Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Don Andres: A Peruvian Kitchen for a Taste of Something Peru

Wazzup Pilipinas!

It's my first time to ever hear a Peruvian kitchen existing in Metro Manila, or even anywhere else in the Philippines. I guess Peru's culinary cuisine is not as famous as Thailand's, Spain's or any other country whose influence have reached our country significantly.

But this could only mean Filipinos are actually always looking for something new for their taste buds. This is why many restaurateurs have tried introducing other foreign cuisines that would surely be loved by the Filipinos penchant to eat good food especially on special occasions where we deserve a rewarding treat.

Only six months old, Don Andres is surprisingly already making a name for itself based on the influx of customers trying out their new assortment of dishes. With some drinks and dishes that you can only find at Don Andres, you will surely get curious with what they have to offer.

Who's Don Andres you may ask, well it is still unclear to us since the staff couldn't agree on a single story. But most of them say it was derived from no less than Filipino hero Andres Bonifacio. Why did they name the restaurant after one of the Philippines' heroes? That also remains an enigma.

However, who wants to ponder on the accuracy of their name's historical origins when there's so many good food presently in front of us? Just as what Master Oogway said at the Kung Fu Panda movie "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift, that is why it is called 'present'." You will definitely forget everything else once you've been gifted with the opportunity to try out their awesome dishes.

Located at St. Esguerra street near the two of the biggest TV networks in the country, there is a big chance you'll catch a celebrity checking them out too. Having a selfie with your favorite tele-serye character may just be something worthwhile to anticipate. It will surely be a big bonus aside from getting your tummies filled up.

The place is huge enough to cater to an entire bus load of employees but you may have to call for reservations just to be sure you'll have a seat when you get there especially during dinner time. The neighborhood is at a peak during night time when most offices are already closed for the day. Nothing beats a sumptuous dinner at Don Andres to end the day right.

You may want to ask the staff about the dishes since their present menu only has a short description of the dish and doesn't have any photos except for the ones at their counter where a few pictures of the dishes are shown. Since the names are in Spanish, which is quite close to the Filipino language, you'll more or less get an idea what the dishes are all about. Also, you'll never be disappointed of any of their dishes since they are all good from the starters to the main meals up to their desserts.

You'll find out that they are the only ones who carry the Inca Kola brand. This is definitely not your traditional drink at any other restaurant in Manila. You should try this bubblegum-flavored bubbly right away for something new to the taste.

Inca Kola (Php 175)

Choros A La Chalaca (Php 320)
Their appetizers will truly give you an appetite to want more. The Choros A La Chalaca is five servings of refreshing Peruvian mussels with citrus corn salsa. This dish is sensational! You'll adore the tangy citrus taste magnificently paired with the sweet taste of the corn bits. We actually wanted more but we need to make room for the other dishes too.

Pulpo Al Olivo (Php 290)
The Pulpo Al Olivo is sliced octopus cooked in citrus juice with saltine crackers and Botija olive sauce on the sides. Another fascinating appetizer that you will love. It's not everyday we get to eat octopus, and this one was so pleasantly tasty magnified by the citrus flavor.

Peruvian Sangria (Php 425 for Carafe, Php 135 per glass)
We wanted something to drink so they brought out their Peruvian Sangria, a twist to the traditional Sangria. Just one sip will already convince you to make it a permanent part of your dining at Don Andres.

Cevinche De Pescado (Php 280)
The Cevinche De Pescado is marinated fish cured in citrus juice with yellow chili sauce. Now, you know they love everything with citrus. I thought this was the main dish already because of the size of the serving. It was already filling enough if taken by one person.

Chorizo Al Plato Php 260)
The Chorizo Al Plato is grilled chorizo flavored with garlic and served with side salad. It has three different kinds of dips so you'll enjoy trying out the different tastes it will give. This is definitely something new for me but I prefer it eaten without the dips.

Brochetas De Lomo (Php 420)
Finally the main dishes started arriving. The Brochetas De Lomo is tasty beef tenderloin skewers with bell pepper, onion and fries. The beef tenderloins are indeed soft, tender and juicy. Squeeze in some of that citrus to enhance the flavor.

Arros Con Mariscos (Php 380)
The Arros Con Mariscos is part of their rice dishes and is composed of assorted seafood in rice simmered in wine sauce. This is another wow dish similar to the Paella but actually better. Fill up real good with this winner.

Pescado Al Ajillo (Php 420)
Since I am biased to seafood, my obvious favorite is the Pescado Al Ajillo dish. I actually forgot to write down the name since I gave in to the temptation to eat as much already before the others leave me with less.

Sanguchon De Chicharon (Php 225)
The Sanguchon De Chicharon, which falls under the Sandwich category of their menu, is barra with mayo topped with ham, sweet potato, Peruvian onion salsa and batata chips. They are definitely crunch and really explosive in taste. I love every bite and makes a very good snack to replace the traditional sandwiches.

Arroz Con Mejillones (Php 380)

Another rice dish is the Arroz Con Mejillones which is similar to the Arroz Con Mariscos except that  its purely composed of mussels as the prime ingredients. It also cost the same reasonable price.

Lomo Saltado (Php 420)
The Lomo Saltado is a popular Peruvian dish served with beef tenderloin strips, onions, tomatoes and fried potatoes. It's the same beef used in the Brochetas De Lomo skewers so its equally soft and tender to the bite except that this one has a sauce. You can see the fries in it as well. The price is the same too.

Pollo A La Brasa (Whole Chicken: Php 590 without sides, Php 650 with sides)
Their Pollo A La Brasa or Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken is amazing! It can come with either mashed potatoes, rice or fries and comes with three kinds of sauces. You can also order as a whole chicken or by 1/2 or 1/4 sizes.

Lengua Guisada (Php 420)
The Lengua Guisada is Peruvian style ox tongue with mashed potato or rice. It may not be very photogenic in the photo but the exquisite taste makes up for the lack of presentation factor.

Pie De Limon (Php 145)
Saving the best for last are the desserts to die for, starting with the Peruvian style key lime pie they call Pie De Limon. This is no doubt a heavenly slice! I want more of this so when I get back to the restaurant, I will buy a whole box for take-out to share with my family.

Tres Leches (Php 165)
The Tres Leches is sponge cake with cream topping soaked in three kinds of milk. Another worth the wait dessert to make the last part of your dining experience a wonderful memory.

Eat it quickly as served before the milk turns it all soggy and gooey, but I kinda like it that way more since it offered a welcome change to the usual dessert we often have.

Alfajores (Php 65 for three pieces)
Don Andres only has three kinds of dessert. To complete the threesome is the Alfajores, delicious shortbread cookie with Dulce de Leche filling. The delicious part is an understatement. I'm sure you can think a lot more better adjectives once you had your first bite.

Peach Mango Smoothie (Php 145)
For drinks, they have Alcoholic like red and white wines, local and imported beers, the Peruvian Sangria we showed you earlier, the Pisco Sour, and the Mojito, and Non-alcoholic favorites like freshly squeezed lemonades, iced teas, smoothies, sodas, teas, and coffee.

Mojito (their menu has no indicated price)
For more information about Don Andres Peruvian Kitchen, you may check out their social media sites in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Good luck to Don Andres Peruvian Kitchen. I think they are planning to setup a new branch soon in Makati so we are looking forward for that branch since it will be nearer to us.

Some of my foodie friends with one of the owners of Dona Andres Peruvian Kitchen. Others had to leave already because of other important errands.

Foodies like us will definitely flock the restaurant soon so they can also indulge on the many exciting dishes Don Andres Peruvian Kitchen has to offer. Don't be left behind. Be sure to visit the restaurant at #26 Courtside Building Sgt. Esguerra Avenue South Triangle, Quezon City after reading this story.

Thank you again to Don Andres Peruvian Kitchen for an amazing lunch treat!

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  1. Great write up! Definitely a must try and highly recommended!


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