I had my first taste of the Don Andres chicken back when it opened their Sgt. Esguerra branch in late 2014. My sister, who worked in the area has always raved about their roast chicken and has been a loyal customer since its days in Scout Tobias Road. That first experience was a hit! Everything was indeed good and the chicken well-deserving of the raves.
I returned this year to see if we were going to have the same fantastic meal. You see, there have been some major changes since then. An alleged rift with the owners and Peruvian chef (creator of the recipes and owner of the small original restaurant in Sct. Tobias) has caused a split. So now the chef is gone and back to his old place while Don Andres is lacking its Peruvian chef.
But it seems they have managed to keep the recipes…
Because the chicken, Pollo ala Brasa,was as great as I remembered. It was accompanied by 3 sauces of chimichurri, aji verde, and one of the tastiest mayos I’ve had.
Other great dishes include:
Ceviche de Pescado
Pulpo al Olivo
Arroz con Mariscos
Lomo Saltado (beef tenderloin)
However wonderful the meal was, the original flare of Don Andres was not there. I remembered my first visit when the chef’s wife acted as hostess of the restaurant and made us feel very at home. We did not mind waiting long for the chicken that time.
But in my latest visit, customer service was terribly lacking. We didnt mind staying at the table outside and waiting long for the food. What irked us was that the waiters decided to serve our appetizers without giving us our plates and utensils first. We had to wait for the 3rd appetizer to arrive before FINALLY getting our plates. What made matters worse was that they did not even seem apologetic with the mishap. They seemed irritated that we dared to ask for utensils so we can eat! Terribe terribe terrible!
Overall food was consistently good. But a great meal also needs a great overall experience – which they need to seriously address. They eventually recognized our disappointment and offered this delicious dessert as a peace offering. What can I say? I’m a very forgiving girl =)