Crisostomo is one of the best known protagonists in Jose Rizal’s novels. A restaurant serving authentic Filipino cuisine with a sophisticated twist is just aptly named Crisostomo by no less than the accomplished Chef Florabel Co-Yatco who has a vision of providing an excellent fine dining experience that is non-intimidating and affordable, closer to the reach of many. I’ve been passing by Crisostomo Restaurant in Eastwood Mall on multiple occasions since my office is nearby, but this was my first time to finally have the chance to try it out. We had dinner at its UP Town Center branch after finishing a fun painting session at Sip & Gogh Ayala Heights. 🙂
Review of Crisostomo Restaurant (UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave, Diliman, Quezon City)
Crisostomo Restaurant features a fusion of lola’s secret recipes sprinkled with style and flavor. It’s not the regular Filipino restaurant that you can stumble upon in almost every corner in the metro. Crisostomo offers turn-of-the-century dining. Bringing some next-level moments of radiance, it’s one of the better places to eat in UP Town Center where the entire family can enjoy food. Most of its menu items are coined with character names from Rizal’s novels, and rightfully so, because every nibble is a mouthful that hits home.
For appetizers, we had Bolas de Fuego (PhP 255) and Bagumbayan Lechon (PhP 295). Bolas de Fuego was presented as a friendly entree for both adults and kids alike. It came with deep fried crispy fish and squid balls and sweet chili and fish ball sauce on the side. If you miss eating clean Filipino street food, you’d want this on your table.
Bagumbayan Lechon was another amazing entree that’s reliably good for scratching your itch for familiar Pinoy food. Deviating from tradition slightly bit, it’s not the usual chicharon you can expect but lechon kawali chips paired with liver sauce and garlic vinegar. It’s almost sinful so I’m sure some people may be torn between the balance of eating for pleasure and eating for health.
Moving on, we had Sinuglaw Tarsilo (PhP 310) which was composed of grilled pork belly and tuna cooked by soaking in vinegar. It’s downtown culinary play and uptown elegant class. We loved it with rice. Altogether, the taste was tart, bright, complex, refreshing and a little sharp with acid. The fish stood out as it was firm on the exterior but with a tender, translucent center.
Kangkong Con Selo (PhP 150) could bring joy even to non-vegetarians not only because garlic kangkong (water convolvulus or water spinach) tastes absolutely delicious but also because there’s lechon kawali chips in the mix. Kangkong is also one of my favorite greens to eat. They’re long and almost noodle-like, fun to twirl up with chopsticks, even if they get messy sometimes. 😉
Stuffed with laing (taro leaves cooked in coconut milk) and served with crab fat sauce, tempura-style prawns Legazpi (PhP 525) were so filling and modernly mouthwatering. Packed with so much flavor, this dish is what you can consider funky enough to be distinctive. One week later, I was still dreaming about eating it…again and again!
Pinoy Paella (PhP 450) was especially enticing because of its vibrant color and aromatic ingredients. It was carefully assembled with prawns, chicken, inihaw na liempo, and chorizo and yielded tender grains of Spanish rice. This paella can be described as homely in the best sense. It’s about marrying lots of different elements rather than elevating one big thing. The precise combination of these give it is characteristic flavor.
Price for Value:
Prices of food at Crisostomo Restaurant aren’t exactly cheap, but price range considering value is good. The dishes are top notch and you certainly get what you pay for. If you’re craving for great Filipino food, this is a good place to go. Everything seemed to be so palatable you’ll hope there’s unli rice! 😛