Blending Old and New at Tiago

The past and future (of food) meet at Tiago! 

Because I can think of no better way to describe their amazingly inventive food!


Sigrid and DJ Buendia, along with Chef Kenneth Villaluz opened Tiago, a progressive Filipino cuisine restaurant. “Progressive” is a relatively new term for food (Heh. Get it? New term?), but I’ll get to that later. 

IMG_4285 The name “Tiago” is from Sigrid and DJ’s first born, Santiago! 

Less than a year old and already awarded one of Philippine Tatler's 2014 Best Restaurants!

First I want to talk about Tiago’s exquisite interiors! It is ART, and the space is the canvass. According to Sigrid, they were going for a nostalgic-industrial appeal. What they pulled off is nothing short of AMAZING

IMG_4269 IMG_4248 IMG_4263 IMG_4261 Sigrid’s Lolo’s type-writer, vintage radios and old-fashioned car models 
give the place a stylish, laid back, classical feel. 

But it’s no surprise that their restaurant looks so darn good. Sigrid is a graphic artist. She handles the artwork from wall doodles to the menu design. While her husband, DJ, is Tiago’s interior designer. He designed and MADE almost everything else you see in the restaurant! There couldn’t be a better partnership. 

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From the colored-cement walls, to the pipes sticking out and the palette-inspired tables, 
every inch of their small space is methodically thought out. 

IMG_4268 The person who hand-made this, thinks my blog art looks cool! Awesome!

Tiago’s unique urban vintage combo perfectly reflects their similarly unique, progressive Filipino cuisine.

Chef Kenneth, a well-traveled chef, former culinary arts teacher and one of the owners of Tiago created their progressive menu. But what is progressive, you ask? Chef Kenneth describes it as upgraded food – traditional Filipino favorites that are improved in some way. 

And improved they were! Everything we tried, from the unique appetizers to the brain-melting desserts were all top notch! 

For the appetizers, we tried their Stuffed Pechay and Tiago’s “nachos”. There’s no other kind of pechay I eat except this one and it’s because of that delicious coconut milk sauce and pork, shrimp, tinapa and peanut mix inside! And their “nachos” aren’t your typical chip pulutan. It’s made of flour tortillas, topped with sweet mango salsa, adobo pork bits, and SOUR CREAM! Out of everything we tried there, this was my absolute favorite!!!  

Tiago's Nachos (P225) and Stuffed Pechay in Coconut Cream (P279)

IMG_4320 Tiago's Nachos' dynamic texture and taste is to die for!

IMG_4318 Stuffed Pechay is super siksik!

Then we had a few of their bestselling main dishes: Pinausukang Chicken and Pork Adobo, Bicol Express, and Shrimps in Taba ng Talangka. Along with some Tinapa Rice, our night couldn’t have been more filling! 

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Bicol Express (P480), Pinausukang Chicken and Pork Adobo (P480), 
and Shrimps in Taba ng Talangka (P365)

Tinapa Rice (P160) 

The Chicken and Pork Adobo is smoked for 3-4 hours! Talk about effort! The fall-off-the-bone pork and the tender-on-the-inside-crispy-on-the-outside chicken is topped with Chef Kenneth's Mindanao sauce. 

Mindanao sauce tastes like patatim sauce.

All short orders are generally good for 3-4 people.

A lot of people go to Tiago for their deconstructed Bicol Express - the crispy slow roasted pork, tasty Vigan longganisa and creamy coconut sauce are presented separately. 

Their quality Vigan Longganisa is made in-house too!

And the Shrimps in Taba are my guilty pleasure. I'm allergic to shrimps AND I have hypertension. This dish is double the trouble! But that didn't stop me!

They should probably have a waiver for this! It. is. DEADLY.

By the end of the main course, I could hardly breathe. But I'm glad we still had some of their dessert. Their unique leche flan is made of gata (they really like coconut milk at Tiago, don't they?), giving it a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture and subtle but distinct coconut flavor.

Leche Flan (P78), topped with saba and tablea chocolate, makes for a REALLY sweet dessert!

Oh and I can't forget about Tiago's unique drinks! I ordered their salted green mango shake, while Bett ordered a mango banana with cinnamon shake. When I took a sip of the mango banana shake, I blurted, "isa siyang milagro." No joke. I really said that. I love mangoes and bananas, so admittedly, I might have been a bit partial. It wasn't too sweet, and the cinnamon added to it's wonderful smell.The green mango shake on the other hand was piercingly sour! And it's served as if it were a margarita - with salt on the glass' rim for taste.

IMG_4299 IMG_4307 Mango Banana w/ Cinnamon Shake (P95) and Salted Green Mango Shake (P85)

We had such a fun time that the question now is not IF we come back, it's WHEN we come back. And when we do, we're gonna try out some of their other best sellers like their Sisig, Palabok Negra and Melon and Cheese Shake. And if you were thinking about just hanging out and having a drink with friends, their San Mig Light is just P55!


Tiago opened November 15 last year and they’re about to celebrate their first anniversary! Congrats to them! Some of the things they have in stored for diners are their daily lunch discounts and their Saturday night buy one, take one drinks! That’s from 10pm-2am! That’s after most bars’ happy hour! It’s a no-brainer, Saturday night is Tiago night! 

Thank you Sigrid and DJ for having us! (Pic from Bett's cam)

It's hard to believe Tiago started from 3 friends having an inuman session. It's one of those very rare cases of usapang lasing gone terribly, terribly RIGHT! So go ahead, try it out, and find out different ways - BETTER ways - to eat your Filipino favorites at Tiago: Progressive Filipino Cuisine!


Tiago: Progressive Filipino Cuisine
is located at 85 Sct. Fuentebella St., Brgy. Sacred Heart, Q.C.
They're open 11am - 2pm, then 6pm - 11pm from Mondays to Thursdays and Sundays
and 11am - 2pm, then 6pm - 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Follow them on Facebook for the latest promos from Tiago!

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