When passing through Greenbelt 5, travelers should stop by Restaurante Pia y Damaso, if not for a subversive Filipino meal, then definitely for the dessert! Customers find themselves engaging in a no holds barred dessert-a-thon, with the establishment offering some of the most delicious Filipino desserts one has ever had the pleasure to enjoy.
With regard to simple pleasures Filipinos enjoy, Damaso’s Davao Malagos’ Goat’s Milk Leche Flan (Php 160) is a perfect example. It may look small, but the baked caramelized goat’s milk flan is dense and creamy with a hint of citrus and a touch of tartness with native lime dayap zest in the dessert.
Another classic Filipino dessert is the Brazo Ni Dona Vicki (Php 100), a chewy meringue roulade with fresh butter curd, making for a light and fluffy brazo de mercedes – something that seems Spanish but is actually very Filipino, much like the character Doña Victorina de los Reyes de Espadaña in José Protacio Rizal’s famous book, Noli Me Tangere, which inspired the restaurant.
The Tsokolate Eh & Toasted Ensaimada Quezo De Bola (Php 250) is made with Davao tablea cacao and Malagos’ goat’s milk, making the dip-cum-drink thick and heavy. Taking a small sip, I relished the feeling of the warm, sweet liquid slowly sliding down my throat. Dip a piece of the toasted ensaimada into the chocolate mixture before taking a bite for a messier yet delightful experience.
For the self-proclaimed chocolate connoisseurs, Sisa’s Dementia (Php 175) will do you in. A rich truffle cake with white chocolate almond pastille in between layers of dark chocolate mouse covered with a devilish layer of gânache. One just cannot say no to a thick slice of dementia.
Named after the fictional character Don Custodio’s Pepay The Dancer’s Halo Halo (Php 220) will make you want to do a little jig from sheer happiness when your server puts this in front of you. Chockful of native goodies, a big glass (or small vase – however you want to look at it) is filled with red mongo beans, langka, garbanzos, kaong, nata de coco, jalea, goat’s milk leche flan, candied kamias, saba, guava, quezo de bola, fresh pastillas, and ube ice cream.
Restaurante Pia y Damaso’s Bibingka Waffle (Php 150) may not stand out in terms of aesthetics, especially when put side-by-side against Damaso’s other desserts, but it does stand out with its bold flavor – a very Filipino combination of sweet, salty, and creamy. Made with Malagos’ goat cheese, quezo de bola, salted egg and coco jam, this blows you away in its simplicity.
A dark chocolate cake that packs some heat is the Diablo (Php 150). This bittersweet chocolate pudding hides the fact that its made with with special spices and siling labuyo (a small, fiery native chili) that makes for a hot surprise, only to be quelled with a cinnamon crème anglaise and complimenting caramelized fig compote.
Restaurante Pia Y Damaso is located on the 2nd floor of Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati. For inquiries or to make a reservation, please call +63 729 5511.