Last Sunday, we wanted to explore more restaurants along Tomas Morato. Louie searched through Zomato and found Mario’s which we’ve passed by several times but really didn’t take notice. Mario’s is reputable as the place to go for a good-sized tasty steak, and its Caesar Salad is known to be a “gastronomic masterpiece,” both divine and unreplicable. I was craving for paella that time. Since it’s a restaurant specializing in Spanish food, we supposed their paella won’t go amiss. 🙂 We were right!
Review of Mario’s (Tomas Morato, Quezon City)
Mario’s is a fancy restaurant in Tomas Morato that’s elegant and down-to-earth. It’s a good place for family gatherings, intimate dates, and celebrations of any special event. The interior design has the right balance of comfort and creativity, proffering dim lights, muted walls, tables fitted with white and ivory cloths topped with lined patterns that never go out of style, old-time surroundings, and quiet ambiance. It’s not just another casual place to grab a bite.
We arrived at 12:10pm and were immediately seated and handed the menu. When we ordered their best-selling paella, the staff asked if it was okay for us to wait 45 minutes since preparation and cooking will start from scratch. Patience is a virtue and we could stand just a little more patience for something that’s worth the wait. We said yes.
An hour passed before our paella arrived hot on the table. We did two follow-ups which were both not so reassuring. More customers came and we noticed that it was only then when diners who came before us started to get their food served. Long wait and hold times usually translate to lost sales, and service issues in most cases send many customers off the rails. But here, it’s a different story. People were having nice conversations over the table and they were having a good time.
So when planning to dine at Mario’s and you’re the type who hates to wait, make sure to order appetizers first as we did. Your growling stomach will thank you. 🙂
We had their Soup of the Day (PhP 120) which was cream of spinach and celery. It’s a thick, rich, and wholesome soup that’s accompanied by the complimentary basket of hearty bread with butter. It was enough to satiate our animated-ogre hunger for about half an hour.
Paella Valenciana (PhP 735) is a vibrant mix of seafood, chicken, pork and sausage. And indeed, it was worth waiting for. The rice grains were evenly cooked and tender throughout. The sweet, briny flavor of the shellfish and shrimps shone through the dish, and we enjoyed the contrasting meatiness of the pork and sausage. It’s a party dish and a great comfort food, everything in one perfect pot, aromatic and delicious all at once.
Price for Value:
If you’re anywhere near Tomas Morato, don’t miss out on Mario’s. This restaurant is a charming landmark epitomizing refined and upscale Filipino-Spanish cuisine. Prices are a bit steep but fair given the quality of food and our overall experience. Chef’s Specials which we’d like to try next time include the Gambas Con Choriza Pasta (PhP 390), Tenderloin Steak (PhP 690), Steak and Prawn Thermidore (PHp 815), and Angus Rib-Eye USDA Prime Grade Steak (PhP 1995).