I’ve been meaning to write about the places that I and my family eat at. However, due to one reason or another I’ve always managed to put it off until I almost forget about it. So from now on, I promised myself that I will write my observations, no matter what..be it on the back of a receipt, a used tissue paper, whatever.
I belong to a family who loves to eat good food. Nothing is ever that expensive when you really had a great time consuming what you have ordered. I am quite picky when it comes to food. Also being a what you can call a good cook – I can’t stand food prepared beyond my expectation. With eating out, you get a whole new package as compared to eating at home. If you have great food and the customer service sucks, everything can fall apart unless you have your team of staff falling apart haha.
After having relocated to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, there are days that we crave for resto cooked Pinoy food. Well I can certainly cook them but I find the convenience of just ordering and dining somewhere during one of ‘those days’ very comforting. We had been to quite a number of Filipino restaurants here and sad to say, except for a couple maybe, I am very disappointed. Either the food sucks, or the ambiance is not something worth commenting, or the service is way below what you can call ‘service’.
First on my list is Ortego’s Deli in Hamdan, Abu Dhabi. It is located opposite of E-Max and at the back street of Brands For Less. I have heard about this place from my hubby who heard it also from one of his Filipino friend. So it seems the place is being advertised by word of mouth. A good sign I must say. So we went there today and I kept on telling myself, “don’t expect too much so you won’t get disappointed”.
First impression, “Oh it looks clean”, and indeed it is! Upon entering Ortego’s Deli, you can immediately sense the warm and comfy place through the all white walls with the wooden chairs and tables plus the old school style ceiling fan added character to the place. There were huge windows which provided ample lighting plus their selection of lighting fixture is wonderful. The place reminds you of big plantation houses in the south with a modern twist.
We were seated in a table by the window. Well the view isn’t really something remarkable yet it provided you with a feeling of dining in open air. They have this cute and clean paper place mats on the table. Something that you would care to look at while you wait for your order. As I looked around, I could see a mixture of people dining, Arabs, Filipinos and other nationalities too.
They showed us the menu and I again found it cute, easy to read and very nice. A mix of the most sought after pinoy dishes like kinilaw and halo halo were available. These are things that you miss especially when you are based out of your home country. Well of course they don’t serve pork and you should know why. 🙂 They also have a selection of several other dishes and all are priced well, not that expensive but not cheap as well. The perfect word is – affordable.
My husband wanted to order their famous chicken tower so I could taste it. Per his recommendation, he vowed that it is the ultimate in grilled chicken Pinoy style. But then I also wanted to taste the Pansit Palabok which I had been craving for a couple of days now. He also wanted to taste several other dishes and definitely we won’t be able to finish them all if we ordered what we wanted.
So he settled for Sinuglaw. A combo dish of the roasted chicken, very much similar to Pinoy Chicken Barbecue, plus a serving of Canton Guisado, cucumber salsa, mixed seafood kinilaw* (cooked in vinegar) plus it was served with tinolang manok soup with a piece of chicken leg in it, very much unlike the usual free soup that you would get from the others. Everything tasted superb, just how you expect them to be cooked at home. Nothing was soggy or overcooked, the seafoods were succulent and juicy plus the chicken is not too sweet. I hate sweet barbecues, a hint of sweetness will do otherwise I’d find them bitter for my taste. The Ortego’s Deli grilled chicken is simply perfect.
My Pansit Palabok is almost good for sharing. The serving is quite generous. I could taste tinapa in it and it looked very appetizing. I only wished that there should be some chicharon crunchies on the topping for additional flavor and texture. Aside from that – their Pansit Palabok is one of the best I’ve tasted and it was well presented. It’s just too bad that there wasn’t any space left in our stomach to fit in dessert..I will definitely try their selection of desserts..soon. 🙂
As for the staff, I find them generally nice but I didn’t have so much interaction with them to comment on their service. The food was delivered on time so I didn’t have any reason to complain. Perhaps they can initiate small talk or suggest food on the menu or lively greet people coming in to make the experience more pleasant and interactive.
Overall, Ortego’s Deli surpassed our expectation and we will definitely come back for more.
*THIS IS AN UNPAID INDEPENDENT PERSONAL REVIEW. THE AUTHOR JUST WANTED TO SHARE THE EXPERIENCE.
Ortego’s Deli Contact Details:
open daily 11am-11pm
Hamdan Bin Mohammad Street,
Abu Dhabi, UAE
*new branch Al Dhafrah ›