March 27, 2011

DINING: Aldente Ristorante Italiano & 101 Luna Steak House, Iloilo

We were kind of in a celebratory mood that night having tackled the Southern Heritage Trail and wanted to eat somewhere with nice ambianceand maybe have a good bottle of wine to go with dinner. So I asked some locals at Tatoys while I was finishing off a plate of the freshest oysters for a measly Php 50 (USD 1.13) washed down with an equally fresh cold buko juice where to get good steaks but they were all drawing a blank. Can’t really blame them, I mean if you have these seafood at the cheap why else would you still be craving for meat.

But being the red blooded carnivores that we are, we decided to try Sarabia Manor which is just beside our hotel. It looks posh to me from the outside so I haphazard a guess that there might be a decent restaurant within the area and if ever there is none that is up to our liking, we can just walk back to our hotel and order room service.

Turns out, Sarabia Manor is a first class business hotel in the city that boasts of several International dining options from American, to Korean, Japanese, Filipino and Italian. Their Italian restaurant Al Dente also shares the space with 101 Luna, a steak house and you guess right that’s where we headed to have our steak fix.

I was still a bit full from the huge plate of oysters I finished all by myself so I just ordered a deconstructed blackened steak salad with pine nuts, sliced apples and pears and assorted greens drizzled generously with truffle oil. I was expecting a few slivers of meat but was surprised to find huge slices of top blade steak on top of my salad done medium rare, just the way I like it. The pine nuts gives a crunchy texture while the fruit slices brings a tangy sweet contrast to the earthiness of the meat and the woodsy aroma of truffle oil. This is a well executed beautiful dish that If I can have this every day with a bulbous glass of cabernet, I’d be a happy woman.

101 Luna Steak House's
 Deconstructed Blackened Steak Salad with Pine Nuts, php220 

Kim ordered the house’s best seller steak Florentine on a bed of garlic rice with pesto sauce. The meat is seasoned very well and very tender. I’m not usually fond of garlic rice because I find them oily but this was really flavorful and really tasty having absorbed the juices from the meat. The pesto sauce also gives it a bit of a kick and rounds up the taste. Admittedly I had more than a couple of forkfuls even if I was already stuffed.

Aldente's Steak Florentine, php255

Dinner was capped off with a warm really rich chocolate cake. It’s a layered goodness of moist dark chocolate with cream filling topped with vanilla ice cream.

Aldente's Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream, php90

Dinner was incredibly satisfying and the lakwatseras are happy campers but the best part is the bill. For everything we only paid a few pesos above P800 but no more than P900. Sorry I misplaced the receipt. It was a pretty cheap dinner I should say considering we had excellent slices of protein, a glass of red and dessert in a very cozy ambiance. Service was also commendable – it being prompt and the waiters knowledgeable. All in all it was a pleasing dining experience and I wish to go back and try other things on the menu.

CUISINE:  Italian and Steaks
PRICE RANGE:  php100-800
LOCATION:  Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center, General Luna St., Iloilo City
TEL.No.:  (033) 336-7813

written by mj


  1. the photos reminded me of this great restaurant in subic...which i can't remember the name of...waaah...i will have this in my bookmark...havent been to ilo-ilo...where to go there? :)

  2. Hi Leah, thanks for dropping by. This restaurant is right across the lobby of Sarabia Manor Hotel. This is a popular hotel and sits along the highway of General Luna street, i'm betting all drivers in Iloilo knows about this place.

    At the bottom part of this entry is a bit on how to get to Iloilo, hope this helps:-)


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