History Lessons Over Lunch at Dekada Historic Filipino Cuisine


A little history lesson over lunch didn't hurt nobody! Unless you are not too fond of the Marcoses. Lol!
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Useful Tidbits:
 
Location: Fairview Terraces branch


Budget: PhP 300-350 per head

Ambiance: Historic Hispano-Filipiniana

Business Hours: Fairview Terraces mall hours 10 am to 9   pm (weekdays)/ 10 pm (weekends)

Must try: Laguna Salad (yellow and green mangoes, tomatoes and shrimp)
 
Parking: mall parking
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The History Book, rather the Menu

I must say their menu book was uniquely and creatively presented. It was sort of a full-photo album of their dishes.

My wife loves the menu design. She said it's one of the most beautiful menus she's seen - very vibrant and never boring.

The dishes were presented in a chronological fashion - from Spanish conquest, to the revolution and so forth. These dishes were also named after key places, persons, or events of our history. It almost felt like I was poring over a history book.

I should complain, however, of too many references to the Marcoses from the images to the names of dishes.


Posing with the Dekada colorful history book.. este...menu. 
The Menu cover.

The Menu is in full color which creatively presents the dishes in historic chronologic fashion, much like a History book.

Just a peek at the full-color menu. This page is the sweets section.

The Ambiance
 
Ambiance is uniquely Filipino. With tables, chairs and cutlery reminiscent of old Hispanic times. Christmas definitely was in the air with Filipino carols like "Pasko Na Sinta Ko" and "Araw ng Pasko" playing in the background. Original Filipino Music such as "Kahit Maputi na ang Buhok Ko" should tug heart strings especially if I were an Overseas Filipino Worker vacationing in the country.

The restaurant is connected to the department store Wellworth. And it just felt a bit less intimate that beyond the glass window, one can see a toiletry rack. Although it felt quite disjointed, I do hope the other branch is more compact and solitary. 

The tables and chairs of the interior juxtaposed to the toiletry racks at the other side of the glass wall.
The Hispano-Filipiniana chairs and tables along with the huge portraits in the wall.

I admire the huge panels decorated in strategic areas in the resto. Some featured terracotta photos of American generals, some of our previous Philippine presidents, some of course are Marcos'. Most noteworthy however are the giant black-and-white typography panels.  

The interior design was exquisite and Pinterest-worthy. My wife is actually deriving inspiration from the interiors for our dream kitchen. 
 
Incandescent bulbs descending from the ceiling in lieu of chandeliers gave the Filipino resto that modern feel.
A Pinterest-worthy typography art panel.
Words of Wisdom from Rizal, MacArthur, and Cory. Oh did I forget Marcos?
  
What We Ordered


For two hungry mouths, the following dishes we ordered proved to be quite a mouthful. Hence, I reckon these dishes may be shared for 3 persons. Or 4 friends on a diet.

Laguna Salad (yellow and green mangoes, tomatoes and shrimp, drizzled with Vinaigrette)

The Laguna salad proved to be a revelation! Ripe and green mangoes, tomatoes tossed together. The vinegar balanced the taste well and the end product was a salad with just the right acidity. Great way to open the meal!

Kempeitai (Gising gising): Baguio Beans sauteed in coconut milk with heaps of chili.

This dish was shown from the part of the menu where the Japanese occupation was depicted hence the monicker - Kempeitai. Gising gising in Filipino means "waking up". Truly this veggie dish lived to its name, thanks to its spiciness. The string beans are sauteed in coconut milk, with ground beef and thrown in with a couple of chili. A wonderful vegetable side dish.

Lopez Jaena (Adobong manok sa Gata) : The popular Filipino food staple, chicken adobo cooked with an interesting twist-in coconut milk. 
I expected more from Lopez Jaena since anything that is named chicken adobo or any dish with coconut milk stands alone as a great viand. But together they don't blend well in a culinary sense, methinks.

The flavor of the chicken was not evenly distributed. My wife's chicken piece was even bloody and raw in the inside. It was actually a chore for me to finish the whole thing. When I finally gobbled the last bit, I felt a bit light-headed afterwards. Maybe I have had too much sodium to take that day.

I hope they make some improvements on this dish. I really do think in theory the dish sounds delicious. I'm pretty sure a bit of a tweak should well impress the foodies.

The Waiters 
The waiters and staff were courteous and competent. They were dressed in modern Filipino garb and were sensitive to our needs. Thank you for the good service guys! 
The Verdict
Judging from my recent trip here, I say going down memory lane is worth trying once a year. Or maybe twice, however frequent you deem it fit to revisit history. 

I might just come back here if I have a foreign guest whom I want to discuss Philippine history with over lunch AND  should I have the extra bucks to spare. 
Besides, the UP activist in me says the menu designs and the art panels are tad too pro-Marcos. #justsayin
We rate our experience at Dekada 2.5 reverberating Filipino Christmas jingles out of a possible 5. 


Know more about Dekada by following their social media accounts at:

Facebook: DekadaPH
Instagram: Dekada_PH

We hope we've educated your decision on your next food trip. Your comments and suggestions below are most welcome!

Your resident foodie,

Eric

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