Creative Combination: A Pino Review


“PINO is fine Filipino Food.
PINO transforms favorite Filipino fare into creative dishes,
surprisingly  combining flavors, textures and ingredients.
PINO is passionate about giving you delicious comfort food that comes from the heart.”
                I got the lines above from Pino’s menu. I think we should put emphasis on “creative dishes” and “surprisingly combining flavors, textures and ingredients” because that’s definitely what we got when I visited Pino with my sisters for dinner.
                Pino does not hold back in experimenting with the food they offer in their menu. The starters are still tame with food like French Fries, Cheese Sticks, and Chicken Lollipops, but when you get to the Pino Favorites, you’re greeted with dishes like Red Wine Adobong Tadyang, Laing-Stuffed Crispy Pata, Pininyahang Baby-Back Ribs, and even a Sisig Carbonanra. This isn’t your usual combination of Filipino food so you have to give them credit for creativity.
                We asked for their House Specialty – the Kare-Kareng Bagnet, and their two other best-sellers, Beef Salpicao Rice and the Red Wine Adobong Tadyang. Here’s how they’re described in the menu:
Kare-Kareng Bagnet – Pino’s House Specialty. Authentic Ilokano crispy pork belly served with annatto-peanut sauce and bagoong rice.

Beef Salpicao Rice – Tender Beef Tenderloin cutlets with mushroom, served with longganisa rice.

Red Wine Adobong Tadyang – Adobo-style short ribs slow-cooked in red wine, served with steamed rice and mango salsa.
Kare-Kareng Bagnet

Red Wine Adobong Tadyang

Beef Salpicao Rice

                Okay so you’re probably already familiar with Kare-Kareng Bagnet and Beef Salpicao Rice. Nothing special about them for me, except that the bagoong in the Kare-Kareng Bagnet is already mixed with the rice (which is a little disappointing since I prefer to have the bagoong separated. Just a matter of personal taste though), and that the longganisa rice that comes with the Salpicao is also good. But you have to try the Red Wine Adobo, it’s a two-thumbs up. It has a distinct taste and sweetness that I haven’t tasted in the countless versions of Adobo I’ve already tried. It’s also served differently; the sauce is served separately from the meat. You can pour the sauce over the meat pieces or you can dip the meat into the sauce – whichever way it’s yummy, and a unique way of having Adobo. The mango salsa also complements the Adobo, and keeps you from getting tired of the strong taste.
                A single serve of the Red Wine Adobo is Php 215.00, while the Kare-Kare and Salpicao is at Php 245.00 each. You can ask for a bigger order though that’s good for three to four persons, with the Kare-Kare at Php 565.00 and the Red Wine Adobo at Php 415.00. No big plate for the Salpicao.
                We asked for their specialty drink and we were offered their house blend – the Pino Iced Tea. It’s unique alright, tasting more like a juice and just a little hint of tea aftertaste. I loved it; I had almost half of the pitcher we ordered that’s at Php 80.00. A single glass is Php 35.00 so a pitcher’s a better deal. Another drink that caught my attention is the Highland Gold Premium Organic Arabica Coffee…sounds fancy I’m going to have this in my next visit.
                Another must-try is their flavored beers! One more point for creativity! You can have Green Apple, Strawberry, Watermelon, Lychee, Peach, and even Honeymansi and Cucumber Flavors. You can also have Wines and Cocktails with names like Lycheeno, Columbian Druglord, and Paris Hilton. Yes, Paris Hilton. If you’re wondering what she tastes like if she’s a cocktail, imagine a combination of Bailey’s, Vodka, Amaretto, and Grenadine.
                If you want to make a little experimenting on your own, or serve your guests something unique this time, here is also a list of Original Pino products you can order:
Highland Gold: Premium Organic Arabica
Cool and Calm: Pino Organic Teas
Mango Vinaigrette
Wasabi Mayo
Basil Pesto
Whole Tablea Cheescake
Pino Iced Tea
And yeah, before I forget, right above Pino is Pipino (check out my review of Pipino here, where they serve vegetarian food. But being the carnivore that I am, I tried Pino first. Don’t worry I’m also going to try Pipino soon and have a separate review for that. I heard the ambiance there is more beautiful. For vegans out there who want to get some sugar, you can have vegan ice cream at Pipino.
You can find Pino at 39 Malingap Street Teacher’s Village, Quezon City. The place is as creative as the food. For me it felt like a mix of Spanish and urban design. I loved the graffiti on the walls – minimalist but eye-catching. I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure a UP student drew then based on the style and hey, there’s even a smiling Oble.

When you visit Pino, I suggest you try their creative combinations of Filipino food because it’s what makes this place unique. You can call them at 441-1773 or call 2121212 for deliveries. You can also visit their website at Pino is open from 11am to 2pm and 5pm onwards on Mondays to Fridays; and 11am onwards on Saturdays and Sundays.
                How about you? What creative food combinations have you done?

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