this quintessentially-filipino (particularly kapampangan) restaurant where the food comes 1st & foremost deserves all the praises it gets. everyday pampango fare is turned into a culinary delight by claude whose creativity balances flavours just right. ordinary top equality indigenous main ingredients are enhanced by basically pinoy but asian/european-inspired sauces. result: very tasty & flavourful, extraordinary & certainly outstanding. I would not call it fusion as the dishes are not a meld of various flavours; they remain very filipino.
will be appreciated by Filipinos & foreigners who wish for creative, elegant & refined cuisine.
my friends treated me to a 10-course menu de dégustation w/commentaries & anecdotes by mary ann (wife/hostess) before each course. of course, the meal lasted for several hours but so what? that's how gastronomic meals usually go & w/the outstanding food & excellent company, whose counting!
so be prepared to spend a big part of a day incl. travel if from manila.
the restaurant ambiance is unpretentiously simple/rustic w/plants & huge electric fans providing a bit of comfort. just like dining in an upper middle class filipino home, sans AC. an inspired touch was frozen face towels provided to freshen up throughout the meal.
price-wise, on the higher end of the scale but worth every centavo. splurge for a special occasion or simply to satisfy that craving no other restaurant, filipino or otherwise, can assuage.
downside: high pitch promotion of cloud 9 products!
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