The 1950s were a simpler time, a peaceful and prosperous decade wherein family, friendship and food were intertwined. During this time, tasty home-cooked meals were the paramount expression of love, with heirloom dishes taking center-stage at the family’s hapag-kainan during special dinners, get-togethers and holiday feasts.
It was during this time when the two-storey American contemporary-style home in Valencia, Quezon City was built by the Santaromana family, fruit of their matriarch’s ingenuous enterprise selling garments in the local market and the eldest son’s generous contribution.
Today, that Big House has been transformed into 1950 Restaurant which makes full use of the house’s vintage homey and welcoming ambiance while upgrading home-cooked meals into modern interpretations of classic and international dishes by the restaurant’s celebrated chefs headlined by Chef Robby Goco and Chef Chester Velas.
Together with fellow Zomato foodies and food bloggers from #WeLoveToEatPH, I attended 1950 Restaurant’s Media Event wherein we were treated to a sampling of its signature dishes, which include:
Lobster Bisque (Php600). Maine lobster and crab meat cooked into a soup flavored with terragon cream and brandy.
Seafood Chowder (Php240). Thick and creamy chowder served with double smoked bacon inside a sourdough bread bowl.
Sinigang na Lechon (Php375). Pork belly roulade and tomato sofrito in a caramelized pineapple and tamarind broth.
Ceasar Salad (Php400). Grilled romaine lettuce, Ceasar dressing with cured egg yolk and crispy bacon bits.
Fennel Confit (Php340). Burrata cheese, aburi orange, watercress and torn bread.
Roasted Bone Marrow (Php380). Onion jam, portobello and sourdough toast.
Roasted Cauliflower (Php260). Cauliflower heads coated with whipped cheese, honey butter emulsion and black olives.
Gambas na Hipon (Php375). White leg shrimp in garlic confit flavored with smoked paprika.
Foie Gras Brulee (Php430). Pieces of tuile wafer to be dipped into goose liver in blackberry compote and candied beets.
Grilled Octopus (Php320). Tender grilled octopus served with purple potato confit, pomegranates, foam and squid ink tuile wafers.
Angus Prime Ribeye Burnt Ends (Php400). Rice bowl topped with sauteed pieces of Angus prime ribeye in housemade barbecue sauce accompanied by seasonal pickles and a sunny-side-up egg.
Roasted Duck Breast (Php600). Slices of roasted duck breast in a berry reduction served with squash and kale, drizzled with Bordelaise sauce.
Adobo Classics (Php350). Four interpretations of adobo – adobo strips, bangus belly adobo sa gata, chicken adobo Tagalog and we pork belly adobo sa dilaw
Shellfish Curry (Php650). Clams, mussels, scallops and crispy egg in burnt coconut cream flavored with curry.
Tori Kuwayaki (Php250). Rice bowl topped with Japanese-style fried chicken in kansai sauce.
Prime Rib Au Jus (Php1,500 for 200g | Php2,300 for 300g | Php3,500 for 500g). Prime rib served in light gravy made from its own drippings along with creamy mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Kale Soba Noodles (Php400). Green tea soba, cashew cream alfredo sauce and wild mushroom.
Baked Hipon and Laing (Php280). Garlic roasted shrimp in taro and toasted coconut cream.
Sablefish Aburi (Php725). Soft-textured and mildly flavored flame-seared white fish served with roasted cauliflower puree, fennel confit and crispy bacon.
Molten Chocolate Cake (Php280). Chocolate soil with molten chocolate lava topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel popcorn on the side.
Toasted Ensaymada (Php280). The Pinoy version of the Mallorcan ensaimada, lightly toasted and served with hot chocolate and candied bacon.
Baked Alaska (Php280). Cream and cake topped with browned meringue and served with strawberry ice cream and chocolate crumble.
Bavarian Cake (Php280). Chiffon cake covered in icing made of thickened milk and accompanied by milk crumbs, peanut brittle and strawberry ice cream.
White Chocolate Blondie (Php280). Freshly baked chocolate chip cookie topped with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream and creamy milk sauce.
Aperol Spritz (Php350). Made with cava, vodka and orange.
Classico Mojito (Php200). Made with white rhum, sugar, lime, mint and soda water.
Red Carpet (Php150). Made with apple juice, sour mix, honey, muddled fresh strawberries and topped with thin apple slices.
Dreaming Apple (Php150). Made with apple juice lime and cinnamon, topped with thin apple slices.
Pina Colada (Php150). Made with pineapple juice and coconut cream, garnished with pineapple chunks.
With such novel and imaginative takes on familiar dishes, dining here feels like both an adventure and a homecoming. I can imagine families and friends coming together at 1950 Restaurant for grand celebrations or intimate gatherings.
Many thanks to Chef Robby, Chef Chester and the crew of 1950 Restaurant for the warm welcome and the tasty dishes, and to EJ Bunag of I Love to Eat PH for extending the invitation!
1950 Restaurant is located at 14 Castilla Street, Bgy. Valencia, Quezon City.
Disclosure: Together with fellow food bloggers, I attended this restaurant’s media event. Food items mentioned here were served to enable us to sample the fare to facilitate honest reviews and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.