Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to or paid by Crisostomo to post this review. If you’re looking for their menu, please visit their website here.
I don’t normally eat out. But when I do, it’s usually when someone invites me; it’s my birthday and too lazy to cook for the family; or simply want to try out a place recommended by respected foodies in my circle. I normally cook our food at home because my dad had taught me to since I was a kid. He used to be a chef in one of the biggest hotels in Manila.
But today is special. My son just graduated from his Reading class in UP Diliman and today’s his first day of summer piano lesson. I also recently launched my online shop’s website; so I decided I have enough reasons to go celebrate. I decided to bring Gugu, Ian, and hubby to UP Town Center where so many shops and restaurants have opened recently. I originally wanted to bring them to Banois, Vietnamese cuisine restaurant, but at the last moment decided to go to Casa Verde instead. Unfortunately, Casa Verde was full, I was fourth in line; I was already hungry and it was too hot to wait outside. So we excused ourselves from the cheerful and friendly Casa Verde receptionists and decided to go scout for another restaurant.
I broke my rule today. Didn’t I say I only eat only in places recommended by people? Not this time. When I saw Crisostomo’s facade, it was love at first sight! The quaint exterior is reminiscent of Dr. Jose Rizal’s time when he was just young and courting Leonor Rivera in their azotea (did I just misspell that?). I figured right away without looking at the menu outside that this place is serving authentic Filipino food. And what else will appeal most to the palate of a true Pinay like me? 😉
So we went inside, got escorted to a table for four and a friendly gentleman gave us the menu right away. A few minutes after, we ordered bulalo, adobo rice, fried hito with burong hipon, hubad na lumpia and ice teas. The waiter came back after about 5 minutes to tell us that bulalo was not available and suggested we try sinigang na baka instead, to which we agreed right away. We were that hungry.
So here’s my verdict halfway through our lunch: WOW. I love Crisostomo already!
Like I said, the photos of food here won’t be what you’d usually expect from a restaurant review. As a friend once posted on Facebook, some things are better experienced than taken photos of. In this case, we were almost done when I decided to take photos of the food before they were gone so I can post a fairly (albeit not your usual) review here.
Their sinigang na baka was cooked using real tamarind fruit soup base – not the powdered one. I cook sinigang too, so I can tell! As for their ice teas, I could also tell that they brewed them using real tea leaves and added real fruit/flower extracts. My hubby’s was iced tea with guava and lavender. I had iced tea with kalamansi and malunggay. I don’t normally eat hito but their deep fried hito when wrapped in mustard and dipped in burong hipon is simply delicioso (especially if you only eat fish when it’s deep fried, like moi).
I swear, these were beautifully presented to us before we ravaged them! Maybe next time, I will take decent photos of the quaint interior and the food. The staff are friendly and attentive to our needs too. When my youngest son was already throwing a fuss, one of the waiters assisted by giving us a high chair and helped us calm him. Crisostomo is also offering free WiFi! 🙂
Is there a downside? Yes. Food can be quite expensive for an average Filipino family like mine. We billed over PhP 2,000 for a meal for four but that’s also because we bought a bottle of burong hipon and cornicks (which by the way is offered free as appetizer). Their burong hipon is quite yummy I decided to take one bottle home. Burong hipon is a great siding for fried/grilled fish wrapped in mustard leaves or petsay. It’s also great for steamed veggie leaves such as kangkong/watercress.