#FoodPH - Treasure Hunting - The Gold Bar Experience

This pandemic brought us to an uncertain situations no one ever predicted. Having the longest lockdown implemented in the world, Filipinos continue to look for things to do from the comforts of their homes. Now that the restrictions were slowly loosen up, with standard heath protocols still in place of course, Filipinos were starting to explore nearby destinations to have non routine experiences.

L-R: Leo Mendiola, Chef Marvin Braceros of The Gold Bar, Abigail and Ysrael

Having said that, one sunny day, my cousin Abby and her partner Ysrael invited me for a lunch. They brought me to The Gold Bar in Pansol, Padre Garcia, Batangas. They've already dined 2x before bringing me there. Abby can't stop vouching how palatable the food were and how the ambiance makes the experience more memorable. 

The Gold Bar was more or less an hour away from our hometown, MataasNaKahoy in Batangas. Since it's Monday when we visited, there's no heavy traffic and the trip was smooth as predicted. Abby booked an appointment weeks earlier as the restaurant was always full house. You need to reserve a table as they don't usually accept walk-ins. To have your seats guaranteed, I advise you to check their official Facebook Page.

A greenhouse on the left side of The Gold Bar that features different plants for plant mom and plant dads out there.

When I saw the place from the outside, it's very inviting. The feel was very homey like you're just visiting your long-time-no-see friends. The place was newly renovated. It's surrounded with lush greens which I guess adds a calming effect. Since the place was also fully booked when we visited, the management offered us a seat inside the pastry bar. It's the only table in the bar so it feels like we reserved the whole area.

Very homey ambiance. 

The menu was inspired by Chef Marvin Braceros' professional experience in Italy. The menu was simple and handpicked for Batanguenos palate. It was divided into 5 categories. Antipasti or starters, Entree, Primi or first plate, Secondi or second plate and dolce or desserts. 

Top: Gianchetti
Bottom: Kwekwek Arancini

For Antipasti, we ordered Gianchetti which was a mix of silver fish, parsley and parmesan cheese formed into a ball served with house vinegar. Kwekwek Arancini on the other hand was a play for Rissoto stuffed with quail egg topped with special tomato puree and cheese. I prefer the former because it presents innovation and I haven't imagine Risotto served this way. Good job chef!

Adobo Rice Bowl

At the moment, they only have Adobo Rice Bowl for the Entree. The Gold Bar version of this Filipino classic is a hit! Instead of putting vinegar on the meat, they were serving it with vinegar rice. They also added slices of mango and cucumber on the side to balance out the acidity.

Frutti de Mare, Carbonara and Lasagna

For the Primi, we had Frutti de Mare or Mix Seafoods Linguini, Lasagna and Carbonara. These dishes were not the typical pasta you order at well known fast food restaurants out there. These dishes have authentic Italian taste and touch. For Frutti de Mare, they used fresh tomatoes and then topped with mussels, calamari, shrimp and parmesan. Unlike other Italian inspired tomato sauce which was very acidic, this one has the right amount that balance off the seafood. For Lasagna, it's ragu bolognese and besciamella. I got 'kilig' at first bite. The Classic Carbonara has the right amount of sauce and it taste great as well.

Left: Arrotolato
Right: Coroletta Ala Milanese

For Secondi, we had Arrotolato which was made of rolled chicken thighs stuffed with cheese, sweet potato leaves and bacon. This was another favorite of mine. It has a clean taste and perfectly seasoned for my palate. It's fresh, simple, and pure. Cotoletta Ala Milanese on the other hand was made of pork cutlet with herbs and parmesan. It's their take of breaded porkchop.

The famous Ube Cheesecake

As they always say, leave some space for desserts. We tried 3 different kinds of pastries available that day. We had the best seller ube cheese cake, fruit basket and choco hazelnut cake. The Ube Cheesecake is so divine and creamy. The Fruit Basket was delicate and has the right amount of sweetness. The Choco Hazelnut Cake tastes like Ferrero Rocher.

Choco Hazelnut Cake

We capped the experience with a hot cup of Cafe e cioccolato and an iced Marochinno which consists of a shot of espresso, cocoa powder and milk froth.

Cafe e cioccolato

We were lucky enough to have a chit chat with Chef Marvin Braceros as he shares his humble beginnings, knowing his inspiration for putting up The Gold Bar and where he wants it to be in the coming years. Hoping that more people and foodies alike discover this hidden treasure in Padre Garcia, Batangas, that is, The Gold Bar.

Thank you Abby and Ysrael for the treat!

You can locate The Gold Bar by pinning Chair of Saint Peter Chapel Pansol Padre Garcia Batangas.

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