Located in Glorietta, Dekada: Historic Filipino Cuisine is one of the places you may visit if you’re looking for Filipino food. The restaurant’s simple facade blends a little too well into the background, though, making it a place easy to miss if you’re not paying attention to where you’re going. Here’s a tip, it’s right next to where Glorietta meets Landmark, on the second floor.
The interiors of the restaurant were decent and gave the feeling that you’re entering someone else’s old home. The main attention-getters were the different images of old stuff and iconic Filipinos seen on each of the chairs. Dekada is owned by the same group who handles SumoSam, Akira, Balboa and other restaurants. If you’re familiar with these brands, then the chairs used in Dekada could have given you some clues since they’re quite similar to the ones from the other restaurants’ mentioned.
Once you’re inside, take a look around and you’ll see old cassette tapes, books and other knick-knacks that would transport you back to several decades ago. Some people may feel a sense of nostalgia when they see the stuff.
In keeping with the theme, all of the items on Dekada’s menu were named after people, places or events which have become part of Philippine history. I would’ve loved to learn a bit more on how or why the place used the concept, but couldn’t find someone from the service team whom we could have a chat with. A shame really as half of the fun of trying new restaurants is understanding the concept behind them.
Now on to the food!
After perusing the menu, my friends and I ended up trying three different drinks during our visit. From left to right: Aquino (bottomless mango juice, Php98.00), Cardinal Sin (watermelon shake, Php128.00) and Marcos (bottomless dalandan, Php98.00).
After several minutes, all the dishes prepared for us were brought out all at the same time, starting with the Yamashita or their version of Sinigang na Sugpo sa Kamias (Php389.00).
The one we had from Dekada wasn’t the type of sinigang I’m used to, especially since I found that the kamias gave the soup a faint bitterness. It wasn’t bad, but it did take me a bit of time before I started to like it.
Their Aguinaldo (Php389.00), or Twice-Cooked Adobo, was made from beef ribs. I wasn’t able to try this since I don’t eat beef, but my companions mentioned that it wasn’t the best they’ve tried.
Another beef-centered dish served was of a classic favorite among a lot of Filipinos: the kare-kare. In Dekada, they refer to this dish as the Gomburza (Php348.00). It’s made with ox-tail, tripe and assorted vegetables cooked in a peanut butter-based sauce.
Since I’m not a beef-eater, I only tried the sauce to see how their version fared against the other ones I’ve tried before. I thought the sauce was on the watery side and lacked a bit of flavor. However, my friends did mention that the ox-tail and tripe were cooked to a nice tenderness.
We also had the chance to try the Agustino Bagoong Rice (Php328.00). For this dish, the rice was cooked with some shrimp paste, then topped with thinly sliced green mangoes, scrambled eggs and grilled liempo (pork belly). I thought it was a flavorful dish, with just the right amount of saltiness to it. I just wished that the liempo slices were a bit more tender and that it was served hot, instead of just warm.
To end our meal, we shared a serving of the classic Puto Bumbong with Cheese (Php148.00 for four pieces). Traditionally made with sticky glutinous rice and then steamed inside small bamboo tubes, it’s an item enjoyed by most with some melted butter or margarine, sugar, grated coconut and cheese on top or on the side.
Again, much like the rice, I would’ve preferred if this was served hot. Since it was placed on our table alongside everything else, the puto bumbong has become cold and a bit hard by the end of our meal. I thought this has affected its ability to impress us diners.
Dekada’s food offerings were mostly focused on your usual Filipino staples and are served family-style. To be honest, selling Filipino food isn’t exactly the easiest thing to market here as there will always be somebody who has a relative who makes a better version at home. This is especially true if you don’t have that extra oomph to separate it from the everyday. I honestly thought that Dekada has potential and definitely has some room to improve itself overall. It would also be extra nice if their wait staff were more engaged with their customers.
Feeling curious if Dekada can whip up items worthy of a spot in history, or will they fade away into obscurity? Drop by one of their branches and find out. They have a store located at the 2nd floor of Glorietta 3 in Makati City and another branch at the Ayala Fairview Terraces in Quezon City.