Last Tuesday I was fortunate enough to attend a food tasting event in Salliano’s Restaurant and Bar in Marikina City, the celebrated home of the biggest spoon and fork in Marikina. I have only been to Marikina once when I tried to apply at Marikina Valley hospital. It’s weird but it’s hard to remember anything when it comes to directions as I’m prone to always getting lost. It’s like suddenly every building and every street went topsy turvy. Plus it’s a night event so, double the trouble for me. The best thing about this event though was that Brian Macasa, the ever energetic event organizer, assisted me well and gave clear commute instructions so I arrived at the event in one piece. A little late but still on time for chow time.
I couldn’t emphasize more that this is my first time to join a bloggers’ food tasting event so it’s simply overwhelming to see everyone with different cameras, taking pictures of everything at different angles and of course, exchanging opinions on everything. It was a nice feeling. Belonging to the moment, that is.
As you enter Salliano’s Restaurant and Bar, you are welcomed by this elegant rustic initial. It’s genius to put a metallic gold letter on a slab of old wood by the way. Gives you an instant feel that this bar is anything but cheap.
The owners of Salliano’s in Marikina each had their own areas to decorate. This next one is by far my favorite.
From my instagram posts you may deduce that I have a thing with wall installations. At the exact area where all the other bloggers are seated hungrily waiting for the samples to be served, I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by these small collection of beer signage plastered around Salliano’s. It certainly gives the bar a classic ‘bar’ feel, without being too much in your face, and still maintaining a minimalist design. However, I think the wall is too big to go nude. I would love it if they can fill up the wall with other signage and probably refurbished old stuff. But this is sweet.
Now looking at the group seats with tents, I wish they had a pool by the side. Not that I’m suggesting anything (No, really.) but I couldn’t help but get a resort-ish feel to this area. A pool’s going to take the awesomeness of this bar and resto to another level.
Looking at this area I couldn’t help but be nostalgic. With the moon peeping at the center, I could imagine chillin’ in here with my friends on a Saturday night. hopefully with UpDharmaDown playing at the side (because I missed this during their grand launch last September 19. Seriously, should have been there.) To all music junkees here in Manila, better keep a tab on Salliano’s future events. The owners promised to bring in more guest bands. This would certainly initiate a boom to Marikina’s night life and you simply can’t have a FOMO moment to this.
Okay, from the interior design, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. The menu according to the owners were a fusion of Filipino and Spanish cuisines, with a few twists that make it an authentic Salliano’s. Salliano’s by the way, according to the owners, is a name they came up with so that anyone who hears about it will think about a cozy and family-friendly place. I mean, nothing create’s a more homey feel to anything but an Italian sounding name. It’s unique and memorable. Awesome.
Mocha and Caramel Frapuccion – P150
This is their version of the Starbuck’s frapuccino. Their Caramel frap tasted a little too sweet for me but the Mocha frap was just perfect and I feel as if it has a stronger taste that Starbuck’s.
Country Fried Chicken – P390
Country chicken will always be country chicken. It’s crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside. Quite generic but I’m a fried chicken baby so I love this.
Classic Fish and Chips – P220
Three-Cheese Artichoke Dip served with toasted Baguette – P220
Truffle Carbonara – P280
What I like most about Carbonara is it’s creamy cheesy taste and the itty bitty crisps of bacon in every bite. This one’s a little bland and sadly doesn’t have enough meat on top.
Callos – P270
Pasta de Mariscos – P290
I’m not really a fan of rich tomato tasting pasta but since this is a Spanish dish, I have to rate it fairly. For me, the sour taste as well as the fishy taste was not too overwhelming and I actually enjoyed it. However, if you’re a fan of Spanish tastes I think you’ll find this stale.
Meatballs ala Salliano – served with grilled pita bread – P380
Meat BAAAALLS. Every meatball is the size of a grown man’s fist. The meat is juicy and tender with a hint of spice which makes it really sexy you simply had to take a bite of the pita in between.
Paella ala Salliano-P490
Just like the Pasta de Mariscos, I really appreciate this toned down taste of the classic Paella. The Salliano’s management really took some time to consider the tastes of typical Filipinos, like me, who are not much into sour as much as they are into sweets.
Osso Bucco with Gremolata Sauce – P320
If I could pick any dish that reminded me most of my home back in the province, it’s the Osso Bucco. I remember my lola would usually cook meat as chewy and juicy as this. She never gave any of her home-cooked meals any name but I think it’s close to this. She usually serves it during birthdays and fiestas.
Pugon Fired Salliano’s Pork Crackling-P420
I wished the dish we were served could have had more meat than fat, but the pork rind was surprisingly crispy. It still remained hella crispy even though we ate it a few minutes after we were too busy taking pictures of food. I guess cooking it in a pugon made the difference. An ordinary fried pork crackling will turn greasy and hard to chew but this one is damn crunchy even after exposed to air.
BBQ Pork and Beef Ribs served with Spanish Rice – P370
Castarones de Salliano-P130
Castarones de Salliano is my most favorite from all the food I tasted. Definitely the cherry on top of my gastronomic experience in Marikina. My all time favorite dessert will always be TGIF’s Brownie ala Mode, but this one makes my second. I’m not sure how they baked this but it tasted something like a cassava creme brulee. A single serving just isn’t enough. I wanted more of this in my fridge back home. It’s just so delish.
I sure had a lot of fun experiencing a bloggers’ food trip in Marikina aside from meeting new faces and stuffing my belly with scrumptious samples. Salliano’s Restaurant and Bar is a definite must try. Here’s their menu:
Oh and be sure to bring your kids to lunch at weekend for a quick foodtrip in Marikina because they get to eat free from 11AM to 2PM. Although I’d rather have it as a Happy Time for “Kids at Heart” instead (not that I’m imposing anything LOL)