One of my previous posts was about a nice Gardenia Plant Tour with a group of happy bloggers. After the tour and the open forum with Gardenia's president Simplicio Umali Jr., Mr. Nestor Constancia and the staff, we headed on to Nuvali for a late lunch, as if the bread buffet wasn't filling enough. :)
Crisostomo gave me the impression of a restaurant serving upscale versions of classic and well-loved Filipino food. It has a rustic and homey feel to it, and unusually peaceful. It's something you would look for when trying to escape the bustling city life of Metro Manila. I was warned, though, that we were just lucky. In the evenings and on weekends, Nuvali is packed with a lot of people.
For our appetizer, there was wonton soup and sinigang na sugpo. What I love about their wonton soup is that it wasn't salty. There's also crispy pata and the chicharon bulaklak below, which is so surprisingly not greasy. Of course, you can't take all the fat away, but compared to those sold in stalls by the mall, you'd probably consider it oil-free. Just crisp and light.
Crisostomo's Tiagos Triumph, oysters topped with creamy spinach and bacon bits, is probably my favorite among the dishes served. The creamy spinach and bacon blended well with the slightly metallic taste of the oyster.
Then there's the whole fried chicken dish named San Gabriel, which reminds me of Max's chicken. Crispy, savory skin and juicy, flavorful meat. Need I say more?
Their San Lucas, is basically marinated tuna cheeks (they call it panga or jaw, but I beg to differ) that are grilled to perfection. It's good, but I've had a lot of tuna in my life and there's nothing too unique about this one.
If you're looking for delicious laing dishes but you're not fond of the spicy taste, then you might as well have their Sinang con Laing. It's gabi leaves stewed in coconut milk. I would have loved it completely if it were a bit spicier, but despite lacking the spicy part of being a laing dish, it is actually yummy.
When I saw their Crazy Sisa Squid, I thought that this is something new to me, in the sense that I always had green mango salad, but this time with crispy strips of fried catfish.
For dessert, we were served colorful flavored silvannas, churros on sticks with fondue, suman on sticks, and sesame banana spring rolls. I think the spring rolls need more sugar. :)
I had the pandan-flavored one, which is really yummy, and a nice deviation from the usual chocolate or vanilla flavor.
We had fun, and everything was yummy that our tummies were screaming already. :)