I am an ardent lover of Filipino Cuisine and I deeply mourn the dying traditions of food preparation that require the women-folk (with an army of household help if lucky) to slave away in a sweltering kitchen whipping up calorific dishes. No sarcasm there.
Since I haven’t the luxury of time to unleash my inner domestic goddess and I no longer live with my mommy (and her army of household help), I find myself drawn to restaurants that harks back to my delicious childhood.
For my birthday, because I was being extra-nostalgic, Toni and I ended up in Crisostomo in Eastwood. I took quite a while deciding on where to eat since the new Eastwood Mall is replete with all sorts of restaurants all vying for my attention. We passed Crisostomo, where the manager lured us with the promise of a free dessert. I don’t eat desserts (because I never leave room enough for it!) but the jars of the taba ng talangka (crab fat paste) they were selling did it for me.
Crisostomo, I suppose, is named after the protagonist of the classic Jose Rizal novel. Most of the names of the dishes are allusions to it: Crispin at Basilio (tokwa’t baboy), Doña Victorina (sautéed prawns), Noli Me Talong (Tortang Talong Pie) et al. Naturally, they also have Tinolang Manok, which had a crucial, if small, role to play in the novel. Theirs is a step above our standard Tinola, with green papaya and buko (coconut) thrown into the mix. While I do have an adventurous palate, I prefer my Tinola with sayote and I don’t care much for buko.
Interiors were cute, especially the oddly-shaped powder blue chairs. The wallpaper and the rest of the decor reminded me of a cross between plush early 80s/ late 70s Pinoy living rooms and Mrs. Robinson's living room in the movie The Graduate, I don't know why.
We ordered Tadiyang ni Tiago, Monggo soup with Chicharon and Tuyo and Callos, one of my favourite dishes. Naturally, I had very high hopes for that one. They offered, I forgot to mention, unlimited servings of rice! I was in heaven with bowls upon bowls of steaming white rice for clouds!
Tadiyang ni Tiago- soft, juicy and crisp all in the right measure. I cannot praise this enough! We thought the serving was small but it turns out our eyes are bigger than our appetite. We couldn't even finish it! The Callos was delicious, a little too watered-down and tomato-sour than what I prefer but it had green olives, which I really liked. I must tell my mom about it. Her Callos is still way better.
We ordered the Monggo soup as an afterthought and I scalded my taste buds after one careless spoonful and lost all sense of taste after that.
For dessert Toni had a forgettable ice-pandan with jelly and milk thingamajig than deserves far less words than I’ve already allotted for it. Harsh? Sorry, I really have no love for most desserts so don’t take it personally.
The Verdict? Well, most everything in the menu made me figuratively salivate. I intend to try them all!