Monday, October 08, 2007

At last, In-yo

Since last year, my friend and fellow foodie Yang had been raving to us LM girls about this Katipunan restaurant called In-yo, insisting we had to eat there together sometime. Last Friday we finally got a chance to do so, although there were only 2 LM girls in attendance (Yang and yours truly), since 2 others had to bail at the last minute because of those 2 dreaded letters: OT. :p After a lovely, leisurely afternoon walking around the Ateneo campus (still as gorgeous as ever), Yang and I were joined by her hubby Angelo and her former roomie Shalu for dinner.

A converted residence located at 66 Esteban Abada St. (parallel to Katipunan Ave.), In-yo made a great first impression on me as I laid eyes on the warmly lit, inviting facade.
It reminded me of my first look at Lemuria, and as I crossed the short wooden bridge spanning a koi pond underneath the threshold of the entrance, I had a good feeling I was in for a wonderful evening. The interior was cozy, furnished with homey tables and chairs that were mismatched yet went well together. A variety of Oriental knickknacks adorned side tables and shelves. One of several attentive waiters pulled up 2 low wooden stools for me and Shalu to place our bags on. Our table had a vantage view of the kitchen, where owner-chef Nino Laus could be seen through the glass window plating meals eagerly awaited by the full house (customers were still arriving around 9PM and waiting for tables).

The food certainly lived up to Yang's glowing reviews. She highly recommended the hanging tender steak, served with red wine sauce, mushroom risotto and buttered veggies, so I went with that. The steak was indeed tender, flavorful but not too salty, and went well with the risotto, which was a creamy delight. We all ordered the special iced tea, served with a cube of frozen mango juice that gradually melted and infused the tea with fruity flavor. For dessert I again went with Yang's recommendation, choosing the mango pavlova, a yummy frothy egg-white concoction topped with sweet mangoes and vanilla ice cream. I sampled some of Angelo's vanilla bean panna cotta, which was also a palate pleaser, and the tofu cheesecake (it tastes better than it sounds, trust me), which came compliments of the house. We were also surprised when a girl from another table who was celebrating her birthday sent over a big slice of plain cheesecake, sharing the tangy treat with everyone in the restaurant.

My share of the bill came to about P600++ for my steak entree, an iced tea, and the mango pavlova. Comparing that to Lemuria's astronomical prices, I give In-yo a higher rating for value for money. The intimate ambience, the efficient service, and the scrumptious food all make an LM girls return visit to In-yo practically inevitable.


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