Mario's Part 1

Ah, finally! This post has taken a while I know, but nevertheless, I will not be delayed any further. A great experience is always worth sharing and relishing and this experience definitely falls under that category.

Our first blogger event ever and it couldn't have been any better. Thank you Spanx for the invitation.

Liv and I, I must confess are one of the few non-experts at Mario’s that evening. Having eaten in Mario’s only occasionally growing up and once as a couple, I guess we had quite a blurry grasp of what our favorites were except for the oysters which we had for our appetizer. With our wisdom falling short, we thought it best to make sure we experienced what Mario’s was all about through Fil Benitez’s sagely judgement.


This dish left me in awe…. It was magnificent not in that it was so complex but because it seemed so simple … Liv and I could have argued over who ate what but being the meat eater between the two of us, this dish was MINE.

Served modestly on a bed of white rice with a drizzling of light sauce and topped with the requisite garlic flakes, my Mario’s salpicado experience began the moment I slipped my knife effortlessly to part the earth toned beef’s flesh with seductive ease. Taking a few seconds revered with a deep breath, I proceeded to bare the beautiful pink, tasty, perfectly cooked beef underneath. Expertly pan-seared, Mario’s Salpicado is an homage to the beauty of 1st class Philippine beef as it relies primarily on the natural flavor of fresh, top notch beef rather than the flavor of any sauce. The zen of salpicados, this Mario’s favorite left me satisfied and reminded me that keeping it simple is really the best way to go.


Served with rolls of maki. This dish started out as a bit on the bland side, it was lightly seasoned with a drizzling of sweetish sauce that adds a shade of sweetness. I initially thought that there must have been an oversight in its seasoning or perhaps too little sauce (the kitchen was incessantly churning out freshly cooked food for quite a number of hungry bloggers after all) as the dish for some reason didn’t seem to come together for me at first. It was only until I had it with the maki that I realized that I was quite mistaken. A piece of fish, some sauce and a bite of maki revealed the reason behind the combination. The lightly seasoned Chilean seabass and the sweetish sauce was complimented by the soft rice, delectable mango and the bursting flavor of the nori. I find it quite a marvel how the intriguing maki played a vital role in integrating the different elements of the dish. What seemed like an odd mishmash coalesced and everything seemed to fall into place.

Overall, the fish was fresh as expected and like the salpicado, the Chilean seabass’ natural flavor served as the focal point of the entire dish.

(Thanks to my very generous wife for allowing me free reign at her food);p


arpee lazaro said...

it was so nice to have met you two! i look forward to bumping into you guys again!

watson said...

Wonderful photos! A Mario's restaurant has been in Session Road in Baguio for as long as I can remember... I would hazard a guess that Mario's traces its roots to Baguio?

Ruy said...

Arpee: Same here! See you soon.=)

Watson: Thanks! Yes Mario's did come from Baguio, as we found out that evening. The old timers all had Mario's memories and anecdotes. What fun.=)

Spanky said...

Orestes Ojeda in da house!!!

see you saturday sa Binondo, ruyliv!

gourmandtales said...

when will i be invited to something like this

carlotta said...

wow, mario's also sponsored a blogger's event? i wonder what other restos have done this. would like to join in one :)

Kai said...

The Salpicado made me feel hungryyyy!

Teddy said...

I LOVE MARIOS RESTAURANT... always have, always will. Cheers to the Marios Group!

Ruy said...

Spanky: Hindi ba Edgar Mande?

Gourmandtales: Hey! Musta na?

Carlotta: Yeah. These events are fun pala.

Kai: Hi! The memory of it is inspiring me to try cooking it at home. I wonder where I can buy the same kind of beef...

Teddy: Great place alright. Cheers!

Ning said...

Mario's! Have not been there in ages! Glad to hear it is still so-good classic resto!

Nhil / Call Center Gal said...

looking at the food, I'd prefer the seabass over salpicado. :)

andrew said...

salpicado : ) yum every year i make it a point to go to baguio and it would not be complete without dinner at Mario's



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