Deo Optimo Maximo

Chef Dom Dulalia grew up playing or helping in the kitchen of what used to be Aristocrat Retaurant Iloilo at the Atrium Mall. His mom Tess, used to own the local franchise of the restaurant in the city. She later decided to give up the stressful operation of running the business to focus on her family life.

Dom then studied in the United States and has worked in one of America's finest restaurants in Chicago owned by the late chef Charlie Trotter.
His first business venture with his friends a few years back was the BBQ Shack in Jaro. Today, he's more than proud to open his new restaurant at the Westgate Complex in San Rafael, Mandurriao.

Also called Deo.Optimo.Maximo or D.O.M, he now regularly takes care of the restaurant's operation.  I was invited by his friend, Ariel Castaneda to cover their opening along with his close friends and family. Maam Tess explained that Dom aims to serve great-tasting organic gourmet food.

Pork Belly + Chili Gastrique with Garlic
Kale+Ricota Ravioli

A few days after their formal opening, I was invited by Maam Tess to try more of their dishes. I didn't really know what to order first so Chef Dom and I agreed that he'll just send me the food one after another in solo sizes.

After a few minutes, respected mentor and consultant Chef Miner del Mundo arrived with a guest and he that D.O.M. is a new concept here in Iloilo. Some may question the amount of their serving here, though it's definitely worth the price, but it's like The Alchemy in Boracay. Gourmet Food! The purpose of really tasting the different flavours of each plate is to appreciate their organic sources too. You can order a variety of dishes since they're affordable too.


Special Tinuom at Punot

One of the restaurants in the city that's truly worth recommending to visitors and everyone else is Punot. For years, it has become one of my favorites and has captured a lot more of local customers. Last week, Sir Jerome Samson and Ms. Ana Manansala asked me to join them for dinner. We met at The Riverside Boardwalk and went straight ahead to the balcony on the 2nd floor of Punot and enjoyed the nice view of the River Esplanade. 
I was surprised when they offered something special for that night- the Chicken Tinuom, a native dish from the nearby town of Cabatuan. Wrapped and cooked in banana leaves, this Ilonggo dish was just perfect for my guests. I even explained that we Ilonggos use the yellowish-green round Batuan, a native ingredient found only only Negros and Panay islands that adds a sour twist to any dish.
Among their salads, this Pomelo-Balingon Salad with Cashew nuts is always my choice. We have been talking about mangoes for the whole day but I believe that it adds warmth to our bodies unlike the Pomelo which is a cooling fruit. 
Baked Imbao or Mangrove shells
My ever-favorite Kare-kare (really to die for!)
Chocolate Pizza as conceptualized by Ms. Andrea
Thank you Punot for always being there to serve us not only good food but sumptuous Ilonggo dishes that we can really be proud of.

PUNOT: Flavors of Modern Iloilo
Riverside Boardwalk in Smallville Complex, Diversion Road, Mandurriao, Iloilo City


Asian Spoon




Atria Park District
San Rafael, Mandurriao, Iloilo City