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Deo Gracias’ richly satisfying cuisine

RAZZLE-DAZA - Pat-P Daza - The Philippine Star
Deo Graciasâ richly satisfying cuisine
Gambas served with gulas, a Spanish tapas favorite.

I had the opportunity to try two new restaurants that recently opened in the “Scouts” area of Quezon City: Deo Gracias and Tiong Bahru.

A couple of weeks ago, my son Paolo raved about Deo Gracias after he dined there with his dad, Mike Planas. Paolo said that the Spanish food they served was delicious and he wanted me to try it. When some friends decided to get together for an early Christmas lunch, I suggested we go there since it is close to my office.

Co-owned by Heny Sison and Rep. DV Savellano, Deo Gracias is located at No. 12 11th Jamboree St. in what used to be a home. The residence was converted into an indoor restaurant with cozy, clean and homey interiors, not to mention an al fresco dining area, a bar, and a deli shop, filled with Spanish goodies. On the second floor are private rooms.

Chicken is roasted to perfection.

Paolo was right… Deo Gracias’ cuisine did not disappoint. And how could it, with Heny Sison at the helm? The food was so good, I forgot to take photos. My friends and I started with the tender and flavorful Pulpo a la Gallega, which is steamed octopus with paprika as the base. We also had the gambas, which was served with gulas or baby eel. I couldn’t resist dipping my toasty bread in this dish, which is cooked with lots of olive oil and garlic. We also had traditional Croquetas and Callos.

And though I was already getting full by sampling all these, I made sure to leave room for our main course, which consisted of two kinds of paella: Arroz Senyoret (a.k.a. Seafood Paella) and Arroz Negro with squid ink and aioli sauce. The waiter also recommended the Sekreto Iberico (a grilled pork dish that uses the meat under the shoulder) and the rib eye steak entrecote, which my friends and I savored.

For dessert, we ordered the churros, which are a combination of cold chocolate churros and plain churros served with chocolate sauce. After our meal, it was time for a siesta to cap a perfect meal.

Churros are being served two ways, dipped in chocolate and plain with two sauces as well.

A few days after, my friends and I went to Tiong Bahru, which I came to know about from my cousin Sandy Daza. Located at No. 47 Sct. Torillo St. cor. Timog Ave., it is a franchise of the Tiong Bahru in Singapore, which is a Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee.

The restaurant is small, and the menu is quite limited, but everything on it is delicious. The Fried Tofu and Quekiam made for good appetizers while we waited for our main courses, Hainanese Chicken and Roast Chicken. Though my favorite Hainanese Chicken is from Chatterbox at the Mandarin Hotel in Singapore, this one comes quite close at a fraction of the price. The chicken broth soup was so flavorful that I asked for another serving. The fish curry head was also a treat, tender and not too spicy. With all these delectable servings, I even finished my bowl of Hainan rice despite a promise to cut down on carbs.

The next time you’re in the Scout area and are in the mood for Spanish or Singaporean cuisine, consider dining at Deo Gracias or Tiong Bahru for a memorable, richly satisfying gastronomic experience.

Specialty of the house is Hainanese Chicken.
Fish head curry is both flavorful and savory.

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