?Ilustrado – ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
?Date for Two: Exquisite 5-Course Menu
Intramuros, the Walled City, has never been the same as before. The streets are already littered and the crowd from the homes and schools increased over the years. There are few remaining areas that have been maintained though, the paid-establishments, churches, and of course, the restaurants.
For our anniversary, we have availed Deal Grocer’s Exquisite 5-Course Menu for 2 at Ilustrado for only P1600. This is our first time at this Filipino-Spanish restaurant and we are so excited to try it. We’ve read so many good reviews in all platforms, and heard much of a great deal about this.
Before we enter the resto, we roamed around their courtyard. They got a good place for outdoor functions. It was well covered with trees and plants, a refreshing feeling at this point.
This is Ilustrado’s main entrance. Upon opening of the door, a staff at the counter under the staircase welcomed us warmly.
Paintings, antique hardwoods and local plants surrounded the interior. This area was the start of our travel through time. It’s like leaving the modern world and entering to a historic colonial era.
As we were led to our table, we got this feeling of being one of the Rich Intelligentsias walking to a banquet hosted by our fellow Ilustrados. Imagination aside, the hall was quite empty at the time we sat down, probably because we arrived a bit early than the usual dinner time. As time passed by, we can already see fellow couples, families, group of foreigners coming by. A trio of musicians were serenading everyone by their light instrumental pieces.
Bread Basket – We got freshly baked bread buns in a huge basket, paired with their signature duck and chicken liver pate, and butter as well.
Demitasse of Shrimp Bisque– This rich, thick and creamy soup set us in to our coziest state. It was perfect for the rainy night, with a very unique flavor that expanded our taste database.
Baked Eggplant with Black Olives in Filo Pastry – We swear, even after a few weeks, we’re still chatting about how good this appetizer was! At first, it looks like a dull salad with a big wonton on the side. We’re actually a bit worried about the eggplant since we’re meticulous on eating eggplant dishes. At the end of the day, it turned out to be our personal favorite. The inside was a smooth, flavorful yet not overpowering baked goodness. We cannot sense any seeds at all. The wrapper, and the pesto and tomato sauces were the cherries on top. All these created one gastronomical masterpiece.
Paella Ilustrado – We actually lowered our expectations for this. We’ve read in the reviews that the rice was somehow dry. But that’s not the case, surprisingly, we enjoyed this! It’s not dry at all. The blogpost we’ve read was way back 2014 so we guessed they’ve already improved this one. We love the generous serving of rice with huge chunks of meats and seafood! Every scoop from the skillet was bursting with flavors – tasty and wonderful blend of natural spices.
Adobong Bagnet with Taba ng Talangka – There were seven choices for the Entree. Other options were Callos Madrilena, Bagnet with KBL Sauce, Morcon Plaridel, Kalderetang Kambing, Fish and Chips, and Chicken and Wine. We were intrigued of Adobong Bagnet with Taba ng Talangka, and expected more from it since Adobo is a Filipino classic. It was just okay, nothing spectacular. We cannot see any chunk of taba ng talangka though, maybe they blended it in the sauce just to enhance the flavor. Nonetheless, it was fine. Or maybe the Paella just overpowered this dish. Will still order this the next time, should anyone ask.
Baked Cheesecake – For the dessert, Mango Jubilee was the one originally on the fine print but the waiter informed us that it already ran out, so they provided us choices for alternatives – the cheesecake and/or the ice cream. This was actually an advantage for us as we got to try both. The cake was the simplest cheesecake we’ve had. There were no decors, toppings, nothing – just the cake itself, which stood out on its own. Taste was just right, not too sweet and not to bland.
Sampaguita Ice Cream – we’ve savored every drop of this ice cream. At first small scoop, it tastes super weird and we’re like confused for a few seconds if it’s good or not. On the next scoop, maybe already filled up our entire mouth, we were convinced – AWESOME FLAVOR! Smells really good, too! It’s not everyday we got to eat our national flower, so we enjoyed every moment. This was a masterpiece that made us proud to be a Filipino. Two scoops were definitely not enough as we were left wanting for more. It’s a good thing we’re already full from all the foods we had.
It’s so good this one deserves a close up photo. Seriously guys, this dessert’s a must-try!
Coffee and Tea – At the end if the course, we were asked if we prefer coffee or tea. Again, we chose to have one of both. The coffee was pre-packed, alongside with brown and white sugar, and fresh milk. We were impressed with the selection of teas. The waiter opened a huge box filled with different flavors of Twinings Tea.
The Stars of the Night. In the middle of our dinner, these three fine gentlemen left their post and hopped from one table to another, accepting song requests for them to play. This was the beginning of the life of the resto – they were magnificent! They made everyone so lively and we can see from our table that everyone’s enjoying every song. All of us were singing along and just simply, genuinely so happy. They put big smiles on our faces and our hearts. They deserved all the applauds they got that night.
We will recommend Ilustrado again and again. The service we got was so warm, we were well-attended to. Foods were obviously astounding. Ambience and music was exquisite. Ilustrado is a gem of Intramuros. We went home with good memories to add to our book.
Value for money: We got more than what we paid for! This was, so far, the best dinner experience we ever had. We cannot wait to be back, and hopefully next time, we can share it with more people that we love.
#DateForTwo at Ilustrado
Note: Actual prices and details might change without prior notice. Price posted does not include discounts and other charges, unless stated otherwise. Photos are all owned and captured by the page owners.
Ilustrado: Filipino-Spanish Culinary Temple