I’d actually already had dinner with my sister one night when her husband came to meet us at the mall. He hadn’t eaten yet so we said we’d just accompany him to wherever he decided to have dinner. Leaving the mall behind, we drove to Maginhawa in Quezon City to try another culinary find along this gem of a street. For some reason, we found ourselves in front of Parrillada Grill; none of us have ever heard of the place so we’re not sure exactly what brought us there. Anyway, after throwing caution to the wind, we went inside.
Parrillada’s interior has a very homey feel to it. It might be the lighting or the millions of pillows lining the long bench on one wall. It probably seats about 40 at the most, counting the tables outside. In a small area by the cashier was a small store where you could buy various items from small mason jars to bite-size Butterfingers.
With a name like ‘parrillada’ (which is Spanish for ‘barbecue’), you’d think the menu would consist mainly of grilled Spanish dishes but the cuisine is only one of many making up the list, which also includes Filipino and American, among others. From there, we settled for Calamares Fritos, Mussels ala Parillada, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Parrillada’s Tenderloin with Shrimps, and Sizzling Tapa with Egg. As one by one our orders started arriving, they looked so appetizing I couldn’t resist picking at each one despite having already eaten.
The Calamares Fritos were lightly battered, crispy and not too salty. Parrillada’s Tenderloin with Shrimps was also really good. My brother-in-law asked for medium rare and they delivered. The beef was the right texture and seasoned just enough to enhance the flavor of the meat.
The Mussels ala Parrillada, which are supposedly one of Parrillada’s most popular offerings, were tasty for the most part. The small amount of sauce or broth it had was a bit on the sweet side, but the mussels alone were pretty good. The Sizzling Tapa with Egg wasn’t served on a sizzling plate, so I guess they were using the term loosely. My sister said the tapa was a little sweet too, so I skipped that one. She liked it, though.
My favorite dish of the night was the Chicken Cordon Bleu. Once I got over the shock of how big the serving was and started eating, I found it well-seasoned, crunchy on the outside, and not overcooked. Did I mention it was big?
Aside from the great food, I’d also like to say kudos to two other impressive points about Parillada: our server Jonnell (pretty sure that’s right) and the restaurant’s bathroom.
Jonnell offered us five-star service right off the bat. As soon as we sat down, he brought us each a glass of cold water. After we ordered, he gave us the Wi-Fi password without us asking. He thoughfully asked if we wanted to change the TV channel (at that point, we were the only ones there), and also apologized for the bit of smoke coming from the kitchen because the exhaust fan was broken. If this somehow reaches you, thanks for taking care of us (and let me know if I got your name wrong).
The bathroom was exceptional, especially considering Parillada was a small and not-too-popular place. It was clean, well-stocked with essentials (toilet paper in a public restroom makes for a happy customer), it smelled good because of all the aromatic stuff, and had fancy plant decor. It’s like how the powder room of your rich best friend’s house would look.
So with delicious food (that made me eat pretty much a second dinner), a great ambiance and fantastic service, I’m definitely coming back. Hopefully with an empty stomach next time.
Overall rating: ★★★★☆
Ground Floor, Maginhawa Building, 189 Maginhawa Corner Makadios Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
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