Reimagining Filipino food at Moonshine PUB, Ortigas

Look back on your favorite homespun food, the ones that your mom or lola used to cook for the family during special occasions.

Now imagine them with a fresh twist, a little change that makes them keep the nostalgia that you harbor for them but, at the same time, gives them a new dimension that gets you so giddy with excitement for a taste of something new.

That is what Chef Jehrad Dolino achieved when he unveiled his latest creations of reimagined Filipino food for Moonshine PUB.

Moonshine PUB is a cozy public urban bar situated in the hip and happenin’ Sapphire Bloc in Ortigas Center. It has a relaxing atmosphere with muted lights, dark leather furniture and brick decor reminiscent of 1920s underground speakeasies.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

This is where Ortigas-based yuppies can go and unwind, enjoying the pub’s signature drinks which include these cocktails:

Calamansi Gin Smash (Php335). A refresing gin-based cocktail made with muddled sugar, cucumber and basil leaves and flavored with calamansi.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Smoked Old Fashioned (Php310). A whiskey-based cocktail made with muddled sugar and bitters accented by a lemon peel. It is smoked then covered for full effect.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Whiskey Sour (Php310). A whiskey-based cocktail made with lemon juice and sugar.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Chef Dolino’s new set of #FilipinoReimagined dishes take advantage of locally-sourced ingredients that are in season and allows Moonshine to continue to provide fresh takes on classic Pinoy cuisines. These include:

Chori Burger (Php395). Made from scratch by the chef and his team using vinegar and a lot of garlic and allowed to marinate in the chiller for two weeks, the chorizo patties give the burgers an exotic taste and feel. Each burger is served in a brioche bun with the house slaw and a sunny side up, plus some fries on the side.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Crispy Palabok with Crablets (Php350). Crispy glass noodles drenched in made-from-scratch palabok sauce made even heartier with the crablets and chicharon bulaklak.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Pizza Margarito (Php465). Chef Dolino’s twist on the Pizza Margherita, adding some house-made longganisa to the toasty pizza. This dish was inspired the chef and his wife’s trips to Italy.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Longganisa Shanghai (Php280). Also incorporating the house-made longganisa, this is the chef’s take on the classic Lumpiang Shanghai.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Laing with Chicharon (Php240). Inspired by the traditional family of one of the chef’s long-time cooks who hails from Bicol, this dish is not the blow-your-socks-off spicy kind of laing but, especially with the addition of crunchy chicharon, it is well-suited for a Manileno palate.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Spicy Sardine Pasta (Php320). The chef and his staff make the resto’s sardines from scratch using fresh, locally sourced fish. Added to some al dente pasta, these make for quite a filling dish.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Prawn Pakbet (Php380). Made with traditional bagoong, the vegetables here are prepared by blanching them in boiling water then shocking them in iced water, allowing them to retain their crispy texture and vibrant color. And seeing how the shrimp is mostly treated as an add-on in the usual pakbet dishes, he made it the star of the show with the addition of large grilled prawns in his version of the dish.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Salt and Pepper Prawns (Php700). Also inspired by his memories of meals at his lola’s seaside home, this seemingly simple dish pan-fried prawns accompanied by a refreshing cucumber salad presents a lot of pleasing complex flavors.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Angus Beef Adobo (Php540). Taking advantage of the resto’s abundance in tender and flavorful Angus beef, the chef applied classic adobo preparation for this dish with the addition of pan-fried potatoes for added texture like his grandma used to make, and some soft-boiled quail eggs for added richness, as inspired by his tita’s version of the dish.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Langka and Mango Biko (Php190). The classic kakanin (rice delicacy) is given the added twist of mango ang langka (jackfruit) bits, making this reminiscent of the Mango Sticky Rice dish from Thailand.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

These new creations highlight the variety and versatility of Filipino cuisine.

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Moonshine Pub, Ortigas

Now, if you’re one Moonshine’s loyal patrons and have already developed your favorites among the items in its menu, don’t fret. These new dishes are additions, not replacements. You can still indulge yourself with your old favorites.

This Moonshine branch is located at The Sapphire Bloc, Sapphire corner Onyx corner Garnet Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 3am and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 4am. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 927 8000920.

Planning a trip to Moonshine soon? Drop by between 2pm to 8pm from Sundays to Thursdays for Happy Hour:

  • Get Php1,000 off on Black Label, Grey Goose and Hendricks
  • Buy 1 Take 1 on Superdry, Cerveza Negra, Brew Kettle and San Miguel Premium
  • Buy 1 Take 1 on wine (Php350 per glass)
  • Buy 1 and get 50% off on Signature Cocktails
  • San Mig Light and Pale Pilsen at Php50
  • Drop by from 6pm to 10pm every Saturday to Go Hard or Go Home:
  • Get Php1,000 off on Jack Daniel, Black Label, Grey Goose, Hendricks and Botanist
  • Buy 1 Take 1 on Jose Cuervo and Jagermeister

Did you know you can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at Moonshine through Zomato Gold? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

Moonshine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with my fellow foodies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other bars and watering holes in the Metro:

 

Filipino comfort food you grew up with at Limbaga 77, Tomas Morato

Filipino food sometimes get some flak for being unimaginative, too greasy, salty or sweet.  Many of us, however, grew up with happy memories of the dishes that our mom lovingly prepared during holidays, our lolas slaved over the kitchen during family get-togethers, or were proudly served by our neighbors during fiestas. Criticism against our beloved dishes either go over out heads or are met with fiery backlash.

The thing with Filipino food is that one dish may have numerous versions, depending on the region, or even the family, that serves it.  In fact, these recipes are even more enriched by the stories and histories that go into their preparation.  Filipino food is basically an amalgamation of native and foreign influences, and can easily be adapted according to regional, familial or even individual tastes.

This makes the work of Limbaga 77, a Filipino restaurant located along Scout Limbaga Street in the foodie-friendly Tomas Morato area, all the more challenging.  According to owner Sonny Fortuna, the restaurant tries to stay true to the traditional and classic Filipino recipes. But with so many regional or individual variations, which versions should the restaurant present?

Based on my experience during a recent Zomato Foodie Meetup held at Limbaga 77, the versions that showcases the use of traditional and native ingredients take centerstage.  The dishes served belie, more than anything, the allegation that Filipino food is unimaginative.

Take for example the Stuffed Bulaklak ng Kalabasa (Php227), an appetizer that made of squash blossoms stuffed with native cheese and minced pork, dipped and batter and deep-friend to achieve that crisp golden brown layer that gives in to a sumptuous bite of melted cheese and pork.

The Green Mango Pomelo Salad (Php377), on the other hand, combines the citrus-y flavors of the fruits with the grilled shrimp.  Some shrimp pieces are a bit over-grilled though.

Most of Limbaga 77’s offerings are reminiscent of the special Sunday lunches that Filipino moms prepare to feed the family after church.  The Roasted Chicken (Php577), Bistek Tagalog (Php477), Crispy Bagnet (Php477), and Limbaga 77 Stuffed Laing (Php477) are all on-point as main dishes, showcased by the Danggit Rice (Php77) and Garlic Rice (Php57).

In the Pochero (Php577), in particular, the rich tomato-based broth provides a savory-sweet background for the slow-cooked beef short ribs, the crisp vegetables and saging na saba; in terms of presentation and use of fresh ingredients, I think the dish wouldn’t be out-of-place in a hapag-kainan during the colonial period.

Here’s some trivia for you: Did you know that the Pochero is one of the favorite dishes of Filipino reformist, writer and journalist Marcelo H. del Pilar?  (Many thanks to fellow foodie Lawrence Chan for this interesting tidbit!)

The Buffalo Wings (Php277), was developed by the resto to appeal to younger diners who may want some finger foods for their after-office hangouts.  Its blue cheese dipping sauce has some bits of cucumber in it, adding some cool freshness to the spicy dish.

However, for me, the star of the show is the Limbaga 77 Paella (Php1,277).  Five people can share this hearty Filipino-Spanish masterpiece made with generous helpings of seafood – shrimp, mussels, clams and squid – as well as chicken, Spanish chorizo and hard-boiled eggs.  It’s a good thing we foodies took a while in taking pictures of this dish together with the other viands served as the heated shallow pan the paella was served in gave the grains at the bottom a bit of a toasty crunch.

The desserts served also had interesting stories  The Brazo Tableaand the Davao Tablea  Cake, for instance, use cacao discs sourced from Davao, the country’s top producer and exporter of cacao, giving these confections a rich chocolate taste.  (The cakes can be further improved to have a moist texture, though.)

If you ever wondered what other uses can there be for queso de bola beyond the Christmas season, look no further: Limbaga 77’s Queso de Bola Cheesecake has a sweet-salty flavor that will satisfy those who tire of too-sweet delicacies.

The classic chocolate mousse dessert also gets a local twist with the inclusion of native coffee to the Barako Brownie Mousse: the thick mousse is flavored with coffee and topped with rich powdered cocoa.

Here’s another trivia: Did you know that kapeng barakogot its name from varraco, the Spanish word for wild boar?  In Spain, wild boar are very fond of eating the plant’s leaves and berries.

Two classic Filipino desserts were fused together in Bikoron: a mashup between the biko and turon wherein the mild-tasting kakanin is wrapped in lumpia wrapper, deep-fried and drizzled with a slightly sweet peanut sauce.

The last dessert served is the Perlas ng Mangga: the Philippines’ national fruit is given a  backdrop of sweet cream and tapioca pearls.

Don’t think that drinks in this resto fall by the wayside: fresh and fruity blended concoctions were also served such as Lychee Grapes Shake, Minty Mango Watermelon and the Mabuhay Smoothie (coconut milk syrup with pineapple), each at Php177.  I opted for the Grass Citrus Iced Tea (Php97), a refreshing brew of pandan and lemongrass with a hint of calamansi, to drink during dinner and a cuppa with baculicha, a sweetener often served with coffee in Vigan, after the meal.

For diners who want combinations of their favorites, Limbaga 77 now offers Bestseller Tandems at Php397 each.  These include:

  • Limbaga 77 Stuffed Laing + Adobong Tadyang ng Baka + Garlic Rice
  • Spicy Seafood Adobo + Adobong Tadyang ng Baka + Garlic Rice
  • Limbaga 77 Stuffed Laing + 1/4 Baby Back Ribs + Garlic Rice
  • Spicy Seafood Adobo + Grilled Liempo + Garlic Rice
  • Limbaga 77 Stuffed Laing + Toasted Vigan Longganisa + Garlic Rice
  • Toasted Vigan Longganisa + Seafood Chopsuey + Garlic Rice
  • Grilled Liempo + Seafood Chopsuey + Garlic Rice

Limbaga 77 is located at No 77 Scout Limbaga Street, near Tomas Morato Avenue, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City.  It is open daily from 11am to 3pm and 6pm to 10pm.  For inquiries and reservations, call +63 926 715 6134 or email limbaga77cafe@gmail.com.

Credit: Thanks to fellow foodie and flat lay slayer John Bunag for styling the flat lay of viands served.

Disclosure: Together with other Zomato foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Limbaga 77 Cafe Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants: