Pelagio, a name which has its origin in the Old Greek language, is both what the owner and the restobar is called. The name meant “sailor”, which was just apt, considering that the head chef and proprietor of this restaurant has worked in the Malaysian and Singaporean food industry before setting up shop here.
His affair with the kitchen started when he did cross-training as a staff of the Makati Shangri-La Hotel and the Renaissance hotel in the same city. This was for every department and section of the kitchen. “But when I started working in Malaysia, in an Italian restaurant, that was my first full-time experience in a hot kitchen. Nagstart akong kitchen helper, chop ka rito, chop ka roon.” He then got promoted as a cook and even got to learn how to do homemade pasta. He then moved up again and became chef de partie, and was a sous chef before transferring to Singapore. He just walked in and got a job as a bartender. His perseverance got him promoted again and eventually, a businessman took notice and invited him to work for his Mexican restaurant instead. As a beverage director, he oversaw eight outlets, but still found time to pursue what he loved most: cooking. In between shifts, he apprenticed under the Mexican chef. “Alam mo yung sa malamig na tinatawag sa atin, typical yun sa kanila, agua fresca ang tawag.”
The concept for the restaurant is Mexican-Filipino so he decided to use his name since it sounds Spanish. He’s originally from Biñan and he now lives in Muntinlupa, that’s why he when he ehard that Festival Mall Alabang is having an expansion, he didn’t hesitate and inquired right away. “Nung nagpresent na ako ng menu ko, gusto pa nila pataasan ko ang price kasi ayaw nila ng medyo mura.” A decent meal for a normal eater will cost about Php250 including a beverage beverage like their agua fresca or the usual softdrink.
He aims to give customers a cozy and “chill out” ambience. He admits that this kiosk-type restaurant is his way of exploring the market and his future goal is to set up an inline restaurant, together with some business partners. What is good about his location is that he is not part of the centralized air conditioning system of the mall, thus, enabling him to operate beyond mall hours, up until one o’clock in the morning. The passageway directly in front of Pelagio leads up to the South Station, where there are public vehicles going to southern provinces like Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas.
This writer and other foodies got to sample his alitas (5 deep-fried chicken wings served with a spicy sauce), fajitas, quesadillas, grilled liempo, homemade salsas, and his special margarita mix. The portions were generous and the taste is quite authentic, having the Mexican spicy zest combined with the Filipino penchant for saltiness.
For further inquires, you may visit their official Facebook account: www.facebook.com/PelagioRestoBar. The restobar kiosk is located at the LGF Water Garden Expansion Wing, Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Alabang.