Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hacienda

Filipino restaurants are truly becoming a trend nowadays. And it's a good thing, because, I always thought we lacked good Filipino restaurants. We always think of Kamayan, or Barrio Fiesta, or Cabalen. Now, we have a lot to choose from, ranging from those roadside grilleries to fine dining options. A new restaurant hopes to crack the same ground. This is Hacienda, located at the ground floor of the Transcomm Bldg, beside Tiendesittas in Pasig.


What made me very interested is the fact that they call the place a Filipino deli/coffeeshop/restaurant. All slashes. Being a deli, it serves local delicacies. Being a cafe, it serves charcoal roasted mountain coffee. Being a restaurant, it serves your usual Filipino fare ala carinderia style.


We were there for dinner and surprisingly, there wasn't any customers when we arrived. 2 groups came in a few minutes later though. The food is presented ala carinderia, meaning, they are already laid out on the counter, and you just have to choose what you want. There are some dishes that are not displayed, and are cooked on the spot, like their Lechon Kawali. We tried the Adobong Eel (pictured above). One piece cost P50, which I thought was ok. The eel was boneless, making it easier for me to eat.

We also tried the Sinigang na Baboy, just to set standards. I liked it because I miss home cooked meals, especially Sinigang and Tinola. Although I thought that the soup wasn't sour enough.


The Lengua in Tomato and Olive Sauce was also a good choice. The olives gave the meat more flavor. 


But if there's one dish you should try, it's this one, the Lamb Caldereta. I know lamb is not the usual Filipino, but their caldereta sauce was almost authentic, the way my lola used to make. And to my surprise, the lamb's flavor was bursting with every bite. If I were in Iron Chef, and lamb was the main ingredient, this would be a winning dish. This may probably be the best lamb dish I have ever tasted. I ordered one again, because everyone loved it. We had to get seconds.

So, was Hacienda worth it? Well, it's a bit expensive, compared to the several options in Tiendesittas. But I would recommend it for its charm. It really feels like you're in a restaurant in the province. It's great for a Sunday lunch with family.

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