Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday, August 05, 2014



D I N I N G 

Chef and restaurateur Saira Yap welcomed the participants of the Metro Angeles Food Tour 2014 with open arms at her latest life venture -- Sab Bistro. Located along the busy McArthur Highway in Balibago, Angeles City, Pampanga, the fine dining restaurant was a breath of fresh air in the city where most dining venues in the area are of bar-like ambiance. Its white-oriented country home interiors were clearly visible from the glass wall of the commercial complex where it is.

An excerpt of the Metro Angeles Food Tour 2014

There is a reason why Sab Bistro looks and feels like home from its wooden chairs, alcove seating, fancy wallpaper design to its roster of inventive dishes. The story is Saira's personal secret that's close to her heart which she exclusively revealed to us before we began with lunch. After hearing her heartfelt recollection of a fond memory, I can state here that like what's indicated on the restaurant's decorations, indeed, food at Sab Bistro can be considered as edible love. With passion for design, she also managed to incorporate her ideas in every nook and cranny of the restaurant, plus the whole look in general.

Buffalo Wings
Chicken Pesto Sandwich
Butternut Squash Soup

fulness of
A Mom

In a TV interview last year, Chef Saira revealed that she was having the best job in the world. She was finally able to do two of her favorite things: cooking and crafting. Motherly love was certainly the ambiance at the restaurant because she made sure that there's a myriad of selections from appetizers, entrees, to desserts. When the dishes were served one by one, I felt as if she was my mom and she was being thoughtful of my well-being.

Colorful Roster of Appetizers and Salad

The appetizers and salad were a feast on colors -- orange (Butternut Squash Soup), magenta (Buffalo Wings), yellow (Baked Mussels), burgundy, violet and green (Salad Sabine). A traditional squash soup is known to be a crowd pleaser. This means that everyone at the dining table must like it. Its taste shouldn't be polarizing. No point in discussing whether it tastes awful or amazing. Sprinkled with just enough sage leaves, Sab Bistro's version was a bit spicy but more on the creamy side. It tasted smooth and distinctively nutty because of the squash. The Buffalo Wings platter was served with vegetable crudites and a provision of the tangy and creamy Blue Cheese Dip for taste enhancement. The tender mussels were mixed with herbs and cheese. It was a delight in taste that's sure to make a convert out of any non-seafood lover.

Salad Sabine
As for the Salad Sabine, it was exquisitely fresh because of the combination of mixed greens, caramelized apples, water buffalo's milk, cottage cheese and toasted walnuts. Drizzled with raspberry vinaigrette for dressing, each fork of the salad was bursting with tangy and sweet flavors.

Home-styled Sandwiches

Sandwiches were served next. The Chicken Pesto Sandwich was a delicious hit with our group as I was almost left to sample a few bites of it. The sandwich was served in the shape of a heart but you can't see it on the photo here as it was gone in an instant. I personally adored the side serving of the crispy-thin potato chips. I would readily buy a bag of it if there was one available. The Chicken Enchilada Casserole is an American Southwestern-style comfort food which is also a basic chicken salad that's sandwiched between layers of cheese. Sab Bistro's version is made of shredded chicken with white sauce wrapped in soft flour tortilla and topped with sweet tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Baked Mussels
Chef Saira Yap

Seafood Pasta and Fillet Medley

Thirty minutes into lunch, the palatable Pasta La Mer was served. The seafood cream sauce tasted well with the penne. The decent sauteed prawns topping was a good addition for texture. I was not over yet with it when the Seared Salmon with Spinacci was served next and to my delight, the salmon fillet looked like it was a toy car. This was followed with the serving of the Prawn Thermidor which was a set of Butterflied Tiger Prawns. Covered in mozzarella cheese, the pieces were infused with Chef Saira's secret recipe.

Choice For Chicken

I took with my camera phone a shot of the Grilled Chicken Fillet (grilled chicken thigh with herbs and spices) with Lemon Butter Sauce for my Instagram account (KarlAceTurista) as I hoped it looked good with photo-styling using the mobile application.

Good Wagyu Beef

Soon, I was also able to sample the Wagyu Ribeye which was a plate of grilled ribeye of Grade 4 Wagyu beef. Its rating means that it's considered good when it comes to the marbling aspect of the meat wherein the flecks or thin strips of fat in beef are the focus. It was prepared with selected herbs and red wine sauce. Another beef selection, the Beef Salpicao, was served. However, I was not able to sample it as it disappeared in just a few minutes. That's probably indicative of how delicious it was.

Downtime For Desserts

The elegant-looking three layered Red Velvet Cheesecake was the first to come out of the kitchen for desserts. As I prefer cheesecakes over conventional cakes, it was remarkable in taste for me. It might not have been topped entirely with cream cheese frosting (which I would have preferred), but a fancy piped icing was fond enough.

Wagyu Ribeye
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Red Velvet Cheesecake

There was a whimsical plate of deep-fried and doughnut batter-dipped Oreos called Cookie Surprise. It was served with a bowl of vanilla ice cream and hot fudge. The real dessert star, however, was the big bowl of the New York City-inspired frozen hot chocolate called Chocolate Heaven.

Home Away From Home

All in all, I felt the thoughtfulness in every plate served at SAB Bistro. Families with kids would surely love dining at the restaurant, even foreign tourists on solo mode of which Angeles City has a lot. During our food-tasting session, there was even an American dining alone. He said that he was constantly on a dining discovery of different restaurants in the city and he found the food at Chef Saira's venture terrific.

SAB Bistro is located at McArthur Highway, Balibago. It's right across BPI-Balibago, at the light green building beside Puregold Junior Supermarket.

SAB Bistro

Address: Mc Arthur Highway, Balibago, Angeles City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 11:00am - 12:00am
Phone: (045)3040385 or 09175108618
Email: sab.bistro

Check out my participating posts about the Metro Angeles Food Tour 2014:

Abe's Farm: A Paradise of Capampangan Cuisine
Widus Hotel and Casino: Pampanga's One-stop Leisure Destination
+ La Rose Noire Philippines: An Elegant Attention To Fond Confection 
+ Pampanga's Pride, Angeles Fried Chicken (AFC)

Watch Chef Saira Yap Talk About Her Journey To SAB Bistro:

More Photos Below:

Seared Salmon with Spinacci
Chocolate Heaven
Prawn Thermidor
An American guest


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