Since our first meeting and eventual foodtripping in Binondo three weeks ago, Monnette and I had been hitting various eating places like Bonnie and Clyde without the Gatling guns, but armed only with unmatched appetites. She had taken me on these long stretch of gastronomical delights along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City, the previous week. So one night I pitched the idea of exploring another street known for its many choices of dining places; Kapitolyo or Capital Drive in Pasig City.
|Photo from Gostoso's FB Page|
She came from her meeting at their main office in Sucat that evening. While waiting for her I killed time at the National Bookstore branch inside Shangri-La mall reading about serial killers and a book about Adolf Hitler. Talk about whacking time reading books about people who whacked people at a large scale. That should somehow put an end to my appetite right then.
|Quarter Chicken with Rice and 1 Side - 220 pesos|
An hour later, Monnette's "Wayz" driving app had directed her to the other end of East Capitol drive so I ran and met up with her while parked on a side street with her hazard light turned on. It was starting to rain a little that time and our original plan was to walk around first and see what restaurants or cuisine catches our hunger's fancy.
|Porco Gostoso with Olive Rice and 2 Sides - 380 pesos|
Because of the rain, we decided to just take a quick look around and it is there that we saw Gostoso Piri Piri, almost right in front of us. I was a little pissed at the rain because it ruined our plan of taking our time choosing where to eat. However, when we entered inside and saw the nice vibe of the place and I started to smell the chicken, I told her 'this ain't bad at all' and she agrees saying 'this place looks nice'. The interior is something my architect brother would approve, with its rustic appearance of wood and metal materials, industrial spot lights, bright red wall and barnished brown tables conniving for a color combination that is pleasing to the eyes.
|Photo from Gostoso's FB Page|
Since diners need to make their order at the counter and a couple was ahead of us, we took a seat by the glass window while they choose their food. We stood on cue when we saw the couple wrapping up their business at the counter and as they turn around I saw that the girl is Studio 23's news anchor Angel Jacobs and I think she stared at me for a few precious seconds and upon realizing I'm with a beautiful girl she backed off her stare. Just kidding on her giving me a stare haha.
The cashier was very helpful when Monnette asked him what the house specialties are, he quickly pointed out the piri piri chicken and porco gostoso (slow roasted prime pork rib). Being trustworthy we are, we took kuya's advice and ordered both for us and chose three side dishes consisting of creamed corn, potato gratin and mixed vegetables plus one carafe sized Gostose de Tea (180 pesos).
|Piri Piri sauce. Photo from Gostoso's FB Page|
The prices are whopping I would admit and we don't usually dine at expensive places like this, but since Monnette has just came from a very toxic day at work and I just finished half a dozen articles from my freelance writing job at home, we both deserve to splurge on a nice dinner and so we did. Gostoso's claim to food reverence is the meticulous preparation of its dishes. The piri-piri Chicken for example, centers on its marinade technique that originated in the 15th century, when the Portuguese discovered new and exciting spices to improve the tastes of their food. The Porco Gostoso is a juicy portion of a prime pork rib braised for hours making its skin taste crisp without sacrificing the tenderness of the meat.
|Our happy faces approves this eating place. Thumbs up Gostoso!|
Monnette who took up 6 units of Portuguese as part of her Cum Laude credentials at UP Diliman explains to me that Gostoso is Portuguese for "Tasty". No wonder the food we ordered are so Gostoooosssoooo, of course the tastiness are made richer by the restaurant's trademark piri-piri sauce. What exactly a piri-piri? well I've no idea at the time we were 'saucing' it on our chicken and pork rib, but after a bit of research I found out that it is (as per wikipedia) 'also called (as) African bird's eye chili, is a cultivar of Capsicum frutescens, one of the sources of chili pepper that grows both wild and domesticated' Further research suggests that it is a close kin of our own 'siling labuyo'.
Here is a short instruction on how to mix the sauce to cater to your taste bud's spiciness threshold. By the way Gostoso's piri piri sauce comes in two classes; the Starter which is mild spicy and the Joao's Piri-piri which is very spicy.
START MILD. ADD HEAT. MIX WELL. TASTE. ENJOY!
AND enjoyed we did. We finished our meal more than an hour and a half later, almost the same time as Angel Jacob and her date (husband or whatever) and Monnette asked the crew what time do they close and the amiable employee told us they take the last orders at 10:30 pm, it was almost 11 that time but they seem not to mind to have waited for us to finish our meal and instead bid us with a corteous goodbye and smiled at us as we left the establishment.