Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Malolos Heritage Cuisine at Illustrado Restaurant

I was so overwhelmed with the interiors of Illustrado, that I decided to split my review of the place and the opening luncheon. :) Isn't it obvious that it was my first time? :p

Last May 28, 2012, Monday, I was invited by a friend blogger, Mae, to join in the opening luncheon for the Malolos Inaugural Feast. I was really excited to come plus I get to bring a friend.

So, what is it really about Malolos? "The glory days of the Republic of the Philippines had ravishing cuisine befitting the richest town in Central Luzon in those times." Historically speaking, The Malolos Convention was instrumental in the establishment of the First Philippine Republic which symbolizes the foundation of the Philippine government. Thus, it is fitting for Illustrado to feature the place as it is a big addition to history.

Come and read my Illustrado-Malolos Feast Experience. You can drool over the pictures and imaginatively experience the taste :D **WARNING.. HEAVY PHOTOS. DROOL IF YOU MUST**

Illustrado partnered with Malolos-based artist, historian and food expert, Dez Bautista who gave a special in-depth training, knowledge and guidance in putting together the Inaugural Feast Menu. Ms. Bea of Illustrado, was sharing us how they prepared the menu from planning to teaching the cooks. She said that the 'manangs' were the ones who actually taught their chefs (in uniform and apron and the works) how to prepare each dish. Well, these 'manangs' are the chefs in the provinces who are really the masters in making the perfect and oh-so-yummy dishes. For sure, if you are a native of Malolos, I'm quite certain that each dish will transcend you back through time.


The buffet table was heavenly. They have this little food name frames per dish. The whole table was well-lit as one by one the chefs lined up the food.

As the food arrived one by one, so are the photographers and bloggers, took the time to take a shot of the dish.  I read from somewhere that in taking food photos, it's not how the dish would taste, but how the dish would make the viewer's mouth water. :)

Here's an overview of the buffet table. 

Let's get started with the photos :) 
  * HAMONADONG SUGPO - as per Ms. Bea, this took days to prepare. The bacon's juice had to seeped inside the shrimp (just how you make hamonado). The freshest prawns are wrapped in rich cured ham to create layers of richness in this appetizer ~ Php420

* LUMPIANG KASTILA - a delightful mix of meat and vegetables rolled in wrapper and deep fried. The ingredients are a welcome surprise! Php 210
... I absolutely love this! The sauce is very good that the servings for this dish is always empty or never enough (for us hungry bloggers :P)

* MERIENDA de PRAYLE (Kesong Puti at Kinilaw na Bangus) - The friars were known to have nibbled on these afternoon treats back in the day. A resurrection of such rich, indulgent hors d oeuvres' is ecstasy. Php 320
... I don't eat kilawin. My mom used to make some at home and I would just completely ignore it. But lately, I've been trying things, eating foods (except blood) that I missed on eating. I like their version of kilawin, but what I really like is the kesong puti. The cheese adds more flavor to the fish, it blends with its juice.


* STUFFED SQUID SUPREME (Binusog na Pusit) - stuffed squid like no other. Sublime ingredients made available with the opening of the Suez Canal. Php 395

* PATA MALOLENA (Humba) - hind legs slow-boiled to ensure maximum tenderness. Banana flowers flavored with spices to make it sweet, salty and utterly addiction. Php  795 (good for 2 pax)

* APAHAP de PATERNO (Apahap Royale) - a well known favorite of Pedro Paterno. Pescado en Mayonea to some is debatably of French origin. Fish that is steamed and artistically adorned with chopped vegetables. Php 850 (good for 2 pax)

* MORCON PLARIDEL - beef tenderloin slices are rolled with Chorizo de Bilbao, carrots etc. Php  550
... One of my favorites in the menu. The beef is very tender and soft. It has cheese and carrots inside. Must order!

* HAMON de HACIENDA -  tender pork belly mixed with Prague powder for three (3) days. On the third day it is rinsed and boiled with pineapple juice. The drippings are set aside to become the sauce. Hard work and care is given to ensure the dish's luscious flavors. Only the "hacienderos" (sugar barons) of the time were accustomed to such taste. Php 320.

* PASTEL de FRAYLE/PASTEL ALA AGONCILLO (Chicken Pastel) - chopped chicken with mushrooms, carrots, potato and carrots. Mixed with cream and buttermilk. Served traditionally with a pie-crust top. Php 420.

* RELLENONG MANOK ni JOSELING (Chicken Relleno) - deboned whole chicken and stuffed with ground pork spiced with bell peppers, finely chopped carrots, chopped onions, raisins to name a few. A must for any feast-worthy affair. Php 1,450 (good for 4 pax)


Truly, it was an honor to be a part of their luncheon. Good news to those who wants to try their Malolos Heritage Cuisine. As a special tribute to celebrate Independence Day, Illustrado is opening this flavorful 3-Course Feast for 2 at 50% OFF just for DEAL GROCER members: only Php1400 (Php2805 originally) for a wealth of exquisite masterpieces to choose from)

* LORETTO'S LECHE FLAN con MANGA - only made during the season of the sweetest mangoes. Leche flan made richer, creamier and more elegant with ripe Philippine mangoes. Php 140.
.. WE (our table) just love their leche flan and we just couldn't get enough of it. Every time I would get a second serving, the plate is just empty! We asked Ms. Bea, what makes the leche flan creamy and just right. She said that the 'mangoes makes it more creamier and it gives the right amount of sweetness.' So, why share their secret? Ms. Bea relates, 'it's okay to share the secret. So even those at home can make this simple dessert, that it is do-able.'

* SENORITA GUAVA -  bayabas tagalog is caramelized without the seeds. Served with pure and fresh Carabao's milk. Php 175.

* MALOLOS' PRIDE (Dayap with Pastillas) -  dayap in region has many beautiful and intricate designs. It is carved and then caramelized and finally filled with pastillas. The concoction promises to be as bittersweet as the victory of the 21 Women of Malolos who petitioned to open a night school to learn to read and write in Spanish. Php 195.

Indeed, every dish is filled with history. No doubt it took much of their time to prepare everything. The Malolos Inaugural Feast will run from May 29 to June 30, 2012 only. So, catch their 50% off deal at Deal Grocer or simply visit Illustrado Restaurant at Intramuros. :)

Aiza's plate
My plate
Our dessert plate :)

#744 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila

Quote for the Day: "Photography is a means of recording forever the things one sees for a moment." - Aaron Sussman

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