Dinner at Zarzuela, Shangri-La Plaza East Mall

krispy binagoongan P359
My friend Aida told me to try the newly opened Filipino restaurant, Zarzuela at Shangri-La Plaza’s east wing. The owners, Juan and Trina Imperial were my batch mates in college.

Zarzuela, Shangri-La East Mall

Zarzuela, Shangri-La East Mall-002

Only a few stores and restaurants are open in the east wing. The new mall looked really nice and shiny.
Zarzuela, Shangri-La East Mall-001

Zarzuela, Shangri-La East Mall-003

The chicken skin was thin and crispy. I enjoyed it more with a dash of salt.
chicken skin P249
✔ ✔ chicken skin P249

I really loved the crunchy and well seasoned fried pork belly served with a trio of condiments. I normally remove the layer of fat from pork belly but since I couldn’t see it I just pretended it wasn’t there and enjoyed it.
fountain of youth P199
✔ ✔ ✔ fountain of youth P199

The addition of three different condiments was a nice touch to the pork not that it needed it. It was already good as it was but with a touch of bagoong dip it was heavenly. Their bagoong was neither too salty nor too sweet.
fountain of youth P199-001
bagoong dip, tomato vinaigrette, green mango

Crab and shrimp made into little cakes served with a calamansi hollandaise is their take on American crab cakes. Not bad at all!
crab & shrimp relleno P499
✔ ✔ crab & shrimp relleno P499

Everyone loved the bangus belly braised in olive oil and brandy. Think bottled sardines but the gourmet version. The flavors had depth and a little spice from the chilies made this dish perfect with garlic rice.
Spanish Style Bangus Belly Sardines P319
✔ ✔ ✔ Spanish Style Bangus Belly Sardines P319

Filipinos just love pork. Pork cooked any way. I’m more selective in the pork dishes I like and binagoongan is one of my favorites. Zarzuela’s version is now on the top of my list of best binagoongan. Lean pieces of pork fried until crisp and doused with good bagoong. This is definitely a MUST order.
krispy binagoongan P359-001
✔ ✔ ✔ krispy binagoongan P359

I didn’t give this dish a rating because of my two friends commented that the gabi leaves made their throats itchy. Otherwise the taste was quite good.
pinangat P229
pinangat P229

This kare kare is the menu of their other restaurant Savor in Rockwell. This is the only dish that I truly didn’t like. It lacked flavor and basically any taste. Forget about the peanutty flavor I always look for in kare kare. One of my friends even commented that the sauce tasted like instant mix. I hope they improve this dish.
Savor kare kare P429
✖ Savor kare kare P429

The Savor maruya was an excellent concept. Fried battered bananas topped shreds of langka (jackfruit), vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche and chocolate sauces. I didn’t taste any langka but that’s not what bugged me. It was a really good dessert except that the bananas tasted oily. Thankfully the oil wasn’t rancid. It was just fried wrong. I would have given this dessert three checks if not for that.
Savor maruya P129
✔ Savor maruya P129

Since the maruya didn’t satisfy the sweet tooth of six women I asked the waiter which dessert he recommended. He said the mango sans rival. I’m very, very picky about sans rival so I asked him, “Are you sure it’s crunchy? Really crunchy?” “Yes, ma’am I’ve very sure.” As soon as I sliced the cake into six even slices with nary a fallen crumb I got scared. A bite confirmed my suspicion. The sans rival was as soft a slice of chiffon cake. The waiter apologized and took it out of our bill.
mango sansrival
✖ mango sans rival P129

premium barako coffee P69
✔ premium barako coffee P69

Zarzuela bill

Zarzuela menu (click to enlarge)

Zarzuela menu
appetizer, noodles, soup
Zarzuela menu-001
pork, seafood
Zarzuela menu-002
chicken, beef
Zarzuela menu-003
vegetables, rice

Zarzuela has some excellent dishes that I would go back for. I just hope they improve their desserts. Do give it a try and let me know about your experience.

✖ skip it
✔ not bad
✔ ✔ do order
✔ ✔ ✔ MUST order

Zarzuela : A Play of Filipino Flavors
Level 6, Shangri-la Plaza East Wing,
Shaw Boulevard cor. EDSA, Mandaluyong City
cellphone: 0919-9613476

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