We usually associate Filipino restaurants with Barrio Fiesta, Kamay Kainan, or Singing Cooks and Waiters. These restaurants have been serving the usual carinderia-style fare for decades now. When Abe Restaurant came into being, it redefined Filipino restaurant food. It allowed us to appreciate Filipino food served and prepared fine-dining style--in other words, it elevated the experience of Filipino food, which people from other countries would be able to appreciate as well.
One of the more recent additions to Filipino fine dining experience is Wooden Spoon located at Katipunan Avenue, almost in front of Gate 3 of Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City. Owned by Sandy Daza, the son of the ebullient Nora Daza who used to own a chic Filipino restaurant in Paris, Wooden Spoon offers a variety of Filipino dishes with a twist, often with hints of European and Southeast Asian influences.
For starters, my friend and I had Wansoy Shrimp balls, made with minced shrimp, seasoned with coriander/cilantro, rolled in batter, and then deep fried. It came with two sauces, one flavored with cilantro and another one flavored with mild chili. For the main course, we ordered Kaldereta, which came in a lavish sauce with a generous heaping of whole green olives; Squid and Chili Mushroom, which is redolent of Thai dishes what with its sweet spicy chili sauce; and Stuffed Pechay, which came with smoked fish stuffing and a creamy spicy coconut sauce.
My friend and I agreed that all the dishes were superb and flavorful. But the Stuffed Pechay stood out among the rest. It was exceptional because it gives you possibilities for how Filipino food can be reimagined. It came with an all Filipino flavor—tinapa, ginataan, pechay—but the combination of the ingredients was definitely something unique from the usual Filipino fare we have.
Kudos to Sandy Daza and how he has reimagined Pinoy! Last night was definitely not the last time I will go there.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.