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Sandy Daza Makes Us Feel Right At Home At His Comfy Restaurant Casa Daza

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Sandy Daza enjoys a lifelong love for food. Now the host of FoodPrints and Casa Daza on Metro Channel, he has certainly come a long way from his days as a cashier at Au Bon Vivant, his mother’s French fine dining restaurant in Manila. Ever the self-confessed foodie, Chef Sandy loves to surprise himself, exploring new bites and spots, and conquering his hunger and curiosity, whether at a local carinderia or a posh restaurant. He has translated this love for food to the eclectic menu of Casa Daza, his homey restaurant in UP Town Center, Quezon City.

Chef Sandy’s mother, the late Nora Daza, needs no introduction. As the author of the seminal Let’s Cook With Nora and other cookbooks, TV food show host, and international restaurateur, Nora Daza was a huge influence on Chef Sandy, not just as a restaurateur but also as a lover of food. In essence, she believed that everyone can cook, but to cook really well, one must have a good sense of taste—and it seems that Chef Sandy has adopted his mother’s good taste.

 

During our exclusive interview with Chef Sandy, he shared the concept behind Casa Daza as a place where he brings together all his past experiences, as well as ideas of what he thinks people will love, in the form of affordable hearty meals. From the short descriptions of each dish on the menu, you can tell how Chef Sandy’s relationship with food intersects with memories of his childhood in the company of his family, especially his mother.

Bestsellers include Crispy Pancit with Crab Omelette—his personal favorite, Three Egg Salad which is ideal for adventurous diners, and the Ilocano dish Dinakdakan for those who love pork.  

Crispy Pancit with Crab Omelette

 

Three Egg Salad

 

Dinakdakan

 

He is never limited to one cuisine, serving Sweet and Sour Pork, a standard that Filipinos always order at a Chinese restaurant. He also offers Thai dishes like a melt-in-your-mouth Thai Beef Curry and Squid Chili and Mushrooms.

 

Thai Beef Curry

 

While the Casa Daza menu goes beyond Filipino food, Chef Sandy does realize that Filipinos will always come back to their own cuisine. In an interview, Nora Daza once said that her son Sandy was doing the right thing in developing his own kind of Filipino dishes and improving the cuisine in his own way. Thus, Chef Sandy describes his food at Casa Daza as familiar flavors and unusual dishes that will surprise you. 

We were indeed surprised and delighted by his interpretations of Filipino dishes like his popular Stuffed Pechay and his Pochero that’s both pungent and flavorful. He plays with crispy and soft textures using innards in his Papaitan, Sizzling Bopis Sisig, and Pork Sisig. His Adobong Kangkong “cheats” with the addition of lechon kawali bites.

 

Stuffed Pechay

 

Cauliflower Fried Rice

 

Chef Sandy Daza’s version of Bicol Express

 

In order for people to love your restaurant, Chef Sandy believes that you need to serve good food and price it fairly—which is what you’ll get at Casa Daza. When we asked him what advice can he give aspiring young chefs, he had this to say, “Eat everywhere and eat everything.” 

 

Casa Daza, 2/F UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, (02) 720-2290

Follow Chef Sandy Daza on his food adventures in the newest season of FoodPrints on Metro Channel.