by: Alu A. Aran
“We serve crazy food!” promised owner/chef Mia Katigbak Capay when I inquired what kind of food she intends to serve at her newly opened restaurant, Bistro United.
Bistro United is the newest (and I must say, most exciting) restaurant to open along United St in Kapitolyo, Pasig. The interiors are straightforward and almost zen, featuring clean lines and fresh greens. The ambiance is relaxed and friendly. Chef Mia is not a newbie in the food business as her family runs a catering company called Q Provision. A lawyer by profession, she fully embraced culinary as her lifeblood and passion. Her dishes will speak loudly on how much she loves to cook, experiment and re-invent dishes.
For starters, we were treated to this not-your-usual, Crispy Ubod Salad – crunchy, tasty and hey! candied Iligan nuts!
We then had Bagnet Ravioli. Dainty pockets of ravioli carries bagnet (deep friend pork) and sisig inside and topped with yet another bagnet rendition, chicharon bits.
For the mains, we had this addicting Adobo sa Manga. Yet another surprising dish cooked with green mango puree and bagoong! It tasted familiar and then not. A must-try for those looking for a new spin in their adobo.
Porchetta Kare-kare (Roasted pork served with vegetables and and peanut sauce) – deconstructed and yet the meat is tender and the peanut sauce is totally comforting. See that braided string beans?
Another of our favorites is the Dalandan Chicken and Ube Rice combo. There is nowhere I know in Manila who has the patience to cook ube rice, except Chef Mia. The Ube rice got a lot of “sarap!” and “yum”” votes on our table. The ube rice complemented the chicken marinated in dalandan sauce and then grilled to perfection.
And for the win, true to Chef Mia’s promise of serving us crazy food, she served us goblets of Tilapia Ice Cream. Yup! Tilapia ice cream. One of our guests, Chef Louise Mabulo (of the Junior Masterchef Philippines) happily commented that the ice cream is “a cross between brilliant, and crazy!” And what a way to end the meal. We did have crazy food!
There are a lot more interesting dishes in Chef Mia’s menu but that is for another day. We promised ourselves to be back for the Bacon Liempo Adobo 3-ways, Bangus Teriyaki Burger, Crispy Ribs with Bone Marrow (!) Rice and the Salmon Pastrami.
Bistro United is located at the Ground Floor, D-Strip Building, #20 United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig, For advanced orders and reservation, pls call (02) 706-1668. Open daily from 11am – 10pm.