Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Adarna Food and Culture in Kalayaan Avenue Quezon City

It is... interesting.. how Filipino themed restaurants readily take potent symbols of a culture that is past. I guess that is the service that themed places do for us - they imagine a likelihood of its existence, so diners can recreate scenarios in their minds. What results as an almost caricature of how people lived in the 1900s. And these reimaginings give us a semblance of an identity.

Yet, I enjoy these reimaginings. It carries me into a different world, even if only for a few hours, where I am kept from the modern world and slip out of postmodern mindset.

For example, old Manila home structures are unlikely to be able to support a chandelier of heavy metal and brighter lights

Do elder Filipinos really have the affinity for glass fruits?

The Philippine Flag was made in Hong Kong, where most people stay in concrete flats that were usually overshadowed by taller structures, but the depiction on this famous painting show the women sewing in a wooden room (evoking memories of wooden Filipino homes) with the light filtering through the capiz-shelled window. Also, it will feel strange to wear a baro't saya in Hong Kong.

Don't know if it is a genuine depiction of the past, but were people that impractical to have a multi-colored glasses cupboard?

Notice the elegant water and halo halo glasses - old rich Manila would probably have something more shiny and crystalised that this

Fried Vegetable Lumpia - Traditionally served as an afternoon snack, the versatile vegetable roll through time has become an all-occasion Filipino table mainstay. For Php 95.

Tokwa Rebosado - crisp golden brown tofu patties served with a fresh tomato salsa for Php 120. This rendition is new to me, so while I take every opportunity I can to eat beancurd, I shied away from this one after 1 piece.

Adobong Batangas ala Adarna for PHp 240. House specialty - I loved this!

Piassok - exotic Sulu dish of beef chucks slow-cooked in smoked coconut cream and ten spices til tender-buttered, grilled and sliced for Php 335. I liked the sauce preparation and added it onto my rice, but I think our beef was cooked too soon or too long because it felt like rubber.

Toffee pudding for Php 75. I just got it because it had nuts.

Adarna Food and Culture
119 Kalayaan Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City
Tel: 632 926 8712

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