I only got to try this restaurant once but I felt compelled to write a review for them for the excellent experience I had dining at their restaurant.
We checked in at The Exchange Regency Hotel in Ortigas last week and Mario’s Kitchen is one of the few restaurants at the hotel’s ground floor. I scanned their menu initially one time at lunch but was in a rush and decided to eat at the neighboring cafe/restaurant. For dinner though, while waiting for a friend to come over and hang out with me and my daughter, we decided to try Mario’s Kitchen.
Their menu has a bit of a Spanish feel to it. They have callos, salpicado, ajillos, chorizos, paellas etc. They also do have some Filipino dishes you can order if you are not feeling spanish at all. I asked what is their best-seller and I was told it was the Oxtail stew (I forgot the Spanish name) and so I said, I’ll order that for me and my 20-month old daughter. The waiter taking our order said however, that if the baby is eating also, she might not like the taste of Oxtail and suggested that we try their other dishes instead. I ended up ordering the Fish Fillet Salpicado which is probably one of the best decisions I have made that day (and that is why I am blogging about it now.)
The plate arrived after 15mins and it was attractive. The fish fillet was cooked golden brown, with lots of toasted garlic bits, very moist and smelled wonderful! It came with some green leaves and some cold slices of squash and served with garlic rice.
The first bite was the baby’s and she smiled from ear to ear while chewing her food. I took the next bite and it tasted as good as it looked. The fish was cooked perfectly. It did not taste to me like the fish was previously frozen. Garlic rice was also the best pair for the dish as it just enhances the flavor of the fish fillet. I asked the waiter for some vinegar as I thought it would give the dish some kick.
The vinegar served had a hint of spice with some sliced onion shoots. I just added a tiny splash of the vinegar to the fish and I knew it! The flavors were just exploding in my mouth I could not get enough of it (we had to order a second serving of garlic rice as we were eating the fish fillets bit by bit.)
My daughter and I enjoyed every bit of food in that plate and left the restaurant wanting for more. We will definitely be back there if we are in the Ortigas area again. I am looking forward to trying their other dishes! The wait staff was great too, especially when the waiter showed concern that my daughter might not like the dish I originally ordered and was bold enough to suggest other dishes in the menu.
My rating: Excellent
(food was above and beyond my expectation)