Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Salliano's Restaurant and Bar: Marikina's newest family-friendly restaurant and watering hole

My Marikina foodtrip just started to grow this week. I do find it remarkable that restaurants in Marikina are starting to grow by leaps and bounds. Last September 23, 2015, Brian Macasa invited me to try out one of the up and coming restobars in Marikina- Salliano's Restaurant and Bar. Located at Guerilla Street, near Bluwave Marikina, this venue is fast becoming a popular place for families who want to celebrate get-togethers and barkadas who crave a quiet watering hole. The place had its Grand Launch about 4 days ago, or September 19, 2015. The opening act that time was the notable Filipino electronic pop band Up Dharma Down. It was actually the first dining place in the east side that brought a notable musician.

During my visit, the owners explained that Salliano's was born out of the long-time friendship of their barkada who had been classmates since Grade 1. According to them, a lot of them have no prior experience running a restaurant save for one of their friends who have operated the  famous Kanto Freestyle Breakfast located in Kapitolyo, Pasig and Marikina. They admit that they designed the place from the ground up without the aid of an architect or interior designer. Each of the co-owners chose spaces to design and create which ultimately expressed their unique personal preferences. 

The place had an environment that reminded me of a high-end restobar in one of the more densely populated places in the Metro. I do love the use of dark colors and wood motifs to express a classy and laid-back vibe at the same time. Also, it is evident that the owners took meticulous planning to offer only the best to the customers.

The name Sallano's, according to one of the owners, was given to the place to evoke a family-friendly vibe. To them, the name inspires a homey environment where people can have great food and drinks with remarkable taste at affordable prices. They also claimed that the menu was built from old family favorites prepared by their lolos and lolas. Some of the favorites are made from age-old recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. Hence, the dishes that were served were composed of Spanish and Filipino favorites with a twist.

For starters, we had the Country Fried Chicken. This set of crispy chicken wings showered with gravy made a magnificent appetizer. Upon every bite, one can taste the high-quality seasoning and spices coupled with tender meat. I also appreciate the fact that the meat was pretty easy to separate from the bones. The Fish and Chips, on the other hand, were a no-fuss appetizer that one can just easily chew into. The potato wedges were fried just perfectly while the fish was not too oily. The tartar sauce that came with it served to balance the salty flavors of the fish and potatoes. Lastly, the Three-cheese Artichoke dip with French Bread was a welcome addition to balance out the fried goodness of the two previous dishes. The inclusion of artichoke into the dip served as a healthy premise to the mound of cheese that came into the dip. Also, the artichoke served to sweeten the dip. Even I couldn't resist tasting the dip multiple times to savor the unique taste. In sum, these appetizers were simply a taste of better things to come. 

Next, the meat offerings were laid out for us to see and taste. We first tried the huge Meatballs ala Salliano's. These were 3 huge ground pork balls that were drenched in a special Italian meat sauce. These were served with Pita bread. I'd say that the meat was pretty tender and chewy. There were no burnt parts; and the tomato sauce served to enhance the already tasty meat. I also loved the fact that the balls didn't crumble so easily. We also had Osso Buco, which consisted of beef shanks swimming in gremolata sauce. This classy version of caldereta gave the roadside carinderias a run for their money. The sauce was the star of the show. While a bit oily, the taste was a glorious melange of beef marrow, tendon, and meat. Add to that the tender beef shanks; and you have a dish that can serve as viable viand for steamed white rice. The highlight of the night, though, was the Pugon Fired Sallano's Pork Crackling which evoked feelings of joy. One can be elated at the fact that this dish had meat that melted in ones mouth and skin that was crispy with every bite. No one would really mind their cholesterol level as they devoured the dish till the very end. Lastly, the Callos or Ox Tongue would do better as pulutan for the hardiest of drinks. The bitter taste seems to be a perfect companion for a swig of beer or liquor.

The carb-rich meals are also remarkable. Take for instance their pasta variants such as Pasta de Mariscos and Truffle Carbonara. The latter is complemented by a helping of shrimp and tomato sauce, while the latter is drenched in olive oil and white sauce. Between the two, I prefer the Truffle Carbonara for its mellow taste and oily texture. The pasta was firm and wasn't soggy. Also, it came equipped with a generous helping of bread. The Pasta de Mariscos is for seafood lovers who can't get enough of it with their pasta. It had the typical salty taste of shrimp added with the sweetness of tomato sauce. 

To cap it off, we had their special Paella ala Salliano which was special rice topped with chorizo, mussels, and shrimp cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, and other condiments. According to the owners, the rice was specially sourced from a secret distributor. Also, nothing but the finest ingredients were used to comprise the toppings. Upon tasting, I found that the paella was a bit bitter yet rich. The mix was a bit moist and the texture was a bit sticky, true to one's expectation of the dish. I do love the fact that the dish didn't have a dominating sweet or sour taste, and instead focused to create a flavor of its own.

The drinks and dessert were refreshing, to say the least. I tried their caramel and mocha frappes which were at par, if not better, than that of a leading coffee chain in the country. It wasn't too sweet, and there was a generous helping of milk and cream in the drink. The dessert, called Castarones, reminded me of cassava cake with a dash of mango. It had a moderately sweet taste with a very rich texture that brimmed with a bright yellow color. The term Castarones came from the mix of custard and macaroons, two of the desserts that comprise this magnificent combination. As I chewed into it, I could taste the cocount shavings that sharpened the flavor. The mango, on the other hand, served to mellow the latter. I give the owners a kudos for inventing this innovative dish.

My visit was a truly memorable one. The delightful mix of Filipino fusion cuisine served in a chill ambiance is truly something I would love to come back to in the future.

For those interested, Salliano's is at Guerilla Street cor. Gil Fernando Avenue, Marikina City. Their number is 09278120917. Kids under 7 years old can eat free at Salliano's every weekend from 11-2pm. 

The story in pictures:

The gigantic logo

The open area stage

The outside portion

The insignia

The indoor area

Another shot of the outside area

A poster of the opening night featuring Up Dharma Down

The indoor signs

Oh open for lunch!

The bloggers discussing the resto

The owners 

Brian explaining the mechanics of the event

Country Fried Chicken - P390

Classic Fish and Chips - P220

Mocha and Caramel Frappucino - P150

Three-Cheese Artichoke Dip served with toasted Baguette - P220

The menu

Another shot

Truffle Carbonara - P280

Callos - P270

Lemonade Ice Tea and Strawberry Juice

Pasta de Mariscos - P290

Meatballs ala Salliano - served with grilled pita bread - P380

Osso Bucco with Gremolata Sauce - P320

Pugon Fired Salliano's Pork Cracking-P420

Paella ala Salliano-P490

Castarones de Salliano-P130

BBQ Pork and Beef Ribs  served with Spanish Rice - P370


The friendly staff

The newest promo of Sallano's- Kids eat free!

Salliano's Restaurant & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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