Making a fine return

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Friday, February 14, 2014

PINO is back, this time renamed as “The Original Pino Restaurant,” with the tagline “Home of the best Filipino buffet” in Cebu. And, as its reopening on Feb. 8 showed, the Filipino buffet has been sorely missed.

On top of this culinary enterprise is Joel del Prado, also known as the Food Festival King, who reopened Pino with “Heritage Recipes, Editha’s Way,” featuring chef Editha Cerdeña Singian who had to keep replenishing the buffet spread for the capacity crowd of opening day who kept going back for more of her culinary masterpieces.

Among the crowd favorites were the seafood lumpia and fresh lumpia, the chicken relleno and the lengua mechado, sugpo at itlog maalat and “Pugad sa Maya” It was not just delicious but picturesque as well: a quail egg on a bed of crisp noodles with a creamy sauce. Also on the buffet were spicy pinangat, not with gabi leaves but with pechay, okoy maruya, laing, humba, grilled blue marlin with bopiz sauce, tinutungan (chicken cooked in coconut milk, with a smoky flavor from the grated coconut churned over hot charcoal before the milk is extracted) and beef caldereta. And the rice! There was a choice of jasmine rice or tucino garlic rice or kalabasa rice, the last being a personal favorite.


There was also a fine array of Filipino desserts: suman sa lihia at mangga with Chocnut sauce, chocolate eh!, crema de señorita, bibingkang pinipig, lecheflan with fruit cocktail, ube palitaw and tibok-tibok. Any or all of this served as a fitting end to a really good meal.

Chef Singian is Pino’s featured chef for all of February. Sandy Daza will be the featured chef for March. It will be truly interesting to find out what he has in store for Pino customers, and how different it will be from chef Singian’s sumptuous fare.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 15, 2014.


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