D R E A M L I K E
D I N N E R
I love testing newly-opened restaurants, especially those that are not found in giant malls. For that matter, my Food Trip-Venture blog series for the month of May led me to a residential area of Mandaluyong City that's not far from the bustling Maysilo Circle that surrounds the city hall. The semi-outdoor dining venue was St. Nicholas and the host was gracious restaurateur and chef Nick Pelaez.
|Chop Suey Meal|
|Puto Leche Flan|
|Ensaladang Mangga and Poqui-poqui|
Dining in fantasy certainly complemented the menu of various Filipino dishes that, according to the Pelaez, seemed to have grown on their own in the kitchen. Even the dish presentation was not done in haste. One could notice a hint of gourmet which is incredibly surprising for meals that cost no more than P100.
Sampling some of the restaurant's best meals was a taste bud trip of local delicacies from the piping hot Pork Sinigang pot, the crunchy Liempo Binagoongan with Talong (eggplant), to the creamy Chop Seuy (mixed vegetables). Remarkably delicious was the sweet and savory Beef Caldereta. I remember tasting the Adobong Crocodile Meat and hardly noticing any difference in taste to beef or pork meat. As a matter fact, St. Nicholas' croc dish was easy to tear into. The garlic flavor made the taste more interesting.
|A cup of civet coffee|
For side dish, Pelaez brought out his two best-sellers. Topped with homemade bagoong (sticky fish paste), the Ensaladang Mangga (green mango salad) was a burst of wonderful tropical flavors from sweet, fruity, to sour. My dining mates, blogger Budget Biyahera in particular, adored the tangy and spicy flavor of the Ilokano side dish called Poqui-poqui.
The serving of the sweet-tasting Yema Cake, the inventive Puto Leche Flan, and the filling Turon de Tsokolate signaled the culmination of the intimate dinner. A sip of delight was the cup of civet coffee from Mt. Apo. Novelty or not, the end-of-dinner brew relaxed me enough to appreciate the desserts.
The restaurant, operating from Mondays to Saturdays, was especially arranged to be opened for my Food Trip-Venture that Sunday only and I'm thankful for the restaurant owner's gesture. Tucked in the residential area of Plainview Subdivision, St. Nicholas serves breakfast at 10:00am and takes last orders before closing at 10:00pm.
|Steamed rice bowls|
Neighbors are aware that the restaurant's beginnings are from Pelaez's catering service business which he still operates by the way for special occasions and corporate functions. Recently, he already did a TV appearance for the promotion of the business and numerous foodies are starting to notice the dining edge that St. Nicholas has over other similar restaurants in Mandaluyong City -- dreamlike dining over inventive but affordable Filipino dishes.
|Nick Pelaez of St. Nicholas Restaurant|
H E L P F U L L I N K S
For more information on St. Nicholas, visit its official Facebook fan page.
Check out Tune Hotel-Ortigas, my value hotel base for this Food Trip-Venture.
St. Nicholas Restaurant
Location: #1 Fatima st., corner San Rafael St., Plainview Subd., Mandaluyong City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00am-10:00pm, Monday-Saturday
More Photos Below:
|Adobong Crocodile Meat|