Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Second Take at Ninyo, Katipunan

Few months ago, Daryl told me about a lovely fusion sort of molecular gastronomy restaurant that's just near Ateneo. She said they have great ideas (like WOW! How do you actually come up with those sorts of things?) but then there were issues with the temperature of the food. Well, I'd say it piqued my interest, and that's why I made my way there with my family one Sunday night.

Btw, Daryl's post on Ninyo here!

The whole restaurant has a rather traditional appearance which is most certainly contradicting the food that they serve. Tables and utensils wise, it was classy, near the fine dining side but tuned to Filipino twists and culture. On the menu, there were plenty of fascinating things, all sounding rather unusual, novel, and inventive.

Miso Lamb Hash Wasabi Croquettes- P380
Crispy wasabi croquettes with lamb hash filling
The croquettes weren't the way I expected them really. There was cooked lamb on the bottom, wasabi spiced mashed potato on top, and the whole morsel dusted with panko crumbs and deep fried to perfection. Two sauce were intricately piped onto the plate. They were both excellent. The red wine jus was similar to one you'd find in a lamb stew.

Fish & Chips Cream Dory Fillet- P420
Chef Nino's special version of the traditional fish and chips.
Nori crusted dory fish fillet with potato, sweet potato, and taro strings,
spiced with togarashi.
My little sister Star had some fish and chips. It wasn't your ordinary fish and chippies. Instead, of being beer-battered Aussie style, it had a seaweed crust which was undeniably dark and unappetizing at first. The fish was moist inside. There were shoestring fries which aren't really my pick for this dish, they were lightly dusted with cheddar powder and my sister loved them to no end. The dish was accompanied by wasabi mayo.

Smoked Tomato Soup- P220
And Star also happens to be a soup freak. She had smoked tomato soup which was really tasty and flavorful. But it just wasn't as creamy as it looked.

Wasabi Cream Pasta- P420
With salmon gravlax and garlic bread
Mum is a salmon lover these days. Her pasta was al dente and sinfully creamy. She enjoyed it, or at least for the first few mouthfuls. She found it too heavy after that cause portion was a bit big.

Grilled Cream Dory Fillet topped with Soy Tapioca- P580
Set on potato skin loaded with oysters in wasabi parmesan cream
with potato croquette, drizzled with uni yuzu sauce,
served with relish of Laguna white cheese, pili nuts, watercress,
onion and bell peppers.
My fish was fresh, sweet, and perfectly cooked. The stuffed potato skin with parmesan nailed it (I don't think there were actually oysters in the potato skin). It was extremely yummy, then again, it was one of those calorie-loaded side dishes. The chewy tapioca was cooked perfectly. And the mashed potato was just okay.

Trio of Turf Skewers- P550
Miso pork tenderloin barecue
Chicken balsamic teriyaki
IS Hanging tender steak in soy and garlic marinade
Dad's skewers were probably the biggest disappointment of the night. The meat was most likely overcooked and it became tough. The marinade probably didn't have enough time to seep through the meat as well. And there's the temperature issue, some of the skewers were a bit cold.

At the end of the meal, I felt like a wasabi vampire. Is there such a thing? The food at Ninyo is definitely different, and perhaps to some people a bit strange. There's creativeness found in every dish, but maybe everything was too wasabi-laden. The food was a notch or two above average, but it's unlikely for me to have a second visit, their food is just too rich and heavy for my taste. Well, failed expectations too.


66 E. Abada St., Loyola Heights
Quezon City, Metro Manila

(02) 426-0301

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