October 19, 2006
Maong: "Where are we going to eat?"
Anton: "sa inyo..." (in your place)
Maong: "sa amin?" (in our place? )
Anton: "no, sa In-yo"
I always love discovering new places and make my wife or friends guess where the new place is. At the rate that I'm discovering new places, it is seldom hard to find a nice resto that we have never eaten before. So when the buzz about the new In-Yo cuisine kept on arriving in my inbox, we decided to check this place out. I have a good feeling going to In-yo, since it's a filipino house converted into a restaurant and a promising Nino Laus as head chef.
This is the official meaning of In-Yō : "In Filipino, inyo means yours. In Japanese, in and yo represent the two opposing forces in the world, much like the yin and yang; and when these elements work together, a fusion and a balance are achieved. In-Yō Restaurant is a casual fine dining restaurant that offers delectable creative cuisine complemented by a one of a kind ambience. In-Yō was brought about by the love of the owners for good food and the fondness for tasteful interiors, scenic landscapes and gardens. "
It is French and Japanese fusion that I've never tasted before. Head chef Nino worked for Parallel 45 and Kai, then decided to create In-Yō along with his partner Cris the manager of the resto. They converted a part of his lola's house along E. Abada (in front of Ateneo), to a unique Filipino zen like ambiance.
There are two floors, and the 2nd floor can be reserve for special occasion for 10 people. This is where we stayed and disarrayed everything for our impromptu photo shoot. The Staff were very friendly and accomodating. Definitely a dating place that we want to keep hush hush for the moment. It is cash basis only as of now, but hopefully credit card services will be available in 2-3 weeks time. Expect to spend P600/head if you plan to eat a 3-course meal.
The verdict? In-Yō delivers on its promise of being a place of delicious food, relaxing ambience, and excellent service --- at a friendly price. This is one of those word-of-mouth secrets that I hate and love to share. Congratulations on In-Yō's first month anniversary last night!! Thanks to Thomas, Bing and Kitch for the tip on In-Yō! Lastly, another friendly tip, stay away from the ice tea and the desserts if you want to save on your bill :)
- The In-Yō Ambiance.
The following quotations below came from an In-Yō email invitation by Charisse Pau (sister of Nino Laus) to friends.
"In the midst of a busy and fast-paced society, we wanted to bring a piece of the province's relaxed and peaceful atmosphere thru the creation of a restaurant with a homely feel paired with a contemporary eclectic Asian design (most of the furnitures that you'll see in the resto are either re-used from the old house or given as gifts from friends and family who travels around asia). "
"The design concept of the restaurant was inspired by the existence of an old house right in the heart of Katipunan. (Yes, it's the same house along e-abada where i spent more than 20 years of my life... that spells my age! my friends would call our house "gubat" or forest due to the abundance of fruit bearing trees). "
"Btw, you will also see on the inside walls of the restaurant original artworks from well known artists in different media such as paintings, photography and sculptures (for the art lovers out there, you may purchase anything you find fit for your home). "
The place is not child-proof so we were afraid that Aidan might once again break something specially with the different works of Arts around the resto. What we love about the interiors is the different old musical instruments like a wooden xylophone, a guitar that resembles a ukelele, and drums. We were fortunate to stay in the second floor (pictured above) such that Aidan can freely wander and play around the room so we can take time with our photo shoot.
In-Yō Fusion Cuisine.
Roasted Fresh Tomato Soup (P120++) served with Cajun spiced shrimp and In Yo Special Iced Tea (P55++).
I don't agree with their special iced tea. My friend even boasted that she makes better iced tea than this one. Sipping the hot soup was such a delight to me, especially to Aidan. It reminded me of liquid pizza made of tomato and cheese.
Shitake Confit Salad (P149++) with honey ponzu dressing sprinkled with crispy julienned tofu.
After eating a bite of this salad, you would wonder what is this magic honey ponzu dressing that turns this ordinary salad into something special. We asked the chef, and he said that it is a Japanese sauce with kiko man and Japanese vinegar. You should try this :)
U.S Hanging Tender Steak (P347++) with red wine sauce served with buttered seasonal vegetables with pumpkin risoni.
I just loved the pumpkin risoni that came with it. The lean steak was cooked medium rare which was fine with us. Could we add more veggies on the side? We have no doubt that this is one of the best seller in the house for carnivores out there. (just a question how is a risoni related to a risotto?)
Smoked Local Halibut (P295++) with watercress relish and saffron mussel emulsion served with agli y olio pesta.
O man, the fish was cooked perfectly -- it is firm, tasty and does not crumble easily once you chew it. The pasta with garlic and saffron sauce was cooked al dente and salted to perfection too. This is maybe one of the reasons that you should not order the degustation set menu so that you can order this best seller. (btw, what is pesta vs. a pasta?)
Broiled Coconut Lime Chicken (P185++) served with ginger garlic rice and buttered seasonal vegetables.
This is by far the most "worth it" dish we had last night. You will definitely get your money's worth and more. The generous serving of meat was full of coconut flavor and tanglad / lemongrass. The presentation of this chicken drumsticks (literally) looks like a lamb serving and this is the kind of presentation that you would hate to eat.
Chocolate! Chocolate! Cake (P190++). A recommendation but it was too plain for us...I think we've tasted too many valhrona choco cake that would not match with this one.
Trio of Creme Brulee (P109). Didn't meet my expectations on their dessert. Not even a spoonful to let us get the full taste of the three flavors. I think they can do better than this and of course, add more to the serving. Go, go Chef Nino!
I love to play this poppa.
In-Yō Fusion Cuisine.
66 E. Abada St., Loyola Heights, Quezon City (behind Katipunan Avenue)
Tel# +632 426-0301, +63920 960-7202
11am - 2pm; 6 - 10pm
As you can see, I was excited to write this post. Please let me know your experience with In-Yō.