Feeling at home at Pio's Kitchen

As a third grader (and a Star Scout!), I had an immense admiration for one of our older Girl Scout ates. She was nice, elegant, and so pretty all the boys had a huge crush on her. She had a nice singing voice, and she played the character Rainbow in a school play. I looked up to her for years, but never really knew her as a friend.
More than a decade later, as an editor at Yummy, we were looking for people to invite to be new contributors to the magazine. My styling partner, Idge, suggested this chef who ran a private catering business and who specialized in paellas. To my surprise it was my idol ate. And that's how I crossed paths again with Chin-Chin Gallegos, still beautiful, elegant, and gracious as ever. This time, I'm glad that I can call her my friend.
My college friends and I booked Pio's Kitchen one weekday to enjoy a long luxurious lunch. We had to make the reservations almost two months in advance because they were booked solid. A clear indication that Ate Chin and the team were doing something right.
Pio's Kitchen is a lovely, light-filled home in Quezon City. The place has a nice feeling to it. It had the same homey feeling as it's first location (which was a few streets away), but it was bigger, brighter, and better.
The highlight of the lunch. Not one but two delicious paellas!
The first one was a Paella Marisco, topped with an abundance of seafood. We also had a Paella Negra with saffron aoili. So luscious and good that I get goosebumps thinking about it.
We also enjoyed the roast beef tenderloin, caesar salad, Iberico chicken, baked salmon, tomato and arugula pasta. Ahh, glorious food!
We ended the meal with churros stuffed with cheese, and hot chocolate made in a batirol.
Chef Chin really enjoys what she does. Her staff love what they do, and they all want their diners to have a lovely time. Yes, you can stuff your self silly at Manila's hotel buffets, but the Pio's Kitchen experience is really something special. 
It feels like home. And one can only wish to be only lucky enough to enjoy her food everyday.
We went home with happy hearts, full bellies, and takeaway bags. Hehe! How I wish we can visit soon again.
To learn more about Pio's Kitchen, visit www.pioskitchen.com.

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