The plates came out one at a time, usually steaming hot – the smell of familiar, comfort cooking wafting through the air.
We were at Grilla Restaurant and Bar, a sprawling restaurant and bar serving delectable Pinoy dishes along the SM by the Bay strip within the MOA Complex. At Grilla, your pot of sinigang or sizzling plate of Sisig comes with the magnificent view of the famous Filipino sunset.
We were first served Tokwa’t Manok (P155), which was their version of tokwa’t baboy. The chicken was supposed to offset the richness of the Pork and give a healthier version of this classic Pinoy pulutan and it was, indeed, good. The chicken was flavorful and tender and the tofu cubes were fried just right However, my coronary arteries were missing the sinfulness of the pork, so this one didn’t fly as much for me.
Next, we were served the Crispy Chicharon Bacon (P185) which was a run-away hit to the people at the table. Imagine a wide cut of bacon, dressed and breaded then deep fried and served with vinegar as dipping sauce. Yum.
The following came in quick succession: Beef Kansi (P325), which was a cross between sinigang and bulalo. Served steaming hot, with a soup pour-over, the soup was a nice combination of sour and spicy; the massive serving of Crispy Fish Trio (P450), deep-fried tilapia, bangus and hito served in a large plate; the Sisig Sampler (P320) which became my quick favorite and composed of Grilla’s famous pork Sisig, chicken Sisig and tofu-sigarilyas Sisig.
If we thought that was the end of the feast we were mistaken. We were just about to attack the fish trio when the efficient servers brought out the Lechon Liempo Ala Cebu (P225) served with sinamak; and the Grilla original dish Grill-A-Palayok (P750), which is the restaurant’s version of a boullabaise – mussels, clams, maya-maya fillet, thinly sliced Beef and pork belly served steaming hot on very hot stones in a palayok. The broth was was made of ginger and lemon grass and reminds you of the kind of soup that warms not only the stomach but also the heart. It was so hearty and delicious.
Not to be outdone is the final piece-de-resistance: “Pista Sa Nayon” – a collection of Crispy Pata, Sinampalukang Inihaw na Manok, Seafood Gising-Gising, Fried Okoy served with Steamed Rice. This one large serving is perfect for the family lunch and only costs P995.
Capping off the delicious lunch was Halo-Halo Spring Roll (P165), Grilla’s take on the classic Filipino dessert served on deep fried spring rolls; and the Grilla Dessert Sampler.
At the helm of Grilla is a group of friends with a passion for good food and an ambience that brings family and friends together. The interior inside the restaurant is distinctly Filipino, while service is quick and light. At the forefront during the launch is former PBA cater Ritchie Ticzon whose good looks continued to turn heads in spite the passing of time.
Grilla is the kind of place where you often end up meeting with family and friends for a “salo-salo” – a gathering of good company while enjoying good food. The food servings are huge; served piping hot and evokes good ol’ Pinoy cooking.
If you’re looking for a place to dine in within the usually chaotic MOA complex, give Grilla a try – it’s at the thick of the action but minus the chaos.