A charming house that’s converted to a restaurant, and an affordable buffet fix at that. Primero Casa Filipino is just a few blocks away from Tomas Morato. The facade of the restaurant is admirable and some may even think of it as an events place, but it’s a buffet place that won’t hurt your wallet, definitely worth checking out.
Two of my favorite things from the Buffet; Angus Beef Kare-Kare and Porb BBQ Ribs, both sinfully good.
The place is formerly known as Chef Laudico’s Casa Filipino, and since the Laudicos are not affiliated with the restaurant anymore, they’ve got a new Chef and totally revamped the buffet spread. For those of you that tried it before, with the Laudico’s dishes, you might want to give this place another try, a much deserved return trip to see what’s changed.
The restaurant has a spacious dining area, a bar, and an events venue at the second floor. It exudes a homey ambiance with the buffet spread as the center of everything.
The buffet spread was decent, almost all comfort filipino food.
BUFFET RATE / PRICE: Weekdays: P398 nett on Weekdays and P498 nett on Weekends
Layered Vegetable Terrine and Fresh Lumpia Shooters
Vegetables Wrap and Fried Dumpling
Baget and Pizza with Pesto
Beef Stew and Seafood Marinara
Chicken Friccassee and Pork BBQ Ribs
BUttered Shrimp and Vegetables Fritata
Asado Fried Rice and Chili Crabs
Angus Beef Kare-Kare
Zubuchon and Roasted Angus Beef
Rhum Balls and Banana Pudding
Ube Butter Cake and Mocha Cake
Suman Panna Cotta and Brownies
Native Palitaw and Cherry Cake
Dessert Shooters: Coffee Jelly and Halo-halo Shooters
Soft Ice Cream; Choice of Vanilla, Chocolate, or both
Like I said, the buffet spread is decent for the price. Now for the stuff that I tried, I’m a shameless meat lover and tried to concentrate on the meat, the sinful stuff, though the seafood choices were promising, my carnivorous side took over and I gorged on some meaty, pampabata stuff during our stay there.
For starters, I had an assortment of their shooters and some lumpiang shanghai drizzled with their teriyaki sauce. Unfortunately, I find the fried dumpling and poki-poki balls to be a bit oily and bland, But it’s the sisig shooters that I really liked, encased in a crispy wanton shell, it gives a nice crunch to the bite, then you hit the sisig bits; savory and with a little hint of spiciness to titillate the tastebuds, and definitely left me wanting for more.
First was the asado fried rice; savory rice topped with sweet tapa-like meat bits, gives a nice contrast in flavor, it’s salty and sweet at the same time. Then there’s roast beef, and though it wasn’t as tender as I’d like it to be, I really liked how flavorful the meat was, with the fatty bits tender and melts in your mouth, it’s quite nice. Then there’s the zubuchon, and oh- no this is not the popular lechon franchise from cebu, it’s actually the name of the dish, pork goodness cooked two ways,; the meaty bits was roasted, stuffed with herbs, infused with flavor, and the skin fried to a golden brown to achieve an almost chicharon-like crispness.
Like I said: two of my favorite stuff from the buffet; their Angus Beef Kare-Kare and Pork BBQ Ribs!
I’m not a fan of tripe, and I usually don’t eat Kare-kare, but Primero Casa Filipino’s version used succulent pieces of Angus Beef with the peanut based sauce and the ubiquitous bagoong, it’s a more rice, more fun kind of dish. Angus beef chunks oh so tender, a peanut based sauce and then the bagoong giving it a nice spike in flavor. It’s the Pork BBQ Ribs that got raves from all of us, fork-tender ribs enveloped by a sweet bbq sauce, it’s really simple yet sinfully good.
For desserts had a small plate with palitaw, suman panna cotta, and coffee jelly.
Palitaw’s one of my favorite kakanin, small and flat rice cake, chewy, sweet, and definitely filling. The suman panna cotta‘s texture was quite nice, varying components that titillate your palate, though I find it a bit lacking in flavor, it’s a nice take on the classic suman, that most of us love. Another thing that got raves was their coffee jelly, oh pronounced coffee flavor; bold and not acidic, then there’s the jelly bits that’s a bit chewy to the bite.
Got seconds of that coffe jelly that I just can’t get enough of, and also tried their halo-halo shooters, it’s really interesting to see such a small serving of this summer-time favorite, it could use some more of those flavored jelly / fruity bits though.
VERDICT: An affordable buffet fix just a few blocks away from Tomas Morato, Primero Casa Filipino has a decent buffet spread, though honestly there’s some dishes that could use some tweaking, but we had a good dining experience here nonetheless. Great service and ambiance, and the food, with a new chef, a revamped buffet spread, I’d like to think that this is a transition period for them, there’s some good stuff on the buffet spread too, at least it’s headed on the right direction.
VALUE FOR MONEY: At P398 nett on weekdays and P498 for weekends, I really think it’s reasonably priced, Ideal for dining with large groups, may it be with family or friends.