Saturday, June 15, 2013

First Time at Ilustrado Restaurant, Intramuros

Ilustrado is a quaint, fine dining restaurant tucked inside the historic, walled city of Intramuros in Manila. It serves Filipino-Spanish cuisine. I had a dinner there last Monday night with family and friends. It was our first time and we enjoyed our dining experience despite a few drawbacks.

Ilustrado has a lovely and romantic ambience. The place is dimly-lit which makes it perfect for dating couples. The tables are covered with white tablecloths which make them neat and pleasing to the eye. We got seated on a long table because we were a group of nine adults.

During our visit, there were only three tables occupied (us included) and we had the following food to share:


Ilustrado Spanish Meat Platter, P495. This came in a small serving. Like each meat (there were a total of four) only had two to three bite-sized pieces. We partnered it with the complimentary bread (which was soft and yummy) to the delight of our taste buds. A good start to our dinner that night.


Ilustrado Caesar Salad with Parmigiano Cheese Shavings, P350. This was ordinary. Good thing it had bacon and cheese in it which made eating the salad worthwhile.


Pandan Chicken Salad, P250. I loved this salad! The dressing was very good and the chicken strips were juicy, tasty and nicely-grilled.


Paella Ilustrado, P850. This dish was a meal in itself. It was good but I've eaten better paellas before. (I even know of a restaurant that serves the best paella in town.) I also think the serving was small for its price. It was actually smaller than it looks in the photo above.


Callos Madrilena, P450. Callos Madrilena is one of my fave Spanish dishes. Ilustrado's version didn't disappoint. The sauce was very tasty and flavorful and had just the right consistency. The ox tripe was melt-in-your-mouth!


Sinigang na Ulo ng Salmon sa Miso, P450. This tasted okay and I liked how the saltiness and the sourness were on the right level. The veggies were half-cooked which made them retain much of their flavors.


Adobong Bagnet with Baby Prawns and Crab Fat, P450. This dish had a few pieces of pork cutlets and one giant prawn in a rich adobo sauce. It was good but nothing exceptional and I didn't taste much of the crab fat.


Ultimate Cheesecake, P180. If there is something on Ilustrado's menu that's worth coming back for, then this is it. We all loved this dessert! It was really the "ultimate" because it came complete with fresh mangoes and blueberry and strawberry toppings placed in individual cups and put on the side of the cheesecake.


Chocolate Marquize de Pompador, P180. This dessert had a smooth texture filled with chocolate-y goodness. We finished it in no time.


We also ordered drinks individually. I had a Virgin Daquiri (P140) which had calamansi juice, pomegranate juice and some syrup. Sadly, it was too sweet for my liking and the calamansi juice overpowered the pomegranate juice.

The service was friendly. I just didn't like how we still had to request for bread and water refills (that took a long time to be granted) when there were only a few tables occupied. The staff should be more attentive to the needs of their customers if only to ensure repeat visits.

Untitled our group

Judging from our dining experience, I still think Ilustrado is worth a visit. It's a nice place and the food is generally good. A restaurant's service can always be improved naman.

Prices at Ilustrado already include VAT. Expect a 10% service charge to be included on top of your bill. During our visit, we paid P5,000+ for everything. I suggest allotting P500 per person if you're sharing food as a group. Otherwise, it should be P700-P1,000 per head.

Ilustrado Restaurant
744 Calle Real Del Palacio
Intramuros, Manila

(+632) 527-2319

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