As promised, here’s another food review, this time on Tito Chef: Restaurant and All Things Culinary. (Read about the first of two of the day’s reviews here: M Cafe.) The restaurant is owned and ran by Chef Menoy Jimenez who happens to be a dear friend of mom’s. They were colleagues at the Center for Culinary Arts Manila several years ago.
Now,we rarely head to the South for food trips (straight up Northeners here!) but one day, we found ourselves a few minutes’ drive away from Tito Chef. We knew we just had to drop by and check out the food. And we weren’t disappointed!
The main dining area follows a split landing format, so there is plenty of room for diners (at around 3pm, people were still coming in for lunch), function rooms, a bakery and a culinary store. (Oh, and my reflection says hi!)
Here’s the view from where we were seated. As you can see, Tito Chef’s interiors are a hodgepodge of old and new. So many elements thrown in like wood, plastic, leather, hard edges, soft surfaces — but all still contribute to the neighborhood cafe vibe of the place.
I liked this detail: baskets of fruits and veggies that you will immediately see upon entering the restaurant. They add a nice touch to the modest but stylish place.
Tito Chef also has several function rooms for business meetings, family gatherings, parties, etcetera. I appreciate their attention to detail, throwing in personal stuff in the mix like an old chair or a dresser or a full length mirror.
The basement was transformed into a culinary store — a haven for chefs and foodies alike! Right by the entrance, meanwhile, is a small pastry shop. It’s filled with pretty gingerbread houses right now, all being sold in time for Christmas.
And off we go to the food. :)
We started off the Tito Chef experience with Chorizos and Mushrooms (PhP260), served with warm dinner rolls. We loved the spicy kick of the chorizos that seemed to aptly complement the slightly sweet mushrooms.
If anything though, we found the dish to be a bit oily. But no worries because a little oil once in a while won’t hurt, especially if it helps make your chorizos a little juicier and more flavorful.
And then we had Calamari with Kimchi Mayonnaise (PhP240).
We especially loved the (slightly) spicy pickled vegetable dip — a great alternative to the usual ranch dressing. I was never a fan of kimchi, but if the spice level is kept to a minimum (as in the case of this dish), then it is most welcome!
Check out these lovely squid bits. The breading wasn’t too thick and was the right amount of salty. The squid wasn’t tough to chew, too.
Josh got himself an American Burger (PhP195), a good rendition of the classic combo of patty + add-ons. He enjoyed the potato allumettes, too, which was a great break from the usual chips or fries. And since Josh wasn’t satisfied with the serving size of this burger…
He ordered a Smothered Pork Chop (PhP210) to share. This slow braised pork really melts in your mouth! But we were particularly gushing over the very creamy mashed potato siding. It was probably the best I’ve ever tried. The texture was consistently smooth and it was perfectly seasoned.
Here’s mom’s Pan Fried Sole (PhP235) – tender pan fried fillet of sole served with a lemon-dill butter sauce and herb melange. She loved the tender fish soaked in a superb lemony sauce. Mom is a fan of citrus so this dish was a perfect fit.
My dad ordered a Rosemary Grilled Lamb Steak (PhP350) which came with the most amazing mint sauce. The mint sauce added a refreshing twist to the tender lamb. This is a must try! (I think mom’s version rivals Tito Chef’s, hehe.)
And here is Jae’s Surf & Turf of Tenderloin and Prawn (PhP455), which was so prettily presented. Jae loved every bit of this; however, he found the serving size to be too small. He wanted more of the goodness!
And since I’ve developed some sort of addiction to truffle oil pastas, Tito Chef’s Bleu Cheese Alfredo (PhP230) was the logical option. Theirs was made up of cream and butter sauced fettuccine with bleu cheese, mushrooms, and truffle oil, and served with crunchy bread slices. I would’ve wanted to taste a little more of the cheese; otherwise, this dish was all right.
We capped of the meal with three of their dessert offerings.
First up is a slice of their Strawberry Shortcake (PhP95). We loved this light and creamy sponge cake. It goes well with a cup of brewed coffee!
Check out the layers of this cake. Real strawberry bits for you!
Josh picked out dessert 2 of 3: Vanilla Creme Brulee (PhP140). We especially liked the slightly burnt surface of this dish, which blended quite well with the sweet vanilla custard.
And here’s our favorite of the three: Nutella Sansrival (PhP110). Us kids go crazy over anything to do with Nutella, so naturally, we had a ball with this slice.
Unlike most sansrivals that are extremely hard to slice into, Tito Chef’s was the right amount of tough and crusty. The icing was especially delicious, too! A nice mix of nutella, buttercream, and almond bits. This is most recommended!
Josh ordered a Vanilla Milkshake (PhP165) to accompany his meals. He finished this in a flash!
I personally didn’t think this went well with a burger and a slab of pork chop. Perhaps a light salad or sandwich would’ve been a better fit.
Mom had their Fresh Watermelon Shake (PhP155) which was cool and refreshing.
Here’s a parting shot with the chef himself! We will definitely be back for more of the yummy offerings. Four and a half of five superstars! :)
Check out their soft opening menu below.
Taste – 4/5 | Ambience – 4.5/5 |Variety – 4.5/5 | Service – 4.5/5 | Pricing – 4/5 | Would Go Back? – Yes
Tito Chef | 2 Presidents Avenue, Sucat, Paranaque City