Turning Portuguese at O’sonho
Jennifer Ong (The Philippine Star) - April 18, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The name sounds quite alluring — Recheadas Peixe. At O’sonho, it translates to a comforting, rustic dish that is stuffed fish fillet. However, this doesn’t still describe how good it is for me. O’sonho’s stuffed fish is a very moist and buttery halibut fillet stuffed with fresh tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers, and baked until all its flavors have beautifully become one. Served with some rice, it is simply symphony on a plate, one that I could not stop playing on my palate.

Named as one of Philippine Tatler’s best restaurants for three years in a row now, O’sonho Portuguese Fusion Restobar has certainly been doing a lot of things right. At its heart is its culinary devotion to cooking only with the freshest and finest ingredients — and with an irresistible Portuguese touch.

In fact, a delicious homage to Portuguese cuisine is O’sonho’s bacalhau pasta. This is al dente linguine tossed in a light tomato concasse with some herbs, capers, olives, and flakes of the restaurant’s very own bacalhau — dried salt cod in a rich stew with carrots and green olives. It is rather light but undoubtedly bursting with flavor.

There are so many other things on O’sonho’s menu that patrons cannot help but love. There is the restaurant’s classic peri peri chicken that you can have on herb pasta or rice or even as a whole roast. No one can also say no to the restaurant’s peri peri lechon, roast suckling pig marinated in peri peri (a very hot spice from South Africa) and other spices, then roasted until its skin is crisp and its flesh melts in your mouth. There are also O’sonho’s legendary paellas — paella de carne (bacon, beef, lamb, chourico or Portuguese pork sausage, and chicken), paella do mar (seafood, saffron, and spices), and paella negra (seafood and squid ink). These paellas can all be a divine meal in themselves. 

What could easily transform into a full meal with some bread or rice and a glass of bold red wine is O’sonho’s lengua de vaca. This is a sizzling dish featuring the most tantalizingly tender slices of braised ox tongue sautéed in a special sauce with lots of garlic and onion. I would personally have it with the restaurant’s freshly made garlic bread.

For dessert, nothing pleases quite like O’sonho’s pasteis de nata or custard tarts. These are hefty tarts that have thin, buttery golden crusts filled with rich custard and baked until the tops are brown. They are wonderful on their own, but I enjoy them more with a cup of Malonggo coffee, an exclusive coffee selection O’sonho serves. My advice is, have some and enjoy life!

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O’sonho Portuguese Fusion Restobar is located at 20 Jupiter St., Bel-Air, Makati. Visit www.osonhorestobar.com for more information.

E-mail the author at ravin.facts@yahoo.com.

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