Monday, July 3, 2017

Love at First Bite: Don Andres Peruvian Kitchen

I usually visit Pioneer Center to do my grocery shopping.  The place is a gold mine for cheap finds and hard to find imported goods. But recently, I discovered another reason for me to frequent the place. You could say that it was love at first bite.  

Hello, Don Andres.
This Peruvian restaurant may not sound very new to some who hangs out in Quezon City. It has been in Sergeant Esguerra for quite some time before it decided to move to a new location. So for those who were heartbroken with its disappearance, it's back!
I was greeted by a well lit dining area with a black board menu and wall that would remind you of Temple Run.
While waiting for our food, we were each given a glass of House Iced Tea (PHP65, single | PHP95, bottomless). And I loved that it's not your usual powdered drink!

For starters, we sampled Pulpo Al Olivo (PHP340), Choros A La Chalaca (PHP340) and Ceviche Mixto (PHP380).

The octopus topped with Botija olive sauce was amazing! The octopus tentacles were undeniably fresh and the tangy purple olive sauce made it so addicting that I think I ate four or five servings of it.
The Choros A La Chalaca or Peruvian mussels with citrus corn salsa was good too. 
It had an interesting mix of textures and flavors. But it was a bit too spicy for my liking.
For those who could not decide what appetizer to get, the Ceviche Mixto is a great option. The marinated seafood in citrus juice comes in a hefty serving size. However, this is not for those who do not eat raw seafood. But since I do, I feasted on some of the fish chunks swimming in that delightful tangy citrus juice.
Next served were the beautiful Arroz Con Mariscos (PHP395), BBQ Baby Back Ribs (PHP395), Lomo Saltado (PHP420) and Pollo A La Brasa (PHP540, whole without sides | PHP690, whole with sides).
The Arroz Con Mariscos reminded me of the classic Spanish paella, Valenciana. The only difference with Don Andres' version is that it has a distinct taste of cumin that you get every spoonful. I fell in love with the generous serving of seafood. There was not a single mouthful without at least some squid in it.
The BBQ Baby Back Ribs was pretty awesome too. The meat was so tender that you don't even need a knife to slice it. And the sweet barbecue sauce was heavenly.
The Lomo Saltado was my least favorite among the dishes served. Don't get me wrong, the dish was great too but the other dishes were just a lot tastier and more tender than this one.
But the spotlight was on the Pollo A La Brasa or Peruvian Roasted Chicken. One order comes with three sauces but the chicken was so well seasoned that it didn't even need any of those. I went crazy with its peppered skin. And for the sides, I fell for the Batata Chips or sweet potato chips.
We were also given this stellar seafood pasta dish which I forgot to take note of. I liked that it had a light taste which went well with the other dishes we had.
To cap our meal, we sample Tres Leches (PHP165) and Chocolate Lava Cake (PHP185).
For those who visited The Breakfast Club, the Chocolate Lava Cake would be a familiar sight. This delectable fudge cake topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup still charmed me. It may look overly sweet but it is definitely not cloying.
The Tres Leches was great too. The sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk would be something milk lovers would love to indulge in. It's also not that sweet making it a perfect dessert for those without sweet tooth.
Overall, it was a very filling lunch. I can't wait to go back for more of that roasted chicken and octopus!

Don Andres Peruvian Kitchen is located at Pioneer Center, Pioneer St., Pasig City.

Don Andres Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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