At Organico Gourmet, organic food is the focus and it’s paying off. This newest humble foodie destination restaurant right at Luna Mencias Street, Mandaluyong just had its soft opening launch last July 18, 2015, Saturday. Its primary mission, as I see it, is to serve food that’s equally delicious and healthy, embodying the “farm to table” concept through novel flavors and combinations.
Chef Mark Bernardino, my co-guest reviewer at Pop Talk, invited me here for a taste test as he warmly introduced creatively prepared organic food to our palates. The dishes were interesting without being odd, all made with fresh and high quality ingredients that quickly translated to recipes that are amazing and truly original. Branching out beyond conventional, Organico Gourmet caters to eco-conscious customers who want to experience dining with wholesome dishes on the menu.
Review of Organico Gourmet (Luna Mencias, Mandaluyong)
Dictating the mood initially were herbs grown on pots by the door, but the real showstopper must be the homey environment we easily recognized upon entrance.
Entering Organico Gourmet was like stepping into someone else’s home with an adorable garden-fresh backdrop of grass and ornaments consistent to their green vibe. On its soft opening day, a buffet setting was arranged and the outlook of the tables was well done. Classy and not stuffy, the overall ambiance of this restaurant is qualified for an excellent Sunday brunch with friends and family. It’s a cheery, modern place—quite kitchy.
Wooden fixtures looked sturdy, lending the space a lived-in feel and exuding a grown-up charm. Also lining the interior were small details displayed on racks against the muted wall. Words like “LOVE,” LAUGH,” and “RELAX” add up to a big effect as they’re great reminders on how to live life happily. But what commanded our attention for the most part was the chandelier made out of mason jars.
This chandelier provided a flattering light across the dining room and did a good job at capturing our gaze for a while. It was a spectacle to behold! 🙂
Here you get a front row access to some items that are sorely missing in regular supermarkets. Organico Gourmet also sells organic juices, snacks, vegetables, condiments, milk, and other treats you can enjoy at home.
Topped with light and savory tinapa mousse, the mini pancakes were soft, fluffy and adorable. I loved that this version did not consist of the usual maple syrup and butter, yet the pancakes remained aromatic and yummy. Gone within five seconds from the plate to my stomach!
The Garlic Croquettes offered rich mashed potatoes gushing out of the crisp breadcrumb coating. Both the Asian Salad and Papaya Salad had enough bold dressings, roasted sesame and calamansi vinaigrette respectively, to brighten them up. Rhythmic thumps of summery colors marked the beat.
My hands-down favorite was the Three Mushroom Cream Soup made of shimeji, enoki, and shiitake. Much more impressive than it looked, texture was smooth and velvety, smell was intoxicatingly delicious, and taste possessed that familiar mild sweetness and nuttiness of mushrooms.
With smoked bacon stock as base, the Minestra Italiana could just be a strong candidate of a bowl of soup you’d want to get during those lazy days. We thought of it as a tomato-based macaroni soup that’s able to sooth and heal the body for an extra boost—minus the creaminess.
In brown and green flecks, the Buttered Parsley Rice was quite subtle and earthy. Parsley tasted sort of like celery, and I was glad that the rice, however not too plain, didn’t compete with the flavors of the other viands we paired with it.
Cooked al dente, the Three Mushroom Cream Pasta packed a good punch of delicate mushrooms. The rivaling Bolognese Organico Gourmet didn’t sleep on flavor either; the red meat-based sauce gave a solid run of heartiness that’s far from bland.
With a highly reduced stock-like sauce, the Whole Roasted Chicken with Demi was a keeper. Though it wasn’t as big, plump and juicy as the conventional chicken that’s treated with antibiotics and whatnot, it burst with real and natural roasted chicken flavor.
Made from beef shanks and bone marrows, the Bulalo Steak was a great house specialty that’s not to be missed. Seriously, the tenderness of the beef belonged to a whole different league when compared to those you’d find in a typical Filipino restaurant. Slow-cooked for six hours, this bulalo steak really deserves to receive a culinary critical love from diners.
A great way to balance the meal of course is to get seafood entrees. I’m happy to recommend Organico Gourmet’s Pan-grilled Salmon with Dill Cream Sauce. The salmon was a bit dry (maybe because it was cut from the less fatty part of the fish) but benefited from the dill cream sauce that worked an interesting combo. Slightly tangy, the Grilled Prawns were fresh and delectable, as the sauce sang a chorus of passion fruit and butter. Ah, transcendent!
The Pineapple Mint was not too sweet or tart. It was an epic blend of juices that’s great for the digestive system. Pretty in sheer yellow, it was refreshing, hydrating, and cleansing.
Highlights of the desserts section must be the Sweet Potato S’mores and the Kapeng Organiko Pana Cotta. Just like a traditional s’more, the Sweet Potato S’mores did have the textural elements of crunchy, soft, and ooey-gooey. Kapeng Organiko Pana Cotta (cooked cream) was another funky mash-up that led me to believe that organic coffee granules, when softly solidified, could taste like heaven. This simple dessert was a multi-faceted celebration of coffee and whipped cream, indeed.
So there you go! A transformative organic dining awaits at this newest foodie paradise in Mandaluyong. Organico Gourmet serves imaginatively delicious flavor bombs presented in a great setting. If this one is right up your alley, make sure to like their Facebook page to check out more updates and be notified when their grand opening will be (hint: next month). 🙂
Operations schedule: Monday to Sunday, 10:30am to 9:00pm