Another Daza restaurant addresses the future of Filipino food
Chef Sandy Daza is yet on another mission to highlight Filipino food
An adage wouldn’t survive time if it didn’t hold at least a little truth. That’s why the saying “When one door closes, another opens,” remains a popular platitude, and it’s one that celebrity chef Sandy Daza relates to.
Daza, who’s also a TV show host and food columnist, has opened a new restaurant. Don’t get us wrong: Wooden Spoon hasn’t closed down. In fact, its last branch standing in Rockwell still bustles and overflows with diners. However, conflict between Daza and his then-business partner had robbed the chef of the opportunity to expand his first sit-down restaurant, which means as far as Daza is concerned, there won’t be any new Wooden Spoon branch opening anymore.
“What used to be my dream for Wooden Spoon is now for Casa Daza,” he says. This means that once his team has perfected the first branch’s dynamics, he’ll be on a mission to establish more Casa Dazas in different spots in the metro.
Giving up has no place in the chef’s mind, anyway. He’s had his fair share of failed businesses in the past, which he calls “humbling experiences.” And if these missteps did anything, it was to fuel him to reach his goal of making people say, “Ang sarap pala ng pagkain ng Pilipinas.” The menu for Casa Daza isn’t too different
from Wooden Spoon’s, which is basically the accumulation of the chef’s culinary experiences. He still holds true to his “familiar flavors, unusual dishes” concept with the likes of the good old adobong kangkong topped with crunchy lechon kawali bites. There’s more pork to be indulged in with Daza’s hybrid of two Filipino classics: the dinuguang bagnet, a dish the chef had discovered at Dawang’s Place in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte. For dessert, try his own take on maja blanca called reyna blanca, a melt-in-your-mouth coconut flan drizzled with sweet sauce and topped with crispy pinipig. It’s also a classic sweet treat from Galing Galing, the Ermita restaurant that his mother, the late Nora Daza, opened and ran in the ’70s.
While Wooden Spoon will cease opening new branches, the arrival of Casa Daza and everything it promises is a great trade-off— especially when it means that we still get to eat true Filipino comfort food whipped up by a seasoned chef’s hands.
The menu for Casa Daza isn’t too different from Wooden Spoon’s, which is basically the accumulation of the chef ’s culinary experiences.
Casa Daza’s bangus sisig is the guilt-free alternative to its sinful pork counterpart.
Clockwise from above: Dinuguang bagnet combines two Pinoy classics; sago cake is their own version of bibingkang malagkit; Casa Daza's interiors