Setting. The Pilgrim restaurant’s main dining area is a long, thin gallery space with black-painted concrete flooring, grey walls, and pendant bulb lights mimicking industrial style. Space is tight with only two dining tables, a bar and kitchen you can partially see from your table. A surprising feature, vintage street lamps like those you see in Europe, gives the place charm and humour. Outside the restaurant, there are more tables and chairs for those who'd like to dine al fresco. It is a little bit hippie-ish with sequinned tablecloths and mismatched chairs.
Food and Drinks. Co-owner and head chef Dennis Tan created a menu inspired by his travels abroad. For starters, try the chicken fingers with rice crispies served with homemade mayonnaise. The chicken is crunchy on the outside and tender and juicy inside. For something sharper tasting, try the oven brick hot chicken wings, served with homemade sour cream. The skin is mildly sweet and spicy, the meat tender if a little bland.
For salad, there’s grilled beef salad, slices of grilled wagyu sirloin beef served on a bed of lettuce, cherry tomatoes and corn kernels drizzled with house dressing. For mains there are dishes from Indochina and Italy and burgers and ribs. True to the Pilgrim’s claim of serving fantastic ribs, the baby back ribs by Mr. T did not disappoint. In fact, I came back another weekend for more. It’s a 5x5-inch slab of baby back ribs, boiled then grilled to perfection. The meat falls off the bone, and the homemade barbecue dipping sauce that goes with it is perfect.
The dish is served with salad, and a choice of parsley rice or roasted potatoes, stir fried veggies or grilled corn. The wagyu hanging tenders served with peppercorn sauce and side salad is also good, seasoned just right. For drinks, try any of the healthy fruit shakes. There’s homemade iced tea, sodas and imported beers too.
Service. Warm and efficient. On Sundays, the place tends to be understaffed so expect delays in your order, particularly at lunch time.
Price. An average of P250 (about $6) per head.
Verdict. Good food, good vibe. I came back and will come back for the ribs.
The Pilgrim, 189 Unit 1-1, Maginhawa corner Makadiyos Streets, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City; Tel: +63915 386 6335
Published September 2015