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Sabores sin fronteras
Linamnam na walang hangganan
Flavors without borders. That’s the slogan of Cinqo located at Dayton Food Park in Lipa City. That’s not just their slogan. That’s their promise and judging from our visit, it’s a promise that they intend to keep.
Cinqo is the “baby” of 2 husband and wife teams – Darrel Niño C. Hernandez and Cheryl Mendoza-Hernandez and Rodrigo G. Gaerlan and Marinel Moreto-Gaerlan. Formerly based in Singapore, which is a culinary paradise featuring cuisines from different countries, they’re constantly exposed to different dishes from different countries. Being self-confessed travel junkies, they’ve tasted most of what the culinary world has to offer.
This gave birth to the Cinqo menu. They put together their favorites so we don’t have to travel the world to taste them. In essence, they broke down the borders separating us from the rest of the culinary world. Thanks to Cinqo, we can now experience amazing flavors without borders.
As a side note, they came up with the name Cinqo after the 5 elements of the world – wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. It also signifies their belief in God, with Him serving as another “owner” of Cinqo.
About the Restaurant
As of today, they have the most impressive restaurant in Dayton Food Park. In local parlance, hindi tinipid. The frontage is very impressive with the Roman numeral V and their restaurant name emblazoned in front.
One of the first things that people will notice is their huge open kitchen.
I guess with their many menu offerings, they need to have a big kitchen. You can sit at one of their bar stools at the lower level of the restaurant if you want to see your food prepared in front of you. However, I strongly recommend eating at the second level, only to eat at one of their nice tables.
Again, hindi tinipid.
A Culinary Trip Around the World
They have a pretty good lineup of appetizers with prices ranging from Php 80 to Php 180. They’re good for sharing. You can also get their grand sampler for Php 290 so you can try everything.
We started off with one of their bestsellers – the Kani salad. I’m personally not a fan of mayonnaise, but this impressive display of colors made me try a bite.
Afterwards, the refreshing taste of the salad made me try another bite…and another…and another…until I lost count of how many bites I’ve had.
Next up is the chicken croquette. It’s served with mango marmalade but never got the chance to try it with the marmalade because the croquette is tasty enough by itself. I love the contrast in texture. You’ll be welcomed with its crunchy outer layer before you’re met with shredded chicken that’s surprisingly tender and juicy.
We tried the tempura next. It’s not one of those tempura versions that are mostly breading. It was cooked perfectly and the prawn wasn’t rubbery.
We also got the chance to try their truffle fries with Parmesan cheese. It’s the first time I’ve tried truffle fries here in Lipa. I don’t think there’s another place that serves it here.
They also served Gyoza. Pretty good serving size for the price.
We also loved the Korean wings. Don’t even think about using a fork. You have to use your hands so you can lick the glaze off of your fingers.
Overall, we loved the appetizers, but my personal favorite is the pork belly sliders.
Yup, that’s pork belly. It was very tender and flavorful. It’s a good thing that my wife doesn’t eat pork belly, so 2 sliders for me!
For the main course, we were served their rice bowls (Php 130 to Php 170). I love their concept. Here’s how to order:
- Choose your meat from beef, pork, chicken, tempura and chicken-pork.
- Choose your rice from plain, garlic (+Php 10) and seaweed (+Php 15).
- Choose your sauce from BBQ sauce, teriyaki sauce and caramelized onion.
You can also purchase add-ons. Get the bacon asparagus and you can thank me later by sending some my way.
We tried the skewers set that has bacon asparagus, chicken, chicken skin and pork.
Get this rice bowl if you can’t decide what to get.
The Chicken Karaage is very crunchy, but not hard to the bite unlike some Chicken Karaages. The teriyaki sauce complemented it well.
I love beef and I always have high expectations whenever I’m served beef, and their Beef Gyudon didn’t disappoint.
The serving was very generous and the beef was very tender. It’s so good that I couldn’t decide if I should eat it by itself so I can savor every flavor or with rice because rice is love. I ended up doing both.
The Butadon is a must-try. It’s pork slow cooked with apples and served with caramelized onion.
The pork is fork tender and packs in an amazing taste. Try it with the caramelized onion and you’d imagine that it’s something served to kings elsewhere in the world. If Cinqo decides to open another restaurant serving just rice and caramelized onion, I’m there. Hi, Marinel!
Speaking of rice, the seaweed rice is our favorite. It’s worth the extra Php 15.
Of course, an amazing meal like this should be finished off with dessert. I spied a crepe pan in the kitchen on the way up and got a bit excited, so I was very happy when they served a couple of crepes.
This one has bananas and caramel which is like Jay-Z and Beyonce because they go so well together.
This one has slivered walnuts, mango and chocolate sauce topped with chocolate ice cream.
Visit Cinqo Today at the Dayton Food Park!
You’ll love the variety of food that they’re offering. We were joking around that Cinqo is a food park in itself with the wide variety of cuisines they’re offering. The place is nice, the prices are friendly, the staff is well-trained, the owners are pleasant, and of course, the food is good. They’ve broken down the borders. Time to give your taste buds a trip around the world!
Location: Dayton Food Park, Ayala Highway, Lipa City
Contact Number: (043) 404 9676
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 5PM to 12AM
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