Whenever I’m on a first date, with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time, or with a new acquaintance and s/he asks me what I want to eat, I’d say anything Filipino. Or, if I’m in a resto that serves foreign cuisine, I’d say “anything that has meat”. Really. I’m THAT easy to please.
This doesn’t mean I don’t have favorites though. For one, I am a HUGE fan of Filipino food. I am still on my way to discovering the best Imbao soup, Dinuguan and Bicol Express and yes, you may join the line. Of course, taste is king, but if great Filipino food gets a more colorful facelift and encloses itself in a cozy ambiance, then I may just have found my own world wonder.
A few weeks ago, another fab Filipino resto opened up north, Bistro Selera, at 2nd flr. Fountain Area of SM Lanang Premier. Bistro Selera is the glorious spillover of Kusina Selera, the quaint and cozy resto we’ve all loved visiting at Legaspi Suites. Why, that’s my debate club’s staple inuman place (super sarap pulutan) and my Manila guests’ favorite resto. Apparently, the menu is 65% identical, but Bistro takes it to a whole new level in terms of ambiance and service in their new SM branch. (Check out their lovely chandeliers, paintings, lighted wall implements and their soft, plush chairs.)
Last November 10, 2012, Bistro Selera officially opened to the public. A day before that, they also held an intimate “friends and family” event for the store blessing and ribbon cutting. Here are pictures from the event:
My events management team and I opened for Bistro Selera. That night was awesome. Everyone was happy and food, drinks and love were overflowing. Imagine, they’ve had guests come all the way from Manila and Singapore just to witness this milestone. Of course, this is not just a breakthrough event for them but for Davao in general. As well all know, Bistro/ Kusina Selera has been part of the roster of best restaurants in Davao city, thereby raising the city’s bar for must-go-to places. And, as a Dabawenya, that fact creates a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
A few days after the opening, Bistro Selera also hosted an intimate Bloggers Lunch and here’s where I got to know their offerings better, and got introduced to a new set of favorites too! Well, here they are:
I first met this in my meeting with the management team of Bistro Selera. This dish is wicked! It made me order rice even though that was around 9PM already! In case you’re wondering, that’s thinly sliced kangkong stalk bathed in gata. Sigh. Everything tastes better with gata. It’s called Gising-gising because it is originally meant to wake you up from a drunken night. Originally spicy, but you may adjust its spiciness. They start out mild, fresh from the kitchen, and if you want more, you can just tell the waiters to make it spicier. And there goes your appetizer.
I usually don’t eat fish but this one excited the carnivore in me. It’s Bagaybay wrapped in bacon. Come on guys. BACON. Everything tastes better with bacon. Even a heartache. Or learning that you were adopted.
That’s pan-seared tuna, cooked European style: crispy on the outside and raw and chewy on the inside. It sits on top of sliced tomatoes and kangkong leaves, and is gently drizzled with roasted garlic. The 2 sauces (durian curry and toyomansi) actually taste good but if you want to devour it with rice, settle with Toyomansi. God, another lip-smackin’ fish dish.
Seafood soup. They come in different names and forms. And I love every bit of them. Just like how I loved my students. Haha! This Seafood Curry Soup, would you believe, actually reeks of Durian and Curry flavor, and holds all life’s most loved seafood inside. They’ve got shrimps, squid, crab, et cetera. To counteract the strong taste and smell of Durian, lemongrass is added and the broth is married with gata (coconut milk). This one’s a Chef Specialty by Chef JP Landingin.
I eat ice cream everyday. I think it has perfectly etched itself to my central nervous system that I’d be dysfunctional without it. When mangosteen ice cream first kissed my lips, it was love. Bistro Selera helps me keep this love alive by affixing this in their menu. Served with biko and topped with pinipig and nuts, this dessert’s going to mess up my diet real fast.
And boy, they know their cocktails!
Strawberry Mintini – Sorry I gulped it down too fast I forgot to take its picture. This cocktail takes off from the spirit of tequila and finishes with fresh mint leaves and a gentle strawberry flavor.
Michael’s Madness – Michael, the jolly resto manager, invented this drink according to his, well, madness. It’s a lovely orchestra of gin, melon liquer, triple sec, orange juice and grenadine. Reminds you of sweet summer flings.
I’ll taste the other cocktails next time I win something or break my heart. I sincerely hope it’s the former, though. HAHA!
Thank you BISTRO SELERA for the great event and the lovely treat! More power to you and keep serving FAB FILIPINO FOOD! 🙂