At a prime Quezon City spot, PINO Resto Bar sits comfortably along Malingap Street in Teachers Village, one of the easily-located tributaries of the food avenue Maginhawa Street. PINO prides itself for their fine Filipino cuisine and wide array appetizers, main courses, entrees, and desserts, and a collection of wine and cocktails, as well as non-alcoholic refreshments in unique flavors.
As you enter the two-storey restaurant, the first thing to catch your eye is the art on their wall—a WeeWillDoodle work of sorts—depicting Filipino themes and pop culture icons such as the archipelago, and the tv show from the 90s, Okidoki Dok. The interior is fresh and fuss-free.
PINO’s extensive menu includes classic favorites Sinigang, Kare-kare, and Bagnet and specialties from the different regions in the country.
House-brewed Iced Tea from PINO (P80 per pitcher/4pax)
Recommended by their employee, we tried their House-brewed Iced Tea. It didn’t disappoint, considering I am quite the hot tea enthusiast. It was the right amount of sweet and tangy, with a good smoky tea flavor.
Vegan Lasagna from PIPINO (P120)
This is probably the most savory lasagna I’ve ever tasted. It was good—I knew I was eating a no-meat-no-dairy lasagna and expected it to taste a little flat but their tomato sauce and their meat-alternative was as good as any, maybe even better. I think they used eggplant as filling. The serving was hefty which might be a problem to some people. After a while, it might not taste so savory but more vegetable. In Aki’s case, I don’t think she minded.
Kare Kareng Bagnet from PINO(P245)
Cynch and I actually split an order, whose half is pictured above. Coming from an a family of Ilokano descent, I have an inclination to deep-fried pork, especially the province’s famous bagnet. Pair than with my all-time Filipino favorite Kare-Kare and I was in for a treat. I usually put bagoong (shrimp paste) in my kare-kare but PINO’s peanut sauce was excellently seasoned and flavored I forgot to get some from the saucer. It was so tasteful! This is a definite recommendation.
PIPINO resides on the second floor, with interiors in a different color scheme and style, but with the same straightforwardness as PINO. The most distinct element in the area is PIPINO’s chalkboard walls. It’s a whole wall of chalk board panels running from floor to ceiling!
Vegetarian doesn’t mean you can’t eat savory. PIPINO’s menu has great meat alternatives for rice meals and pasta dishes. We only got to try their Vegan Lasagna (which some personal blogs have called one of the best in the metro) but we’d definitely go back to try more of what they can cook up.
For dessert, Aki had a chocolate chip cookie, and I tried their Vegan Vanilla Cinnamon cupcake.
Large Chocolate Cookies from PIPINO (P50)
Vanilla Cinnamon Vegan Cupcake from PINO (P50)
The cinnamon overpowered the vanilla in this one but the combination is still impeccably divine. This dessert is a perfect closer to a hearty meal—not just for vegans.
39 Malingap St., Teachers Village
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
(+63 2) 352-3755, (+63 927) 258-2531
PINO and PIPINO are definitely diamonds in the rough!
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