Monday, January 9, 2017

Maginhawa St. Gastronomic Walk #14: Provenciano (A Christmas celebration)

How do you bond with your friends? Me and my group in the office, we eat, eat and eat! We even aptly call ourselves the Kain Club -- a parody of Kanin Club, which is the name of a popular Filipino restaurant. Irony of ironies, we haven't gone to Kanin Club as a group, and we usually go to restaurants either on Maginhawa St, in our office "neighborhood" in Visayas Ave. , or at SM North Edsa. 
We celebrate milestones such as birthdays, or even the inauguration of a newly elected President of the country, and receiving bonuses by eating out.  Sometimes, we eat out even if there's no occasion to celebrate and we simply want to chat while filling our tummies. One time, a power outage caused us to stop working, and we decided it was 
a good opportunity to have some ice cream at a nearby restaurant. 
Two months ago, we even turned an "adversary" into a happy occasion. Our building (as well as other government buildings in our area) received bomb threats that turned out to be a hoax, thank God, and we were sent home early so it gave us 
another reason to eat out. 
Last December, our group celebrated Christmas by having lunch on Maginhawa St. It was Provenciano restaurant that was the choice of one of us, and we all approved. The name refers to any person who hails from the province. If you would browse 
the menu, you would discover that it comprises dishes that 
come from different provinces of the Philippines. 
Very aptly named, this restaurant is.
Our orders:

Molo ni Lolo, P270.

Provenciano Ensalada, P240.

Sinigang na Baboy, P325.
Adobong Kalding, P330.

Crispy Pata, P610. 
Pusit sa Bawang, P280.

Hardinera, P310.

Guinumis, P95.  
Condiments galore 

Inside Provenciano

Christmas 'kakanin' station

We had such a festive, delicious and enjoyable lunch apt for celebrating the happiest time of the year. All the dishes we ordered were good except for the Molo soup. Well, it could have been really tasty were it not too salty! Thankfully, there was the sinigang which sourness provided some balance. The Adobong Kalding (kambing or goat) was something different, even a little exotic for me 'coz it's not everyday I get to eat it, but I enjoyed it. The meat was tender and without any unpleasant smell as some people who shy away from it might be thinking. 
The baby squids were really tiny but the dish was big in flavor - with the sourness of the vinegar and saltiness of the soy sauce effectively doing a balancing act. It was the Crispy Pata, however, that I loved the most. The crackling of the skin under my teeth was both fun and pleasure and the meat dipped in my mixture of vinegar, soy sauce and chopped green chilies that I made from the "Sawsawan (condiments) Bar" 
were pure bliss to my taste buds.
To provide a sweet ending to our lunch, we ordered Guinumis - a dessert of sago and coconut milk that originated from where my roots came from - Quezon Province.
Speaking of the "Sawsawan Bar", it's the first thing I noticed inside Provenciano, where there's an assortment of sauces, which Pinoys love dipping their bits and pieces of meat or fish into. Outside, however, one wouldn't miss the mini-Bahay Kubo where bibingka and puto bumbong were made and sold. 
Very Christmas-sy!
Visit Provenciano, folks and enjoy your favorite Filipino comfort food with family and friends any day of the week. If you have visitors from abroad (balikbayan), it's the perfect place for bringing them for lunch or dinner. It could get jam-packed like during the time we were there so make a reservation if you're bringing 
a group, especially on weekends. 
Happy eating!

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