Gustus has been around for a solid year here in Tagbilaran City. During this time it has been through several changes in the menu, trying to find a solid concept and give the establishment a personality.
A food concept is the first thing somebody should consider when planning on opening a restaurant. This is the most common factor that describes what the restaurant will be like in terms of service, cuisine and atmosphere, to name a few. The concept is the soul that frames the way the public perceives your entire establishment, giving an idea of what to expect when dining there. Once you have decided on a food concept, you can begin creating your menu.
However, that was not the case of Gustus Restaurant located at M. Torralba street, Tagbilaran City (just behind the Grandstand). While the establishment has a warm and rustic atmosphere due to the use of wood in their interior design, a huge flat screen TV has been placed next to the dining tables giving the mood of a Sports Bar. The décor is also rather nautically inspired, having on the walls some typical items you could find on a boat, giving you the expectation to find a lot of seafood on their menu. But the moment you open the menu you can see that the seafood choice is very limited.
The Restaurant offers a range of different type of cuisines and styles; from the local Filipino to classic Italian dishes, from Cancun Shrimps served in a bag to a fancy Rosemary Crusted Lamb Chops. Lately though, the menu is shifting into a more Filipino cuisine, removing some of the international dishes and adding some of the local favourites.
The food itself is actually good and well presented; I’ve been eating at Gustus several times during this past year and I’ve always been quite satisfied by their food and prices. I have particularly enjoyed their Crispy Pata and Braised Ribs, well prepared dishes with generous portions. Other items in their menu are also enjoyable, however dishes tend to be over seasoned at times and there’s still room for improvement for their soups and sauces as they tend to be too starchy and on the salty side.
The problem in this restaurant is not really the food quality but its lack of a soul and good service. The waiters are friendly but seem to care more about the basketball game on the huge TV than the customers.
Unfortunately improvising an approach and having a nice decor is not all there is in a restaurant. Food is important but the clients need to feel the soul of a place.