Tucked in the busy streets of Maginhawa, The Pilgrim is a small casual dining restaurant that serves a variety of food inspired by the travel adventures of head chef, Dennis Tan. I, together with a handful of bloggers, were invited by OpenRice PH to take a taste of what the place has to offer, and this is what I have to say.
Rehydrate (Watermelon + Mango) – PHP 80.00
Disclaimer: During our food tasting event, we were served with various offerings, but unfortunately, I was only able to taste a very few of them. I would no longer go into details, but let’s just say that I was unable to take a bite of most of the dishes. *The people from OpenRice were really, REALLY nice, it may just have been because I was not as aggressive into taking my part. Hehe.
Anyway, since I don’t do reviews of the food that I do not consume, this review would be solely based on those that I was able to try. I did not have much, but I guess it was enough to give me a sneak peek of what the food would taste like, should I be able to eat it all. I promise to come back and taste everything, though. 😉
Shrimp Mango Salad (PHP 180.00)
During our visit, we were served with Shrimp Mango Salad as a starter. I honestly liked it a lot, maybe because I’m a huge sucker for mangoes, and it might also be the fact that the greens were served fresh. You could still feel the ‘crunch’ and the dressing wasn’t too overwhelming. It also has a hint of nuts, which complements well with the flavors. Good job, I must say!
Grilled Tomato Pasta
For the main course, I was only able to try three different dishes: the tomato pasta, the baby back ribs, and the rosemary chicken. All of which are actually tasty, and I wouldn’t really mind coming back for more. The pasta is savory, but I felt like it would be more delicious if it have more flavor. The tomatoes tastes fresh, which is something that really pleased me. Back when I was a kid, I used to not like pastas who use REAL tomatoes, but as I grew older, I realized that this is not only a healthier choice, but it is also much better than canned / packed ones in terms of the taste and flavor. The Pilgrim’s Grilled Tomato Pasta is served with strips of pork and some Parmesan cheese, all of which kinds of blends together as you eat through.
Baby Back Ribs (PHP 380)
As for their ribs, I find them very tender and soft that it actually felt like it would fall off from its bone any time. The homemade sauce is appetizing, with just a tiny hint of spice. The meat and the sauce goes in well together, with its smokiness and flavor complementing one another. This is one of their best sellers, and there is no wonder why people really loved it. I’ve gone through some reviews online and it came to no surprise that this garnered a lot of positive responses from customers. From all the dishes, I liked this one the most.
Last but not the least is their Rosemary Chicken, which is pretty tasty, but can be a bit dry. To be fair, we did not consume the food immediately, thus, we ate it cold and it might have lost its taste in the process. Of course, all food are best eaten when it’s fresh from the oven, am I right!
Food experience wise, their menu is pretty interesting, with a mix of some dish from one country to another, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it is as diverse as you would hope for. I do commend them for trying to mix out cuisines, though. According to Chef Dennis, they have a special menu that they change every so often, which features certain dishes from selected countries. I have yet to explore that option, but basing from their main offerings, they are still your usual steakhouse, serving cuisines that are leaning into the American style, more than anything.
In terms of the location, the place is easy to find, but the restaurant itself is kind of hidden from the streets. They are located at the back side of the building and it can be pretty tricky as you won’t really see their sign unless you go all the way around the building. Apparently, the space that they have rented out is actually the stock room, which explains why it felt like they were too hidden, as well as the reason why they have very limited seats for the guests. The idea, however, proved on how creative the owners can be, reusing a lot of items from the stock room, and creating the most of what they can in their rather tiny area.
Speaking of their area, do not expect any of those fancy spaces where you can walk freely — honestly speaking, the restaurant felt more like an alleyway than anything else, and the only seating available inside the store is the one at the long table. Bringing a lot of people in the restaurant can be both a blessing and a curse — blessing in case that there are no people around and you can totally ‘own’ the place; curse if in case you’re visiting with your other half and there is no other choice but to be placed on the alfresco area on a hot, summer day.
Despite their short comings, I would still love to come by the place sometime and eat again because the food is really worth it, considering its pretty affordable price. If you are looking for the value of your money, then The Pilgrim is quite a pleasant choice for a casual dining experience.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
189 Maginhawa Street Sikatuna Village, Quezon City, Quezon City
Projected Budget for 2: PHP 250.00 – PHP 500.00 per head