“It’s something that people try to make money out of nowadays, and it’s the only thing they care about,” rues Chef Balam Nazar, about the current state of Mexican food offered to the public. “There is still a lot of culture that has to be preserved, from the way you process and serve food to the way you respect ingredients.” Balam heads the kitchen at Dodjie Violago’s Lo de Alberto, a Pasig-based restaurant that intends to give Filipinos a genuine Mexican gastronomic experience.Violago and Balam believes in serving their food with respect to tradition and quality, and is reflected even in their aesthetics. Upon entering, you’re greeted by colorful murals, intricate tiles and textures, and most importantly, large tables and comfortable seats.Their menu is traditional Mexican, filled with dishes that the average Pinoy might have not heard before. There’s their Sopa Azteca (soup with tortilla and chili) and the Salsa Macha (Mexican pesto made with dry chili straight from Mexico). They also have their own version of Ceviche but with the twist of adding chili sauce. They have Molletes, which presents itself as a heavy appetizer, as well as the rich Rahas con Crema cream sauce. You might be familiar with Suadero, Carnitas, and the like, but here they try to make these dishes more interesting with ingredients flown from Mexico, including dried chilies and nuts.Chef Balam shares that it was at first a challenge dealing with ingredients and producing quality tortillas. He didn’t want them to be subpar so he began cooking everything from scratch, from the sour cream sauces down to the tortillas themselves. “When you want a taco or a burrito, you want good tortilla,” he explains. “It has to be soft. It should not break, and it also has to taste like it wasn’t in the fridge beforehand.” Once you order, they make the tortilla then and there.As a restaurant, Lo de Alberto presents authentic Mexican food that’s flavorful but still healthy. Here, you can do what you want to do: Eat and have fun, all while satisfying your taste buds.Produced by Alyssa Castillo
Photography by Renzo Navarro
Assisted by Andre Drilon
LO DE ALBERTO IS IN CITY GOLF PLAZA, PASIG CITY, OPEN FROM 11AM ONWARDS EVERYDAY. FOLLOW THEM ON FACEBOOK.COM/LODEALBERTPH AND INSTAGRAM at @LODEALBERTO.