By Jamil Santos | AsianFoodTourist.com
Filipino with a Mexican twist indeed! This was my experience after spending one afternoon at the Pelagio (pronounced as Pelayo) Bar and Restaurant, located near the Water Garden area of Festival Mall, Alabang, Muntinlupa. We were welcomed by part-owner and Chef himself, Pelagio Manalang III, from Binan, Laguna.
Chef Pelagio had experienced working in Shangri-La and Renaissance Hotels before flying to Malaysia to work at an Italian restaurant for eight months. He then moved to Singapore and became a beverage manager for four years.
Inspired by a Mexican restaurant in Singapore, Chef Pelagio decided to turn his own stall into a kiosk-type restaurant. When asked if there is one thing unique about the restaurant, Chef Pelagio says that he wants the customers to have a glimpse of how he, himself prepares and serves good food for them.
Envisioned as a Filipino-Mexican fusion Restaurant – Bar, the Pelagio Restobar gives its customers the option to choose from a variety of fillings and salsas for their burritos, quesadillas, nachos, tacos and rice bowls. Fillings are Filipino food – from pork sisig, beef bistek or bangus.
From all of Pelagio Resto-Bar’s ‘home-made’ salsas for the tortilla chips, the Pineapple and Mango instantly became my favorite. Mixed with cilantro, it is juicy with a sweet and sour taste on the tongue. If you want it to have a more Mexican touch and a bit more spicy, I suggest you try their savory hot Salsa Verde and their hottest Salsa Roja. For salted egg lovers, their creamy salted egg dip is a MUST!
Afterwards, we were served with choices of refreshing Agua Frescas for drinks – Horchata (rice milk with cinnamon), Watermelon mint and Calamansi honey.
Being a glutton that I am, I had to accompany their Grilled Liempo with rice. The Pico de Gallo as its side dish helps boost the appetite.
The quesadillas, perfect with the spicy salsas, are already cheesy in taste. But this time, we had Chicken Adobo as its filling. I also tried it with a Salted Egg dip. Perfect!
I was fascinated at how Chef Pelagio demonstrated his expertise at Mexican dishes, while he was preparing the nachos. The mixture of cheese, Pico de Gallo, black beans, sour cream and jalapenos made it all the more mouth-watery.
And finally, the Mexican Burrito, but this time with the Philippines’ yummy Pork Sisig as main ingredient. I will definitely recommend this if you’re a heavy eater like me.
While we had our food trip experience in the afternoon, I wonder what night life in Pelagio would be like with friends, some beer, and Pelagio’s roster of dishes that are perfect for pulutan.
Pelagio’s alfresco-style – together with the view of the soon-to-be Water Garden of Filinvest – makes me want to go back to have another Fil-Mex experience at Pelagio’s!