The Pilgrim: Travel the World at a Corner Resto
Christa De La Cruz | May 26, 2015
Food says a lot about the society from which it came from. Ingredients, preparation, and even plating play a role in defining borders and, sometimes, even merging differences.
The Pilgim, a four-month-old restaurant in Quezon City's major food hub, recognizes this anthropological linkage with the tagline "Dine, Travel, and Explore."
"Pilgrims travel a lot, share a lot of things," said chef and owner Dennis Tan when asked about the name. His vision for the restaurant is to become a hub where people can share their experiences, recommend dishes to try, brainstorm on places to explore, meet fellow travellers, and learn various cultures.
Chef Tan himself was trained in various countries and he wanted to share this travel and food know-how through The Pilgrim.
Laidback in the City
Maginhawa St., lying in the outskirts of Metro Manila's busiest city, seems to have its distinct ambiance—a mellow spot where friends have great conversations over a good meal. This gives a much-needed breather for the chef who grew up in fast-paced Makati.
Upon arriving there, one can easily see the small and narrow space in both the al fresco and inside dining. It can fit 25-30 people once the tables are moved around to accommodate more. "They're all VIP because they travel to get here," says the chef who understands the arduous travel to the city up north.
West & Southeast on Philippine Soil
The Pilgrim put the "Baby Back Ribs by Mr. T with Homemade BBQ Sauce" at its menu's forefront. Without going overboard in presentation, the meat undergoes a long preparation time and four-step process—smoking, boiling, putting in the oven, and grilling. It's no wonder that the baby back ribs is the top pick at the restaurant. With its sweet sauce and tender meat, one may even ask for a second plate.
The menu is a mix of Western and Indo-China cuisine. Chef, however, emphasizes that these are not fusion dishes. Most are made from scratch, even the dressing, and all ingredients are locally-produced.
The following dishes are just some of the most-wanted on their menu:
Perfect for capping off a tiresome day in the city, their concoction of fruit shakes has interesting names:
- Sublime - watermelon, cucumber, lime
- Rejuvenate - green mango, coconut, mint
- The Cure - mango, papaya, wheatgrass, lime
- Rehydrate - watermelon, mango
- Stabilizer - mango, carrot, mint
- Revitalize - coconut, wheat grass, lime, mint
- Rehabilitate - watermelon, lychee, wheatgrass.
Chef Tan shares that his cooking philosophy is "I do it by heart." When one has traveled the world, the next best thing to do is share that to others—through food.