Thursday, June 20, 2013

Isabelo Garden Restaurant, Marikina

Another guest article by a good friend, Patty Soliman. This time, it's about great food.

Isabelo Garden Restaurant

By Patty Soliman

This is a very long overdue post. I found previous pictures from our February Family Event and I must say this is something I mustn’t fail to share. I arranged a post-wedding celebration for my cousin Evangel and his wife, Carmi who flew all the way from Vancouver. It took me sometime to find a place that would make this family get-together be  memorable for everyone. Again, a big thanks to Google for helping me find this secret garden restaurant situated at the very heart of Marikina City. 

I’ve coordinated several weddings at Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish Church before, not knowing that there is a garden restaurant nearby that matches my taste palate. Well, savoring for European delicacies particularly Italian dishes is always my kind of treat and I immediately fell in love with the line of menu owner Portia Baluyot prepared for her Isabelo Garden Restaurant. Looking at the menu and the rustic garden restaurant from the website, I immediately made reservation for the family all 35 of us for this romantic celebration. 

You will be surprised that no signage or anything that will tell if it’s the restaurant you are looking for. Well, that’s how secret the place is. We knew that we are on the right place following the map we printed from Google and a call from the owner herself. A courteous guard who stands at the rustic grill gate welcomes us as we enter the place. The restaurant is an old house which Ms. Portia said owned by her grandparents. The garden was stylized with shabby chic and some memorabilia from the family’s collections and tables for 2-6 people placed around the garden. A perfect place if a man plans to have wedding proposal. Tivoli lights adorned on each trees and with some acoustic music complimenting this romantic place. Every restaurant is also being judged not only for the food but the restroom as well. This restaurant has a powder room that can be like your bedroom for the huge size and cleanliness.

Roasted pork crackling
Isabelo Garden Restaurant is much different from other restaurants that we know. In this particular restaurant, you need to order, online at least 2 days ahead. The restaurant opens during dinner time only. Portia cooks only pre-ordered food. Most of the food were cooked slowly through “pugon” and I must say, this delectable dishes are so tasteful. Choosing for the menu is quite challenging since I wanted to try everything. So to keep me focus and followed a certain budget, I decided to order what was Portia’s best-sellers.

Chcolate mud pie

For the appetizer, I ordered Spinach Artichoke Dip. The family liked it as well. Before the main dish, we are served with Caesar Salad. For the main course, I ordered for everyone Roasted Pork Crackling with 4 types of dips to choose. And yes, this is so heavenly that we all enjoy the crispiness of the skin and the tenderness of the meat. Ms. Portia said she cooked it in “pugon” for 3 hours. This Beef Bourguignon is also so tender and ah, so yummy! The Orange-Herb Chicken was not that popular to the group, but it was something we also enjoyed. Lemon Parslied Garlic Rice also complimented the entire menu. The kids also enjoyed their Isabelo Lokal Bolognese and Parmigiano Carbonara. Desserts were Chocolate Mud Pie and Key Lime Pie, also best-sellers of this restaurant. 

Orange herb chicken

My assessment, two-thumbs up! And for everyone who were there as well. I know the couple, Vangel and Carmi appreciated everyone’s presence and yes, the food served. I’m grateful everyone had great time enjoying this celebration. And with that, I plan to bring some friends to join me taste their new portion of the restaurant, “Rustic Mornings at Isabelo” which offers breakfast meals from 8am-4pm that doesn’t need for pre-order and reservation. I encourage everyone to visit the place and experience what this eastside of the Metro offers. Just like my family, I know, you’ll have 2-thumbs up too. 
Key lime pie
Author rightmost

See also previous articles by Patty:

Palawan Tour, by Patty Soliman, October 19, 2012 

Exploring Sagada, Mt. Province, January 15, 2013 

Pagudpud-Laoag-Vigan, April 01, 2013

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