Lunch at Pino Resto Bar

kare kareng bagnet P565
I’m always on the lookout for good Filipino restaurants in Manila to bring balikbayans to. I’ve read about Pino but I didn’t feel like going to their original branch in Quezon City. I was glad they opened a new branch in Jupiter St. in Makati. The restaurant was next to Mangetsu.

My friend Ariel came home for a visit from San Francisco and it was the perfect opportunity to try Pino.
Pino Resto Bar

Pino Resto Bar

The other side is their vegetarian restaurant Pipino. You can order from both menus wherever you sit.
Pino Resto Bar

Pino Resto Bar

I’m not a beer drinker but I was curious about the watermelon beer. I liked it!! The watermelon flavor was subtle yet gave the beer a slightly sweet touch.
watermelon beer P95
✔ ✔ ✔  watermelon beer P95

I was surprised that the menu had so many interesting starters that I wanted to try. I think I ordered too much but save for a few dishes the 7 of us did a pretty good job finishing the food.

I love fried chicken skin even though we all know it’s not good for you. But what the heck? You only live once. The concept was a good one. Put buffalo chili sauce on plain fried chicken skin and serve it with blue cheese sauce. Somehow it didn’t work for me. I’d rather have the chicken skin plain without any sauce. This was one of the few dishes that wasn’t finished.
buffalo chicken skin P145
✔ buffalo chicken skin P145

Some like it others didn’t. The mashed sweet potato was a bit dry and it was really heavy to eat. I was eager to try the aioli & cashew cheese sauce but there was too little of it for me to taste.
camote croquetas P125
✔ camote croquetas P125

The menu said the tempura fried oysters were topped with lumpfish caviar and aligue mayo but again I didn’t taste it but everyone still enjoyed how crisp it was.
tempura oysters & pearls P225
✔ ✔ ✔ tempura oysters & pearls P225

The mini sisig tacos were a joy to eat.
mini sisig tacos P225
✔ ✔ ✔ mini sisig tacos P225

There wasn’t enough longganisa and Filipino flavors to make this nachos different from any other nachos.
longganisa topped nachos P225
longganisa topped nachos P225

Most of the main courses came in single or family sizes. We ordered all family size except for the beef belly.

My favorite dish was the lengua cubes cooked in a tomato based sauce. I loved the tender ox tongue and the spicy sauce. And don’t forget the grated cheese! This is the dish that I will definitely go back for.
kalderetang lengua P415
✔ ✔ ✔ kalderetang lengua P415

The adobo style short ribs slowly cooked in red wine tasted just like Korean beef stew so it was a bit disappointing. It wasn’t that tender either.
red wine adobong tadyang P415
✔  red wine adobong tadyang P415

My second favorite dish was the incredibly crispy pork belly with thick peanutty kare kare sauce on the side.
kare kareng bagnet P565-001
✔ ✔ ✔ kare kareng bagnet P565

The beef belly was very tender and I could really taste the subtle coffee flavor.
coffee crusted beef belly P265
✔ ✔ ✔ coffee crusted beef belly P265

The bagoong rice was just perfect with all the entrees we ordered.
bagoong rice P50
✔ ✔ ✔ bagoong rice P50

I wanted to order some veggie dishes but surprisingly there were none in Pino’s menu. I had to choose from the Pipino menu and most of it was for just enough for one person.

They took a thick slice of watermelon and heated it on a grill and topped it with sauce and string beans. Interesting but not really my type.
watermelon steak P220
✔ watermelon steak P220

I’m so happy I’m not a vegetarian! I can’t eat 3 small pieces of baby bella mushrooms with all that brown rice. I would eat the mushrooms as is and be sad and hungry. Since I didn’t taste the next two dishes I didn’t put any rating.
portobello inasal P260
portobello inasal P260

I think Chris was the only one who ate the veggies since she was the only one who stuck to not eating meat on a Friday. The others gave in when the lengua and bagnet came out. She said the veggie curry was just ok.
vegetable curry P195
vegetable curry P195

P1100032

With an impressive name like highland gold premium organic arabica coffee I was so sure the coffee was going to be good. It was awful!!! It tasted like brown hot water without even a hint of coffee taste or aroma. Any instant coffee would have tasted better. I think they put too little ground coffee when they made it. I refuse to believe any brewed coffee can taste that bad. I requested that they change our coffee to a better brew but they agreed to just remove it from our bill to get rid of us since it was already past 2:00 pm.
highland gold premium organic arabica coffee P65
✖✖✖ highland gold premium organic arabica coffee P65

Someone forgot to tell the kitchen that sans rival is best frozen so the meringue layers are eaten crisp. This sans rival seemed left out in room temp and it was sooooo soft and soggy. Really the WORST sans rival I’ve ever eaten. Too bad the flavors had potential.
mango sans rival P165
✖ mango sans rival P165

They were out of the desserts I wanted to order and I had no option but to order two fried banana wrapped in spring roll wrapper desserts. It would have been good if the oil used wasn’t rancid. I hope they wondered why 7 people left 3 small desserts largely untouched.
choco turon P125
✖ choco turon P125

mango banana peanut butter roll P125
✖ mango banana peanut butter roll P125

I really liked the food of Pino but they have a lot of improvement to do with their coffee and desserts. Do give it a try but go somewhere else for dessert.

✖ skip it
✔ not bad
✔ ✔ do order
✔ ✔ ✔ MUST order

Pino Resto Bar menu
starters, main course, dessert, drinks, Pipino menu

Pino Resto Bar 
38 Jupiter, Bel-Air, Makati
telephone: 550-1781

39 Malingap, Teachers Vill. QC
telephone: 441-1773

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Comments

comments

  • Betty

    Leslie,
    That coffee crusted beef belly look so good. Wonder if watermelon beer can be brought at supermarkets? I seen pineapple beer in Beijing and apple beer too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Reymedina-Fong/100001830895982 Reymedina Fong

    nice,,,,, like it when u post price

  • Cibo

    Seems like this resto was overhyped …