DeMARS – Must Visit Restaurant in Antipolo
If you frequent Antipolo, along Sumulong Highway you’ll pass by the stretch of inuman places–Padi’s Point, Cloud 9, etc.–but among that is this “hidden” gem, DeMARS. Technically, it is very much visible but for me, there was no incentive to try out the place since it was alongside the pubs and this might have put a negative bias for DeMars. Fortunately, GF and I decided to check the place out one evening, and I am now an advocate. This place is a must visit!
DeMARS is located at Lot 8 Block 01 Palos Verdes Garden Heights, Sumulong Highway, Antipolo. Going up, it is located on the right side. You will see its orange signage a few meters after Padi’s Point.
Chef Demar Regresado owns the restaurant where he brings in his culinary experience from London (READ: he has worked with Gordon Ramsay, has served his food to the Queen, Prince Harry and David Beckham, among others).
I appreciate that the menu is simple and focused. We are shying away from carbs, so we asked if they can replaced the mashed potatoes with greens/salad, which they willing agreed to.
They have an extensive drink list (no picture, sorry) and lunch/breakfast menu since they are open 6am to 11pm daily.
- Salad Nicoise – P245
- Corn-fed Chicken – P395
- Wagyu T-bone Steak 8oz – P1495 (discounted to P900)
They gave us complimentary soup and focaccia bread. The soup was made from Malunggay–creamy and acidic side, delicious. The bread was light and not too oily.
The Salad Nicoise was refreshing. The olives play nicely with the tuna and quail eggs. The greens were crispy and fresh. Nice start and good impressions so far.
Wagyu T-bone Steak 8oz was originally priced at P1495 but it was discounted to P900 on that day. The serving is huge and is good for 2-3 persons. This has mashed potato but we opted for salad instead. We ordered medium rare but it came a medium well. This resulted in a drier than usual steak for us. Taste-wise though, it’s good. For P900, I’ll order this again.
The star of the night and a surprise for us was the Corn-fed Chicken. We don’t usually order chicken dishes unless it’s chicken wings but good for us we ordered this. Looking at the chicken part used (white meat), we were expecting a dry and normal tasting chicken. We were so wrong. The chicken tasted like it had concentrated chicken juice (if ever there was such a thing) and it was so tender. The first bite surprised me, it was that good. The pumpkin and malunggay puree was also a good addition to the dish. This is one of the more memorable dishes I’ve had and I recommend everyone to order this.
Last but not the least, I would like to comment on their friendly service, the staff was always ready and has initiative in terms changing the plates, cutlery, and even providing extra table napkins. Kudos!
Valentine’s Update (02/14/16)
As GF and I don’t want to engage ourselves in the chaos that is Valentine’s Day, we usually don’t celebrate on the day itself. We dine on a different day where restaurants are not that full.
However, we wanted to try DeMars again, knowing that they have a special set menu for Valentine’s Day.
The set menu has the following –
- Starter – Fishcake
- Salad – Prawn Cocktail
- Sorbet – Mango
- Main Course – Pan Seared Skate Wing / Osso Buco / Braised Pork Belly
- Dessert – Eton Mess / Chocolate Lava Cake
- Drink – Malunggay Iced Tea / Tequila Sunrise
We ordered two sets as we were expecting it to be like most Manila restaurants where the serving size is quite small for set menus. We were so wrong. The portions were huge. HUGE. The P1400 is very much worth it for this alone.
The usual complementary bread was given and cut heart shaped.
The tequila sunrise was beautifully done–very nice to look at. However it was too sweet for my taste so I added a bit of water to temper it a little.
The fishcake is panko-breaded served with poached egg and hollandaise sauce. The hollandaise sauce blends well with the fishcake, it gives acidity to the dish. The fishcake is a bit neutral with chunks of potatoes inside. The poached egg seals the deal for this dish. This dish alone is challenging our appetite already.
Next Is the Prawn Cocktail. It has lettuce topped with Marie-rose sauce. The first thing we noticed was the plating on this. As usual, DeMars keeps delighting us with their playful plating technique. This had 3 pieces of shrimp that are fresh. The lettuce salad with the Marie-rose sauce was on the tangy side but I just combined it with the fishcake and it was all-good.
After cleaning up our plates, we were served the Mango Sorbet. This is not overtly sweet and relies on the mango itself to bring up the flavors.
The main dish comes next, which really surprised us because of the huge servings! We were really expecting the portions of each dish to be enough just for one, but nope-the Osso Buco and the Pan Seared Skate Wing were huge. Kudos to DeMars for not skimping.
Getting back to the review, we have the Osso Buco. It is a traditional Italian stew of veal, onions and leeks with red wine sauce. The dish also has a huge serving of mashed potato. DeMars’ Osso Buco is cooked to perfection. Literally fall off the bone tenderness. The flavor is bold, it’s sauce perfect for the mashed potato which was served sans the usual gravy,
The other main dish is Pan Seared Skate Wings, which is topped with herb crust on a bed of sweet tomato relish. Skate Wing is very mild and delicate and DeMars was able to accentuate that. The herb crusts saltiness and the sweet tomato created a playful explosion in my mouth while the Skate fish pairs nicely with them.
For the dessert, we ordered one of each, Eton Mess and Chocolate Lave Cake. Unfortunately, they had problems with the Lava Cake and so we were served the Crème Brule instead. The Eton Mess is merengue with cream and strawberries. We found it okay, but weren’t as wowed compared to the savory dishes. The Crème Brulee was a bit on the yolk-y side, but but tasted fine. If I were to nitpick, this is probably one area they can improve on.
Please go try and visit DeMARS in Antipolo. It’s that good. (Even the view is good). Period.
(Verdict Update – 02/15/16) A very recommendable restaurant in Antipolo. The verdict stays the same, please visit DeMars, it’s that good.
- If you were to order only one thing from their menu, get the CORN-FED CHICKEN. My boyfriend’s eyes widened with surprise as he first tried this chicken dish. It was really good. Like he said, we don’t really order chicken dishes when we’re out because chicken dishes usually taste the same (and it feels like you can easily cook them at home), but not this.
- DeMARS serves very beautifully plated dishes that tastes really good at, while not cheap, very reasonable prices. The ambiance though can be improved. Being it located up in the mountains of Antipolo with a good commanding view of the city, fixtures (seats and tables) can be improved to match the food here, which is done so well.
- For those who go up to maybe Cloud9 or Padi’s Point for a chill drinking night, consider having dinner first at DeMARS before your drinking session. I swear it’s something you won’t be regretting.
Price to Taste Ratio –4.5/5
Budget Per Person – P600
Monday – Sunday – 6am-11pm
Lot 8 Block 01 Palos Verdes Garden Heights,Sumulong Highway, Antipolo
Facebook Page – DeMARS
Contact Number – 0917 595 4941