It had taken quite a while to review again for Open Rice. And I'm glad to receive an invite from them again after a long time. This time, we were invited to review a Marikina restaurant called Patio Vera. Tucked inside the heart of Marikina's bustling mix of commercial + residential neighborhood, Patio Vera is an oasis to begin with. It's like discovering a secret place just like Frances Hodgson Burnett's old classic, The Secret Garden. Patio Vera is a quaint romantic restaurant. Imagine dining to heirloom family recipes in an eclectic setting.
Patio Vera welcomes its guests with quirky little stuff from the past combined with modern items such as Ugu Bigyan's pottery leaves adorning the reception area. They also have al fresco dining, air conditioned and private function rooms as well. Touring the house, it had given me both eerie and romantic feel at the same time. It is one of those old ancestral house cum shoe factory that's converted into a restaurant. And honestly, it seemed like every nook and cranny of Patio Vera had a different story to tell.
Since this is a food review, I'd rather focus on the food itself and not so much for their ambiance. Although we could not deny that part and parcel of the ones we pay for in a restaurant such as this is the ambiance. We were served with Dinamita (P205--chorizo with cheese stuffed jalapeños ) rolls with sweet and sour dipping sauce. I love dynamite because its got the perfect combination of flavors--salty and somewhat creamy textures from the cheese, more texture from the chorizo, crisp from the wrapper and some kick from the chilies.
Dinamita-Chorizo and cheese stuffed jalapeño with sweet and sour chili sauce
Vaca Salpicao-Beef tenderloin, garlic amd olive oil
Patio Vera's Vaca Salpicao (Php255)--Beef tenderloin, garlic and olive oil. Fork tender beef strips and chunks of beefy goodness. Meanwhile, the Mixed Seafood Suam na Mais (Php355) is one comforting soup. It reminds me of the kind of soup my grandma used to make for me each time I get a fever or am not feeling well. Piping hot soup and flavorful and filling. Perfect for a rainy weather or the cold Christmas season.
Mixed Seafood Suam na Mais
Patio Vera's Kare-kare are filled with half cooked vegetables and melt-in-your-mouth ox tail! Peanut buttery taste of the base soup was good enough even without the need for Bagoong paste.
Sautéed Banana Heart with Shrimp in Coconut Cream
The Sautéed Banana Heart with Shrimp in Coconut Cream was a revelation. I'm used to eating Banana Heart stuffed in lumpia rolls or with vinegar but never on a dish with coconut cream. The coconut cream gave the dish its unique sweet taste while the shrimp provided some savory taste. A great balance of flavors indeed.
The Longganisa Carbonara (Php285) in garlic parmesan cream tastes so-so for me. Sorry but when it comes to pasta, I have high standards. If the pasta isn't cooked al dente, I'd rather try ln the next dish. Enough said.
Paella Mariscos (Php500++) wasn't as dry as the ones I've tried in other restaurants. Patio Vera's Paella version tastes a bit saucy for me. It's got squid rings, clams, mussles and eggs on marinara tomato sauce. Based on other reviews, it's hailed as Patio Vera's best selling dishes.
Escabeche Classico-Dory fillet in garlic, onion, ginger and lychee.
Have you ever heard of a dish infused with lychee? I used to think lychee can only be used in desserts such as gelatin or almonds like the ones they do at Chinese restaurants. But Pario Vera had used lychee to erradicate or lessen the "fishy-taste" of Escabeche Classico. Dory fillet in garlic, onion, ginger and lychee. The results? Sweet and sourness in a dish!
Everlasting-Marikina's version of meatloaf or embutido
Am no huge fan of meatloaf but you might want to give this Everlasting a try when you come and dine at Patio Vera. It reminds one of Embutido, only more milky or creamy in taste.
Pork Humba--cooked without soy sauce but annato oil
I wanted to try this dish called Pork Humba since I was intrigued that they used annato oil instead of soy sauce. Unfortunately, it probably tasted so good that the only thing that was left was green bell peppers. So I wasn't able to try it.
Blushing Bride Smoothie-Strawberry and Cream Shake
I love this Blushing Bride Smoothie. So natural in taste, not too sweet. I doubt if it even has sugar! But it tastes jist as what strawberry shakes are supposed to taste.
The fried Halo-halo was amazing! With sweetened jackfruit, ube/purple yam, red munggo beans, macapuno and vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup! How can you go wrong with that?
Tres Leches sliced cake
The Tres Leches and Chocolate Cake are great ways to cap off your meals at Patio Vera.
Come and visit Patio Vera for a unique dining experience. You could even ask for a house tour for free!
The only downside is you have to make a reservation prior to your visit and Patio Vera has no parking space.
Patio Vera is located at 70 Gen. F. Santos Street, Calumpang, Marikina City