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High-style ‘carinderia’

By Vangie Baga-Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:45:00 06/11/2008

Filed Under: Food, Restaurants & catering

MANILA, Philippines?It?s high-style carinderia dining at the newly opened Petra & Pilar.

Yes, this self-service dining place will delight diners with its spanking clean environment, stylish decor and a fine selection of home-cooked dishes served daily in an air-conditioned venue. No greasy utensils, slimy drinking glasses, stinking restrooms and tacky interiors here.

The only carinderia feature in this restaurant is the reasonable price of the well-conceived menu.

?There are many restaurants that already offer high-end food with high-price tags,? says Katrina Ponce Enrile, creator of Petra & Pilar and president and chief executive officer of the Jaka Group of Companies. ?I wanted a very affordable place, short of a turo-turo but three or four notches higher quality-wise. One ulam ranges from P80 to P100.?

Petra & Pilar can sit about 120 people, including al fresco dining at the verandah. The food is designed to be enjoyed in a cozy atmosphere.

Enrile is hands-on in the development of the menu and in running the entire kitchen. In fact, nothing goes out of the kitchen without her seal of approval. She has to taste each and every viand that goes to the designated buffet area.

Noted chef Ed Quimson is the restaurant food consultant.

Enrile pays homage to her grandmothers? recipes and recreate them for the restaurant. Between the down-home simplicity of Ilocano cooking learned from the Ponce-Enrile matriarch, Petra, and the extravagantly rich flavors of a proper Spanish degustacion from the Castańer matriarch, Pilar (hence Petra & Pilar), Enrile has come up with a rich selection of home-style Pinoy-Spanish cookery.

Featured dishes include kare-kare, osso buco, adobo sa puti, binagoongang baboy, embotidong bangus, bombas, ensaladang ampalaya, porkchop, rellenong alimasag, inihaw na baboy and tahong. Desserts include leche flan, fruit salad, buko pandan, lemon squares, chocolate bars and food for the gods.

?It?s always been my dream to have a carinderia,? says Enrile. ?I love to eat. I like to concoct things for people who also love to eat. There are many offices and call centers within the area, and they?re always looking for a place to feel at home while enjoying their food at budget-friendly prices.?

Deli place

At one side of the room is a showcase of Jaka Foods? Delimondo, a specialty line of gourmet food products.

Here, you can purchase the complete range of Delimondo?s line of specialty sausages (Chorizo Bilbao, Schueblig, Smoked Kielbasa, Spanish Longanisa, English Pork), deli meats, pasta sauces (Puttanesca, Bolognese and Nona Consuelo), pâté (Sardine Pâté and Chicken Liver Pâté), bottled aromatic oils (Sun-dried Pepperoni and Basil, Anchovies and Garlic and Cream, Rosemary and Caper berries, Chili and Garlic), dips, sauces and marinades (Iberian Chicken Mix, Universal Sauce, Guava Jelly), and bottled milk chocolate for fondue.

Right beside the deli is Enrile?s private room called 21, a by-reservation-only function room where clients can customize their own menu for a maximum of 21 persons.

The room has its own private bar, elegant dinnerware, restroom and a fine selection of wines. It even has its own butler for those who?d like the service.

Petra & Pilar is at the G/F, Jaka Center Building, Export Avenue corner Pasong Tamo, Makati City, open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays to Fridays. Call 8875168 or 8935531 locals 480 and 481.



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