There were two reasons that would make preggy ol’ me brave the rush-hour traffic to Quezon City on a Thursday night: our wedding emcee, Spanky, and his invite to try the delectable dishes awaiting us at Mario’s, one of the most enduring restaurants in the Tomas Morato area (operating for 30 or so years now, wouldja believe?)
It was time to meet again owners Mrs. Nenuca Benitez and her son Mr. Fil Benitez who were quite excited to introduce their new house specials. One thing about Mario’s (in the few times I’ve dined there), their food doesn’t disappoint and their P600 peso weekend buffet, with the paella, cochinillo (roast suckling pig) and other specialties, is a treat one can’t possibly resist. Swear I’d dine here often if I didn’t live far in the South of Manila 😀
There are only five new additions to their extensive menu, and we’re thrilled to try three of them. Pictured above is the santol chutney glazed porkchops served with cajun rice and roasted vegetables (P340). The use of a native fruit in an entree is always interesting, and this one balanced tartness and swetness. Best to try and see for yourself… a welcome addition to all lovers of pork (and pork fat!)
I indulged in their baked New Zealand mussels (P360) as appetizer. It had a topping of garlic herb butter and cheese. This one is a hundred per cent free of red tide 😀
I had a full plate of their wild mushroom-smothered steaks in pepper sauce (P525), cooked medium well. It was good and establishes Mario’s reputation for handling their steaks well. Normally, I’d pass eating red meat at night but the doctor just said eating steak is a good iron supplementation for the baby in my belly. So there! The side dishes were quite interesting too. I certainly loved the cheesy scalloped potatoes and the addition of a few slices of langka (ripe jackfruit) made me curious. The owner said they make use of whatever fruits are in season.
The two new dishes in the menu which we missed, but are worth trying the next time: the Fillet of Pampano with chive butter (P395) and the Turmeric Chicken served with steamed rice and a salad (P310).
Thank you, Mario’s! When dining, be sure to get a fill of their sumptuous desserts to cap your meal. We recommend their highly satisfying Mango Jubilee.
191 Tomas Morato Avenue
corner Scout Gandia Quezon City
Tel. Nos. 372 0360, 415 3887
Session Road, Baguio City
(074) 442 4241