Did I really write “Christmas Luncheon”? My friends would surely laugh at the term, but the old lady in me is pleased haha. So let me call it that, and besides, it’s not as if I could call it a “party,” and “get-together” is too generic a term. Riiight?

So thank you for reading that totally pointless opening banter hee hee. Anyway, today, I’ll tell you about this Christmas luncheon (stop trying to make luncheon happen) with my friends at this new discovery called Belito’s Vineyard.

We had other options including Sea Green and Gogi Gui, but the night before our date, I suddenly craved for paella. Which, in hindsight, was weird since I am not a fan of paella. Still, I searched for the best paella in town. Tiny Kitchen wasn’t an option since we didn’t see it as toddler-friendly, but I stumbled upon a review of Belito’s Vineyard.

No one among us was familiar with the place, but the photos of the food and the ambiance were effective enough in enticing my friends. Aha, paella, here I come!

So, Belito’s. Well, I wasn’t disappointed at all. I think each one of us fell in love with the place because of its homey, rustic feel. I was doubtful at first because of the al fresco setting (read: no aircon), but the place was actually cool and airy and not humid at all. And it was a blazing hot day! Here are some photos:

And now, the star of the show: the food! Being the sophisticated ladies that we are *snickers,* we ordered just three dishes: Paella Negra, Beef Salpicao, and Shrimp Kinilaw. When our order arrived, I found the servings quite small and we decided to just order more if the food’s not enough.

We were mistaken.

I don’t know how they did it, but the small servings were more than enough (5 ladies and 2 toddlers). In fact, we were full and satisfied!

The same goes for the Beef Salpicao. Every morsel is delicious, and the meat is amazingly tender. My only gripe is that I wasn’t able to eat a lot of this – because Yuri ate all of the salpicao on my plate! 😀

I highly recommend the Shrimp Kinilaw, too! At first, I didn’t eat it because I don’t eat raw seafood. However, upon trying it, I couldn’t help but get some more. The shrimps were fresh and very tasty with just the right amount of sourness. Yummeh.

I don’t have any complaint at all. This isn’t even a sponsored post! I want to go back there and eat more of their food and try their other dishes. And I’m getting hungry now. Uh oh.

Do you know the ultimate thing I can say to attest to how divine the food was? The fact that the toddlers were heartily eating. Picky Yuri, in particular, ate a lot of the paella and ate all of my salpicao. He was sad when he realized na naubos na. Takaw!

Here’s my overall verdict:

CONVENIENCE – The restaurant is not along a major highway or in a commercial area. In fact, it is tucked into a residential village. But it is not hard to find. Our taxi driver didn’t know the place but we found it in no time because they have a sign along the road (you have to enter a short pathwalk).

AMBIANCE – A mall rat like me might have qualms about the lack of aircon, but the lack of facilities is saved by the presence of trees, the choice of main material (wood), and its spaciousness. In other words, what it lacks in artificial ventilation, it makes up for natural airiness.

SERVICE – I think all of us were satisfied by the service. We were the only customers that day, but we were “quite” loud and had more than a few requests, but the woman managing the restaurant that day was so accommodating and friendly. She was even up for a small chat and was friendly to the toddlers. (I didn’t ask for a highchair since Yuri doesn’t use one anymore but she brought out one anyway, which Yuri liked.) Yay!

FOOD – In case you missed it, their food is totally great. A week, a party, and a Noche Buena later, I’m still raving about it. Enough said.

PRICE – I’m so sorry; I wasn’t able to take note of the prices. I also wasn’t able to take photos of the menu. But the Paella Negra was P400 (good for 2-3 people), and I’m pretty certain the other two dishes should be within the P150-P180 range. Fresh calamansi juice was also just P45. Not bad especially considering the great cooking and fresh ingredients!

Would I go back to Belito’s Vineyard? Definitely! I hope they cater, too!