Isabelo: secret garden restaurant

Finally! First paycheck! Woohoo! Now…where to treat my family? :)

A lot of restaurants came up in my mind but I want to treat them to something different… somewhere special.

With that we landed in the shoe capital of the Philippines – Marikina! Where the restaurant stands is also the Dee family compound. The passion for cooking good food began with Ms. Portia’s Lola Chit and continues to this day with Isabelo Garden restaurant.

To kick off dinner, we ordered 3 appetizers – Baked Oysters, Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms and Mussels in white wine. I was never a fan of fresh oysters – or raw foods in general. I know some eat it with vinegar to lessen the kalansahan, but I also don’t like vinegar :| but when it is baked and with cheeeeese, like this, I eat it! Everything baked with cheese is good! Those red particles are cayenne pepper I think and it made it more exciting – spicy! I like! But more cheese please! :)

These little babies are delicious! It has ground pork in it showered with white sauce.

Sadly the other appetizer did not make it. Apparently they overlooked the updated menu I sent them. But no hard feelings, Ms. Portia actually called me to apologize :)

Orange herb chicken with roasted vegetables. It didn’t taste like orange – whew! Haha the chicken is not dry and has the sweetness of the orange. Just hope that it was flavourful. We did not finish this dish so we took it home. When it was reheated at home, voila, I got my wish. It was tastier than ever!!

Beef Bourguignonbeef stew in red wine or burgundy. I did ask for the chicken to be tastier, but this… is super tasty. Kind of salty for me but nevertheless it was still good. I paired every bite with a spoonful of Lemon parslied garlic rice or bread toast to tame the taste. My cousin and aunt loved this :)  (Thanks Achi Ren-ren for the pictures!)

Roasted Pork crackling. The lean parts were dry and bland. But the parts with the fat were good. When it arrived the skin looks crispy but it was actually hard so it was stressful to eat it. Maybe it was over roasted? There were 4 different sauces that came with it – I do not remember all 4 but one is vinegar and another is mango chutney. Maybe we will try our luck with this dish next time.

We ordered two pizzas – one is Quattro Formaggio. This was ok nothing special for me. But the Spinach artichoke dip pizza was really really yummy and cheesy! The thinness and crispiness of the crust was just enough.

Last but not the least… desserts! To cleanse our palette, we ate the Watermelon sorbet first. It is so refreshing! The sweetness was just right and a squeeze of lemon mixes well with it.

Next is the Mango float – it was just like mango graham cake. It was also good.

For me the star of the night was this – Key Lime Pie! I do not have the words to express how good it was! This is also the bomb!! The sweetness, the crust, the creamy sauce on top – it was crazy! It was the perfect dish to cap the night :)

What I also liked about Isabelo is it feels like you’re just having a warm dinner at home – I like the home-y vibe and set-up. Dinner is BY RESERVATION only – no walk-ins. Some of the ingredients that will be used in your orders will be bought on the day itself – so freshness is guaranteed!

From reading different reviews in the internet – aside from our starving tummies, we came with high expectations. And I’m happy to say that they delivered! Thumbs up for Isabelo Garden Restaurant! We shall return!

Isabelo Mendoza St.

San Roque, Marikina

(02) 510-6914

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