Our second food stop during our first Maginhawa food trip this 2012 was Pino Resto Bar as I have been eying its Choco Turon for some time now.
I can’t help notice the cute doodles on the wall of Pino upon entering. It definitely gave the restaurant an artistic vibe.
As we know that we have two other stops left, we decided to stick with just two orders (and two desserts and a drink… a giant one). We ordered the Kare-Kareng Bagnet (PHP245), Laing-Stuffed Crispy Pata (PHP495), Pino Choco Turon (PHP110), Banana Sherbet (PHP35) and Pino-Ka Margarita! (PHP350).
The Kare-Kareng Bagnet was delightful! The Kare-Kare sauce and the somewhat crispy bagnet (it wasn’t very crispy anymore as it was soaked in the sauce) had a great mix of flavors and textures. The sauce had this slightly sweet peanut taste and it was quite refreshing for me to have it with something crispy. Since the bagnet was already salty, there’s not much need for bagoong (shrimp paste). I now understand why this is the house specialty of Pino.
As for the Laing-Stuffed Crispy Pata, IT WAS SIMPLY DIVINE! The laing made us less guilty devouring the not really good for the body happy food crispy pata. The laing was cooked well though I hoped that the serving was a tad more generous. I have no bad feedback on the serving of the crispy pata as all four of us were content and happy with our portions (though I actually ate more of the Kare-Kareng Bagnet).
As for the desserts, the Pino Choco Turon was so-so. I guess I was expecting it to be like the turon I had from 2nd’s that I just could not forget. Or perhaps I just had too much turon with a twist that this did not surprise me at all. But at a price of PHP110, this dessert is not bad at all. It was sweet and crunchy and the serving was not stingy at all. What I liked best about this one was that it was not very sweet that will eventually make you cringe instead of smile.
The Banana Sherbet was quite refreshing. I was hoping that it’d look more yellow though. But for a PHP35 dessert, it was a great deal.
We had difficulty finishing the Pino-Ka Margarita as it was served in a huge glass. At first I thought that at PHP350 per glass, it was pricey but now seeing how gigantic the glass was, it was a steal.
The taste of alcohol was really strong at first but it eventually became lighter as the ice melt. I’m proud to say that I managed to finish more than a quarter of it and it was not even 3PM then.
Overall, my dining experience at Pino was great. I even posed beside the cute wall. I’d definitely go back for more of that Kare-Kareng Bagnet.
Pino Resto Bar is located at Malingap St., Teachers Village, Quezon City. It’s right in front of Don Day.