Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Primero Casa Filipino : Well-Deserved Buffet Bragging Rights

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Would you agree with me if I say that the Filipinos totally love fiestas?... and a buffet is the closest one you could get to if you can't wait for the next fiesta to come along?

I strongly believe that almost everyone here loves to dine on a feast with several choices of sumptuous food that will delight most of the senses, especially the taste.  We also enjoy a meal when we are given a choice to taste a bit of everything, or pick just a few of the dishes we really want.

For example, I love seafood better than meat, but would gladly take a small bite of each type just to taste them, and find out which I would choose to come back for seconds or on my next visit.

Though I couldn't really eat a lot in just one seating, I really prefer a variety than just one specialty. A buffet is the most affordable way to surround myself with a grand selection of dishes.

From the name itself, Primero Casa Filipino really sounds like a heritage place, and true enough, the inside and outside of the restaurant emits a radiance of colonial architecture. It is undoubtedly an old house that could have belonged to an affluent family back in the old days where Spanish influence reigns.

Later I've learned that it was indeed used to be a post-war ancestral house belonging to a political family. Back then, politicians were already rich but not probably as corrupt or conniving. The place was just renovated to maintain its former glory and they've added a few modern touches to keep up with the times without ruining its historical value.

However, the place was more popularly known before as Chef Laudico's Casa Filipino

Earth colors comprise most of the parts of the house that is now a restaurant. Even the furniture is of  black and brown hues.


After taking a few pictures of the dining area, my friend asked us to start taking pictures of the food while they are still at its virginal state. 

Well, he has a point because it would look better in the pictures if the buffet food were still untouched.

My favorite among the appetizers was the Sisig Shooters. It's the traditional minced pork that you find in sisig but now ingeniously placed inside a crispy wanton dim sum wrapper and perched on top of a tall shot glass with some soy sauce inside. You pour the sauce from the shot glass before you bite, or swallow everything if your mouth is big enough.

Humorously, I did ask that question if I needed to swallow everything because its supposed to be a shot glass, but I got an answer already in my head before Kim was able to reply.

It was a good thing Kim recommended this particular dish because I have to agree when he said its one of the favorites.

The Baguette Canapes which is basically looks like garlic bread topped with meat and herbs but had a thick, chewy base was the least of my favorite among the group. The bread was too tough to bite into.

The Angus Beef Burgers was also highly recommended but since I was already full from the meal, I wasn't able to finish the whole thing. I was actually not surprised it was a better burger than the ones we see in fast foods.

That is sort of my problem with buffets - I tend to get a few out of everything that the last ones to taste gets to compete with a full stomach already. The mind is willing but the belly is full.

The Steamed Tofu Cake was glazed with tomato sauce and pierced with a stick to keep all parts intact. I enjoyed the taste of steamed tofu but got a bit surprised with the chili. Lol! I had to quickly grab a glass of water.

The Karnevorous Pizza had an intriguing name. Obviously derived from the word "Karne" which means meat in Tagalog, and a word play of "carnivorous" (replaced "carni" with "karne") that I needed to try how it was.

I was kind of disappointed because it was not as meaty as I assumed it would be, and the green leafy topping was not really sincere to the "carnivorous" theme.

It probably tasted better when it was freshly baked from the oven, but alas we were just able to try this after lunch already - meaning cold pizza!

The Baked Aubergine and Cumin is eggplant spiced with cumin. I particularly love eggplants when they are either fried like omelette or mixed with some "bagoong" but this one did not really persuaded me to add it among my favorite eggplant dishes.

I did not tried this one, whatever its name was, because it didn't really looked that appetizing enough. If given several choices like in a buffet, I always make it a point to try out the more interesting looking dishes.

So its really true that presentation and packaging of the food is a powerful way to attract potential and would be customers. Everyone should give importance to that simple yet truthful fact.

You need to sell your product by "dressing" it "fashionably" and as creative as possible.

The Mustasa Wraps are saute'ed meat and veggies wrap in mustard leaves. Though they were a bit small than a regular bite-size appetizer, the balance of meat and veggie gave a unique textured taste that's quite new for me.

The Pinoy Salad Station allows you to create your own salad depending on your preference. But there was just too little choices for the salad yet there were four types of dressing. Not really as imaginative and appealing. It would be more successful if they added a wider selection of veggies.

The Nicoise Salad with Salted Egg was the best choice among the three kinds of salad that were present that day. I never knew that you can add salted eggs on salads.

I think this was the Potato Salad with Maya-Maya Bits, but correct me if I am wrong. I never got to try this one since I really do not like the color red in my food. It doesn't really look tasty or even pleasing for me.

The Crispy Lechon Pork Belly, or what they call "Caprichon" should be among the first dishes that you should try in this buffet. The balance of crispyness and tenderness with just the right taste to please was to die for.

The Roasted Chicken was good enough but it doesn't really stand out among the other roasted chickens that I've tasted so far.

The Angus Beef was not a typical dish that you would see in a buffet. Its again another must try dish that you should not miss.

I don't really see anything special about the Soup of the day. I did not even finish it.

Four kinds of sauces for the roasted varieties of Roasted Chicken , Angus Beef and Caprichon. You should try it all to see some distinguishable changes in flavor of the meats.

The Angus Beef Kare-Kare was great but the "bagoong" that came with it was poor.

They have to bear in mind that the real goodness of Kare-Kare comes out if your "bagoong" is good enough....and what's with the bland coloring of the Kare-Kare sauce?

I really do not know but that is not the color that I grew up with.

The Buttered Veggies were typical-looking so I skipped this one. My plate was already too full for me to get some of the veggies.

I knew this will be bad for my health so I stayed away from it but still manged to get a spoonful just to taste it. Believe it or not but it passed!

Not really very attractive and plain-looking so I skipped this one too.

I don't really eat rice during buffet so the Fried Rice was a no-no for me.

First objective is to try out the viands so the rice would be the last choice for me unless I still have room for more in my belly.

I also tried some pancit pasta but sadly, it was too bland and dry. Very bad in taste since the dryness did not contribute anything to please the taste buds.

I skipped again the Steamed Rice with Pandan Leaves to give more room for the other meals.

Was this the Menudo or Afritada ? Jokingly, it looked and tasted like a mix of both. I really do not know if it was just me or the mixture of the other food in my plate sort of tampered with the original taste of this dish.

The number of Desserts choices were probably more than 10 but less than 20. There were also choices of fruits but I passed on those in favor of the other sweet treats.

My all-time favorite are the Banana Breads, and this cubed variety also made it to the passing mark.

The "Palitaw" was good enough but not that memorable to get back to.

We almost missed out on the Soft Ice Cream but it wasn't really that tasty to begin with. It was not as creamy as what we would normally taste in the popular convenience stores because I think it had more ice than cream.

A tour of the restaurant after the lunch buffet introduced us to the different parts of the restaurant. Each part was named after a part of the house during the old Spanish colonization days.

Whenever I see a huge mirror I always make it a point to take a picture of me in it.

The bar area is called the Antesala while just outside from it is the Terraza or what we know as the terrace.

The bar had very little wines on display but according to Kim, it was because the heat would ruin the wines that should be placed in room temperature storage. Since there was very little crowd that time, the Antesala was not airconditioned. But they do turn on the airconditioning once there are more people coming in to occupy the area.

A tinted glass window greeted us on our way upstairs towards the second level of the restaurant which is called Privados to mean as private. 

I did mention a while ago that the place is also available for private functions. There are a few room upstairs that can be used for similar purposes.

After the tour, Migs ordered Coffee for the four of us, a d showed us an issue of a magazine where Primero Casa Filipino was featured.

He mentioned that the magazine crew was there at the wrong time because the power went out thus the photo-shoot was made outside instead.

Women's Magazine has featured Primero Casa Filipino with its article entitled Ingenious Twists on Old Favorites

There's already a lot of blogs that wrote about Primero Casa Filipino and all of them gave acceptable reviews of the place of which I would tend to agree. Indeed, the buffet is generously filled with delectable choices fit for the pickiest eater. It may not be as elaborate and sophisticated like buffets served in hotels, but most of the dishes that I grabbed out of the buffet table were all consumed by yours truly with satisfaction. The dishes that were unsatisfactory were very little to worry about but would be a nice way to tell the restaurant to either improve or replace it with other dishes.

I may be having some regrets right now that I skipped a few of the dishes available in the buffet. The moral lesson is that they really also have to invest on the presentation of the food to attract customers to try them out. Please bear in mind that when there's a lot of choices, people tend to choose what naturally stands out, and that's the most colorful ones.

The selections were so generously appealing for both sight and taste that I could have eaten more, yet the belly, though big already because of all those food reviews in the past, couldn't handle anymore food inside.

Just a precaution to all the customer coming here: the lunch buffet starts at 11 am so be there as early as possible if you want to catch the meals in its full glory. You will appreciate your meal better if you had seen the full original appearance before it gets ruined and runs out - because it really disappears as quickly as you can say "PCF".

Visit Primero Casa Filipino on weekends to try their Chili Crabs, Oysters, Seafood Karekare, Shimps and many more... Their seafood specialties are only available during weekends for merely Php 498 net per person.

Primero Casa Filipino

Buffet prices:
Mon-Thu : 398 Pesos net
Fri-Sun : 498 Pesos net

26 Sct. Torillo corner Sct. Fernandez
Barangay Sacred Heart
Quezon City, Philippines


For reservations, please call 02 9212448/ 02 9211850/ 09178512272

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