Monday, January 13, 2014

Namnam: Filipino food with a twist

 For Jon's birthday, we just had to try someplace new. We'd had food from most of the restaurants in the Ayala Triangle so my curiosity was aroused by an internet post about the best new Pinoy restaurants in the city. While most of them were in Quezon City, I read about one that was in Greenbelt 2. I was a bit wary because most of the restos along that lane like Italianni's and Cyma are on the expensive side but a few clicks on google revealed a menu with reasonable prices!

The only trouble you might encounter is finding the place. It's below another restaurant called the Burger Bar so you might not see its signage unless you actually walk by it.
Birthday boy with mama and the Nuguids.

The menu is very creatively presented: on the left is a list of traditional Pinoy food and on the right are the same stuff with a twist. In the middle are visuals of the dishes split into 2 to show the variations.
 I'd read the glowing reviews and recommendations online and I was very excited to try most of them. Another thing I liked about this resto is how Pinoy it is. There are 3 serving sizes: Small, which is good for 1 person; Medium for 2-3 people; and Large for 6 people.
 After the meat and fat fest that was New Year, I wanted some seafood so we got the wok-fried Shrimp in ginger and chili.(P210, small) This was savory and spicy, but if you're not a fan of chili, don't get too much of the sauce.
 Another winner was the Caramelized patis wings (P285, medium). It's like their version of Kora's Bon Chon chicken, deep-fried crispy wings dipped in a sweet-salty mix.
 Did I say we'd have a  fat-free feast? Well, I just had to forget it after reading the near universal acclaim their Sisig (P205, medium) had received online. And they were right. This has got to be one of the best I've ever had. Sinfully crunchy pork  punctuated with chicharon bits.
 The one dish I was most excited about was also the lone disappointment.  The Sinigang na short rib with watermelon (P390, medium) had bloggers raving about it so I naturally had to try it as well. Unfortunately, it did not live up to the hype. We found it too sweet that it effectively canceled the comforting sourness that is the essence of sinigang. Maybe they should do something similar to what Sentro does, which is to bring the customer a cup of the broth to adjust according to how sour you'd like it to be.

 Mama ordered the guinamos which they say was ok while I ordered the strawberry-camias shake (P115) which was inventive though I could hardly taste the camias. Now I'm curious to taste the camias shake of Zubochon in Cebu.
I'm quite happy I found this place which has found playful twists to our favorite Filipino food. It's now one of my favorite classy Pinoy restaurants with Sentro topping my list.

For Pinoy food where you can let your hair down, my picks are still Dampa and Gery's Grill.

Happy eating in 2014!

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