It was one of those days you went out to run to get some conviction to have good food after. And it was some really great food that we found in Pino Restaurant in Malingap Street, Teacher’s Village, Quezon City. Here’s our sumptuous discovery.
For the longest time, I’ve always wanted to go to the famous Maginhawa Street in Teacher’s Village, Quezon City. It had become a mecca of good restaurants for food lovers, from meat lovers to vegan to everything in between, and I felt that I’ve really been missing a lot! And so for our new Friday habit of running after office hours, we staged it somewhere close—UP Diliman.
Cutting my backstory short, soon after our relatively short run around the Academic Oval we were off to Maginhawa Street. The stories were indeed true—there’s just so many stores to choose from. For some reason, we deviated a little from Maginhawa Street and ended up in Pino Restaurant.
Because it was a Friday night, parking was just difficult but we managed to luckily find one not too far away from Pino. It’s just that all the tables inside the restaurant was occupied so we were seated in the “al fresco” area at the back. There were some smokers in the area at the time (despite the area not really being outdoors) but thankfully their smoke never reached our area.
Upon being seated, we were presented two sets of menus, one from Pino and the other from Pipino which is their vegetarian counterpart. I first explored their vegetarian sets which was pretty good, but I’m not strictly on vegan mode that day so I was back to the regular menu. In the end, we settled to go with items for sharing.
The first item that arrived on our table is the Longanisa-Topped Nachos. I just love it! I normally shy away from nachos because I’m not really a fan, but this one is one of the few that I really, really liked! It has pretty generous topping which was a dish in itself so you get some very good nachos.
Gambas in Aligue is one of Pino’s appetizers and the name alone is just sinful. Sautéed shrimps in crab fat sauce. What’s not to love? Unfortunately, it was the last item to arrive so we weren’t able to eat it as an appetizer, but it was really, really good that I even ate it with rice! I just can’t have enough of it!
Crispy Hito with Ensaladang Talong (crispy catfish with eggplant salad) is our “healthier” food item after the longanisa, shrimp, crab fat, and our main dish (as you can see below). I admit I don’t eat fish that much, particularly catfish, but this one is really good. It’s so simple yet for some reason I liked it. The eggplant salad is good as well but there’s not much of it.
Finally, the house specialty—Kare-Kareng Bagnet. In a way, it’s pretty much bagnet with some vegetables, peanut sauce, and shrimp paste. And it was sinfully good! The peanut sauce was very good and thankfully you can ask for more of it for free. I was a bit sad that the serving size of the vegetables was so little, but overall it’s a must try! The one we pictured above is the sharing size but it’s also available in solo sizes (₱295, comes with rice).
I just loved everything that we had in Pino Restaurant! Even the simplest sides (like the shrimp paste, eggplant salad, etc.) was good so I don’t have any complaints. If there’s anything that I’d wish for more is more rice! Highly recommended! 😀
Our Maginhawa Street adventure did not end with Pino Restaurant, but that’s a separate story that we’d leave to ourselves. 😉