white wine to taste. You should have had the beef though. It was worth every penny. The Bistecca was yummy. So was the chili creme. The service was ok but with her makes it better. It makes you feel at home and make you order for more. Pancetta was one of a kind, I agree.
Finally the creme brulee I had was regular not banana flavored one. The affogato and choc mousse was good though. It must have been one of those momens to begin with knowing you started from malate to seek for a restaurant and end up in jupiter st. Better luck next time.

marcus said...

My food and the service at Palatofino where excellent. As a European expat i can only say, very special and absolutly authentic food. Whish there where more restaurants with flair in town like this. The restaurant could be a succes in any of the top Asian cities. The toilet is not perfect but that is a little compromise to be taken for the uniqueness of the place. Go there and check it out

grumpyurbanslacker said...

dear anonymous,

thanks for your comments, i really appreciate you taking the time to do so. Yes, you're correct, the female owner (quite a hot chick, btw) was very friendly and charming.

i'm glad you had a better time there
than i did.

dear marcus,

thanks for your comments...but i'm
wondering when you said "the restaurant could be a success in any of the top Asian cities...". Really?? i don't quite see that.


Mike-mike said...

"Sacrilege", I say! If only for the disappointing creme brulee, steer clear of this place!!!

Anonymous said...

I am from UK. Me and my colleagues had a great dinner at Palatofino. It was a lousy weather for the weekend but everything just turned perfect the moment we walked in to this restaurant. I went back the following night to impress my girlfriend. She was indeed very happy with the food and ambiance. Romantic mood naturally. The price was cheap though. I spent P4,000 a week before just the two of us at the Italian behind the st of Palatofino and it was a lousy wine. The Palatofino made me pay 3,000 for a nice bootle of wine, splendid starters, main course, and even superb dessert. The complimentary of grappa put us in better mood. Lovely..
Bottom line.. you have to have a sense of appreciation to a unique food. Especially when it is an acquired taste and need a practice of eating good food. That is what i call indeed gastronomy.

Anonymous said...

what are you saying people??? this is a very good restaurant. try it try it try it! i saw a caucasian cook there and thought this was just again run and invaded country by aliens and foreign allies. (hi hi) but the filipina came very pleasantly and showed us warm hospitality and made out dining there like we are invited at home. As it turns out, she owns it. It is nice to know the filipino runs the show here in our own country. and has the contribution to our poor country to share experience in food and so friendly for an owner. Go palato fino! keep up the good spirit! yum yum yum!!