The Pilgrim is a charming and magical place located along Maginhawa street. Its charm may indeed get you lost and let your sight to wander off for awhile but the big signage of the restaurant just won’t let you miss it especially seeing the sight of an actual chef roasting something inexplicably good in the griller located just below it.
Upon entering the narrow pathway in which the entrance is located, this small-scale restaurant which can accommodate roughly about 30 people makes it more warm and intimate. The setting, though a bit small, is beguiling and intriguing in its appeal. With wooden and mirrored doors, wooden criss cross high chairs, and endearing lampposts, every corner is entrancing.
Inside, you will know that the heart of the place are elephants in which Chef Dennis Tan, the owner and chef or the restaurant, educates us, are the most hardworking animals.
Being a well-traveled person, Chef Dennis incorporates things and ideas into his restaurant. Most recently, he has been to Siem Reap Cambodia learning a lot about their culture, which explains why there is a massive collection of elephant décor in The Pilgrim.
“You always bring something with you when you travel and every time we do, we put a little bit of it here.”
You’d be surprise to know that Chef Dennis Tan is Taiwanese. He studied in Taiwan and is fluent both in English and Tagalog. He opened the Pilgrim just last year on January 17, 2015. Before, the restaurant was just a small storage room where excess paint and tiles were often piled as junk. He then converted this storage room into something that looks and feels like a mini menagerie. Almost all the accents and pieces such as the lighting fixtures are recycled materials. For The Pilgrim, one man’s trash can easily be another man’s treasure.
The Pilgrim’s menu is diverse and expansive. From Western to Asian cuisines, The Pilgrim always has a dish that will let you taste the other side of the world and make you feel like you’ve been around the world even without a passport.
Their menu and the dishes in it are inspired by the places Chef Dennis has been too. The Pilgrim also has a “Today’s Special” menu which changes every month. “Today’s Special” for the month of January includes both Western and Asian dishes particularly dishes from Korea and America. One way The Pilgrim makes sure to always keep you on your toes!
Our food journey begins when were first served the appetizer, Chicken Fingers coated in Rice Crispies with Homemade Mayo dip. The texture was different with this one since Chef Dennis didn’t use the usual breadcrumbs. It was crispier and fried to perfection thus, the rice crispies added more character to this classic appetizer. The homemade mayo is a great dip that really adds to the flavor of the Chicken Fingers.
Chicken Fingers with Rice Crispies & Homemade Mayo 180
Next, we get to try The Pilgrim’s selection of Healthy Fruit Shakes. What makes these drinks interesting and special is that each is a unique mixture of fruits and herbs that specifically addresses the body’s needs hence, the names for each drink.
Sublime, Rejuvenate, The Cure, Rehydrate, and Rehabilitate 80
The Pilgrim’s Chicken Wings offers a flavorful combination of sweet and spicy. It is juicy and best eaten served hot for that extra feeling of spice!
Oven Brick Hot Chicken Wings 190
Crisp and fresh vegetable are smeared with Paprika Mayo dressing that offers a rather unique taste for salads. Topped with succulent shrimp, this salad dish is guilt-free and a must try.
Shrimp Mango Salad 170
And to note, The Pilgrim uses home-grown ingredients just like their lettuce. Right now, they are striving to make sure that they grow most of the ingredients they use for their dishes. One way to know that all you are ingesting are safe, fresh, and natural. “Our main goal is to serve well-loved dishes in a much healthier style.”
The grilled chicken pasta offered a very balanced flavor. The pasta covered in tomato paste is not too sour for anyone’s taste. The grilled chicken is tender and completes the pasta dish.
Grilled Chicken Pasta
You may want to get your hands on this on the menu! The flavorful and tender wagyu steak coupled with the corn and salad with pesto sauce is such a perfect combination. Plus, all beef wagyu in The Pilgrim are local grown! This is one of the ways Chef Dennis supports local products even if he isn’t pure-blood Filipino!
Wagyu Rib Eye Steak with Potatoes or Steamed Rice 250g 435
What a deal! This Wagyu Sirloin Steak and Egg only sells for 185 but the price doesn’t compromise taste! Perfectly tender, the wagyu meat is luscious and the egg on the side is fluffy and creamy in its consistency.
Wagyu Sirloin Steak & Egg 185
The Pilgrim’s best-seller, the Baby Back Ribs by Mr. T is a best-seller for a reason. The supple consistency of the meat smothered in homemade barbecue sauce makes it a mouth-watering dish that explodes in your mouth!
Baby Back Ribs by Mr. T 380
Part of the “Today’s Specials” this Rosemary Chicken with Garlic Spinach is definitely worth-trying just because it is simple, delicious and a dish without all the fuss.
Hearty Rosemary Chicken w/ Garlic Spinach and Potatoes 195
The Sausage and Bacon Pasta is as appetizing as its ingredients. Not too heavy on the cream, this pasta is perfect sprinkled with Parmesan. The bacon and sausage adds majority of the dish’s aroma and essence.
Sausage & Bacon Pasta
Last on our date was the Yakiniku Beef Bulgogi w/ Kimchi Rice. Surprisingly, the kimchi rice was not too spicy but you can still taste the bold Kimchi flavor.
Yakiniku Beef Bulgogi w/ Kimchi Rice 255
From the Latin word peregrinus, A Pilgrim refers to traveler on a journey to a holy place of a particular religious belief system. The journey taken is often by foot and is of special significance to the traveler. If you’re a foodie, traveler, and a spiritual person all at once, The Pilgrim will indeed take you to a special and holy place.
The Pilgrim is located in 189 Maginhawa St. Corner Makadios St. Brgy Sikatuna Village. It is open daily from 11 am to 12 mn. For reservations please contact 09272771588 or call at (02) 2180070.